Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)


Following on from the world-saving antics of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America (Chris Evans) is leading his new Avengers, Scarlet Witch, Falcon and Black Widow (Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie and Scarlet Johansson, respectively) to thwart a terrorist attack in Lagos, Nigeria. When an accident results in civilian casualties, Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr. for the sixth time), under the command of Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt, reprising from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk), attempts to get all the heroes to sign an accord, placing them under government supervision. What side will each hero take (all the above, as well as Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Vision (Paul Bettany) and War Machine (Don Cheadle)), and what will happen to those who disagree? Also, wait for it, there’s a kid in Queens who is swinging around like only some sort of arachnid can. All this and more in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 13th outing, Captain America: Civil War.

+ each of the mainstays are their usual personas; Captain America is the patriotic good-guy, Iron Man is sarcastic, Hawkeye is the father figure etc. No real surprises in the make-up of the group, in regards to those reprising their roles; they’ve had however many films each to craft these characters and there are no real changes to be found here
+ newcomer heroes Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland (Black Panther and Spider-man – yes, Spider-man in the MCU!) are both fantastic. Boseman steals most scenes he is in, on both the dramatic and action sides of things. Holland as Peter Parker is for once the right age (more or less, he’s 19 at the moment) and the film strikes the right balance between serious and snarky (which is particularly enjoyable considering how over the top I found Age of Ultron‘s constant stream of one-liners)
+ the action is fast paced and stylish, all building to the team vs team battle in the airport, shown extensively in the trailers, and it is worth the wait. After a few recent films had given away the main climaxes of their films (I’m looking at you, Batman v Superman!) this was a refreshing change to still have some surprises up their sleeve

– the film felt very unconnected to the previous films; despite the plot coming about due to the devastation of Sokovia in Age of Ultron, that connection really does feel like more of an afterthought. The main element which kicks off the titular struggle is far less important, and far more convoluted
– I stand by my pre-viewing assessment that this should have been an Avengers movie. With upwards of ten main characters, this film, more than any other so far, gives us less important moments for each character
– more than just being an Avengers movie, this story-line should have not happened any time soon; Cap needs Luke Cage on his side, and Iron Man should have had Mister Fantastic on his (and if the rumours of Marvel getting the Fantastic Four rights back are true…). Basically, I never felt there was nearly as much at stake as the movie was begging me to believe


Should you see this film: Overall, the film itself felt quite ‘safe’, and was an entertaining but ultimately meaningless filler before the Infinity War duology in the next few years. It is worth watching in the grand scheme, just because it will inevitably be referenced later, but it is certainly no game changer like it’s predecessor was.


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