Movie Review: Captain America Civil War

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Star rating: *****

Captain America Civil War is the most awaited film this year, regardless of whether you are a huge comic book fan or not. The hype for this film has been unbelievable, endless promos, interviews with the stars as well as merchandise courtesy of the PR machine called Disney. All the characters in the film are much loved, with audience having clear favourites having watched all the films building up to this one. This film promised to be one which would look at the difficult issue of control and who ‘controls’ the Avengers.

This film starts where ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (2015) left off, the Avengers have saved the world in Sokovia and are now dealing with the consequences of their actions. In particular is Tony Stark aka IronMan (Robert Downey Jr) who has been left scarred by what his actions created and the fact that many  innocent people died as a result. This film drops the audience right into the middle of the action where Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) is on a mission with his team made up of Wanda aka Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Natasha aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johanssen) and Sam aka Falcon (Anthony Mackenzie). The team are in Lagos trying to stop a biological weapon from being stolen, in the process Wanda accidentally trashes part of a building which results in human tragedies.

This triggers off countries around the world coming together with a Sokovia Accord, a policy which makes the Avengers answerable to a council. Off the bat, haunted by his action, Stark is all for it and tries to persuade the others to take his side. Rogers believes that the accord will mean that the Avengers will lose their autonomy. Supporting Rogers are Bucky aka Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Scarlett Witch, Falcon, Hawkeye and later on Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). Stark is supported by War Machine, Black Widow,  Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Vision (Paul Bettany). Stark’s team is also later joined by SpiderMan (Tom Holland).

However all these issues are triggered by German Agent played by Daniel Bruhl, who is intent on setting off Winter Soldier’s dark side and causing infighting between the Avengers.

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All of these feed into one of the most epic Marvel scenes on film ever. I will get onto that in a bit. It has to be said, ‘Captain America Civil War’ is one of the best Marvel studios films yet. It has just the right balance between being serious and entertaining and it is one of the first Marvel films where the audience is truly engaged with all the characters and has favourites. This is what all the predecessors have been building up to and it delivers with bells on. Each of the characters have their own personal struggle. Wanda is still learning to control her powers and worries that her immense power means she will never be accepted. Steve is desperate to maintain his friendship with Bucky who spends most of the film having his mind controlled. Vision is still learning what it means to be human. Stark is facing consequences from his actions. Black Panther is intent on avenging his father’s death. Natasha is finding it hard to choose a side between what is right and her friends. The list goes on.

The new recruits must be mentioned. Black Panther is nimble and is an incredibly strong character. Marvel finally takes control of the SpiderMan franchise and makes the character what it is meant to be. Tom Holland comes up on top as the quippy teenager from Queens who is in awe of the Avengers and has some fantastic one-liners. There is a particularly brilliant scene where Stark goes to SpiderMan’s house to recruit him and repeatedly calls his costume a onesie and his enamoured with Aunt May. Paul Rudd is so good as Ant-Man and the sheer delight he has being a part of the Avengers is visible on screen. Both Spider-Man and Ant-Man emulate the audience’s reactions and are instantly appealing.

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Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

Now on THE fight scene of all time when both sides face off. I can’t even begin to describe with how much brilliance and expertise this scene is carried out on screen. Every single part of it is a sheer joy to watch with all the characters given some fantastic lines which they can only carry off due to their familiarity with each other. It is also the first time some of the new recruits meet the opposite side so they are torn between being in awe of the characters and also fighting them. Just so good.

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What makes this film so well crafted is the fact that every thread from the previous films have been picked up and woven into the fabric. Steve and Bucky’s friendship is picked up from the first Captain America film and constantly sits firmly at the centre of the story, ensuring that Cap 3 is not mistaken for another Avengers film. Steve’s defence of his friend is questionable throughout the film but you just can’t lose faith in him and his beliefs. Emily VanCamp as Agent 13/Sharon Carter appears back on screen as Steve’s love interest, who we met in Cap 2. What is obvious in this film is the fact that despite Captain America and Iron-Man’s differences in opinion, even when they are thrashing each other, they still have profound love and respect for each other and share the Avengers togetherness. All the actors in this film have done a great job and it is a treat to watch on screen. This is a must see film of the year and can i just say, all is right with the world of Marvel.

 

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