Part sequel to the last Captain America film “The Winter Soldier” (a film that really took me by surprise, with its incredible action sequences and fresh approach to a character that had become a little bit cheesy) part sequel to the slightly underwhelming “Avengers: Age Of Ultron”, it’s fair to say that Captain America: Civil War is unlike anything Marvel has released before and has left me slightly conflicted.
When a routine mission ends in catastrophe the Avengers are held directly accountable for the lives lost and as result have to sign a new piece of legislation which will give the government more power over the heroes and their actions. Understandably, this cause a bit of a rift between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with some in favour of these new changes and others against. On the one hand you have Iron Man who believes that these restrictions must be in place in order to protect the public from collateral damage, stating that without rules in place they are no better than the bad guys; and on the other hand you have Captain America who fears that making the avengers work for the government could corrupt the organisation. However, when his childhood buddy Bucky gets involved in the controversy Captain America is forced to go off the books in order to save his friend and stick up for what he believes in.
While watching Civil War it’s clear to see that Marvel had a lot of big things planned for the film, reading the cast list for Civil War almost feels like looking at a list of the biggest and brightest names in Hollywood. A cast list of this size can either do one of two things to a film: It can damage the film (with hundreds of agendas and egos all fighting for screen time), or it can enrich the film (with the collective talents working together to further the story). For the most part, the film falls into the second category. If I’m perfectly honest, I was a little bit unsure as to whether directors Joe and Anthony would be able to juggle the sheer number of superheroes in this movie. However, I think they captured the dynamic of the two sides really well and did a good job at dedicating screen time to the characters that matter. The film spends most of its time looking at the ideological conflict between Iron Man and Captain America, with other characters appearing in supporting roles or cameos. This works effectively as it means that despite its large scope, the film feels remarkably personal.
The two new additions to the cast (Black Panther and Spiderman) are absolutely fantastic in their own different ways. It was really interesting to see Marvel’s take on the beloved character of Spiderman (after so many years of negotiations with Sony) and I personally loved what actor Tom Holland is doing with the role. Holland manages to blend the dorkish charm that Toby Maguire bought to the character with the charm and cockiness seen in the later Andrew Garfield movies, while also adding a sense of awkward humour unlike anything we’ve seen from the character. Despite Tom Holland’s scene stealing performance, out of all of the new characters Black Panther is by far my favourite. Chadwick Bosemen plays Tchaila, a badass warrior and ruler of a fictional African country called Wakanda who appears at various points in the movie as mysterious third party with his own agenda. Going into the cinema I didn’t really know anything about the character (other than the fact he has his own film coming out at some point in the future) but after seeing him in this movie I have to admit I’m really excited to see a solo black panther film.
Similar to the last Captain America movie, this film has some really well shot action sequences. The Russo brothers have always been particularly good at setting up interesting action set pieces in their work. However, here you get the feeling that they are really pushing the limits on what good superhero action can look like. At times it gets a little bit too shaky and cut up for my liking. But for the most part I had a lot of fun with the action. There’s one particular showdown between two rival sides that completely blew me away with its scope and ingenuity.
Despite its interesting and entertaining moments, I did have a few major problems that limited my enjoyment of the film and left me incredibly conflicted.
Structurally I thought it was a bit of a mess. Most notably in the first half of the movie where there’s an awful lot of cutting between different locations and characters in order to set up the characters. It is by no means as messy and disorganised as Batman Vs Superman (with its dream sequences and interludes where Wonder Woman just sits and opens an email), however it still felt a bit jumbled at times. I reckon it could have done with about 10 or 15 minutes cut from the run time in order to prevent the story from becoming baggy.
I also wasn’t particularly fond of the ending the Russo brother’s decided to go with and felt it was utterly disappointing. I don’t want to give too much away (as I’m conscious many of you may not have seen the film yet) but it ended with a bunch of character’s making a lot of random decisions that didn’t seem to make sense. Captain America in particular made a number of Increasingly ridiculous choices that made the character incredibly unlikable. I can see what they were trying to achieve with the character in this film – however I ultimately didn’t think it worked. They really wanted us to be on his side throughout, but it got to the point where I just started viewing him as stubborn, self centred and even mean spirited at times. Putting his feelings for his friend before the safety of others (by hurting many police and civilians) just seemed a little bit out of place for the character. This ultimately meant I was not as invested in the conflict as I wanted to be and I left feeling slightly unsatisfied.
The overall villain/mastermind played by Daniel Bruhl was rather weak and underdeveloped in my opinion. Marvel have always struggled with making their villain characters interesting, so this is by no means a new complaint. However, never before had there been a Marvel villain so paper thin and uninteresting (to the point where he would disappear for extended periods of time and I would forget he was even in this movie). It’s a shame that Marvel gave Bruhl such a bad character as he is a fantastic actor and I would have loved to see him in a more developed role.
So to conclude, while I did have an awful lot of fun with this film, I’m not sure I think it was as good as a lot of people are saying it is, as such I am going to give Captain America: Civil War – 7.8. However, that’s just my opinion and I know loads of people (including my brother, who’s opinion I trust on all things film related) who absolutely loved this film!
Have you seen Civil War yet? If so as always I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you so much for continuing to support my blog (It means a lot to me!!). I’m going to have to take a little bit of a break from blogging for a while (as my A level exams are coming up) but I promise you I’ll be back with more reviews and other stuff in the summer.
Till Next Time …DUDE OUT!!