The long awaited third installment in the Captain America series/pseudo Avengers film that is Captain America: Civil War has finally arrived. And straight out the gate I have to say that Civil War manages to completely deliver despite all the huge pressures that it is under.
There are so many characters in this film, probably even more than in featured in Age of Ultron, which struggled to balance them all, but somehow the Russo Brothers succeed where that failed giving all the character adequate story time. The Russo brothers previously worked on ensemble shows, such as Community and Arrested Development, this probably helped them in balancing all these storylines. And boy it worked absolutely everyone gets dues here.
Not only do all the characters get story moments, but what’s so impressive about Civil War as a film, is that the character motivations are all clear and very well laid out. This means that we understand where all the characters are coming from, and from and aren’t left with a Batman v Superman type situation where one character is suddenly to take part by an external force. We also saw all the #TeamCap and #TeamIronMan hashtags (I was team Iron Man btw) but I don’t think either side comes out of this well, this is a film where everyone loses because they are warring within themselves.
The action is incredible. The Russo’s brought an incredible new level of excitement and realism to the action in the Winter Soldier and it goes up another level here with all the new characters that they have to play with. The fight scenes really are brutal and intense, even between former allies. However, they also manage to still be very fun and a great watch, rather than just continuous monotonous violence.
We have to talk about ‘the airport scene’. It has been teased in all the trailers. Whilst it may not be the emotional climax of the film, it is central set piece. And wow. This is easily the best sequence in any marvel, superhero, and maybe even action film. As with the film overall everyone gets their moments to shine, and we also get some really interesting character match ups. The banter is hilarious, but not in a way the really distracts too much from what is going on. And it reaches a point where this fighting gets seriously violent someone even rebukes another character for “pulling his or her punches”. I could watch this sequence on repeat for hours and I don’t think it will get old. Also watch out for the cheeky little nod to the Russo brother’s past work on Arrested Development.
But this is not merely a film that has great action; it also really follows through on the story that it trying to tell. I won’t spoil where it is left off, but there is no cop out by the end. Captain America, Iron Man, Bucky, and Black Panther all have very strong arcs throughout this film. And whilst we’re on the subject of characters, two new ones make their debuts. Black Panther is absolutely incredible, as is the new Spiderman. They are both introduced really well, and I’m now hugely excited for those stand alone films, especially Black Panther’s.
It’s fair to say that Marvel have absolutely delivered on their big superhero clash film. This is probably one of the best 3 favourite Superhero films ever, although it doesn’t quite eclipse the Dark Knight which also had an Oscar winning performance in there. But I made my picks for my favourite 5 superhero films recently (https://shuggiesays.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/top-5-superhero-films/), and that may have just changed having seen Civil War. As long as the Russo brothers don’t mind working in Marvel’s framework, keep giving them big projects.