It’s been a long and winding road all along the great highway that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
We’ve had major stop-offs in Avengers, Age of Ultron, The Winter Soldier etc. but they’ve merely been rest stops en route to the Capital City that is Captain America: Civil War… and boy does it take you for a ride!
For those still unfamiliar with the crux of Captain America: Civil War, all of our heroes are at odds with each other. After the events of previous movies, moves have been made to place supervision on the Avengers. Events like Sokovia, New York & Washington, in the eyes of the US Government, need to be prevented; and as far as Thunderbolt Ross is concerned the Avengers are partially to blame for these events. The Sokovia Accords is the piece of legislation being put forth to keep the Avengers in check and this is being headed up by Tony Stark aka Iron Man. He firmly believes that after the catastrophes that they have been involved in that they can no longer operate without a leash. Steve Rogers aka Captain America on the other hand refuses to standby and wait to get permission from politicians with agendas before they go in to try to prevent a catastrophic situation becoming even worse. With these tensions and The Winter Soldier seemingly back in operation things come to a head and thus… CIVIL WAR!
After seeing the film and without trying to overplay things or exaggerate, the Russo Brothers have genuinely given us one of the greatest superhero films of not just the year, not just within the MCU, but of all time. From start to finish we get the closest thing to perfection we have ever gotten or will get from the entire superhero genre. And we’re trying to keep a level head about this.
The Civil War arc itself is brilliantly adapted. While it keeps the general gist of the Mark Millar comic book story and has some vital moments taken straight from it, it also turns it into an original story that perfectly fits the tone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There is so much happening on-screen, especially during the likes of the airport fight scene but it never ever feels like too much. It is never over-crowded The pacing, the mood and the action are all balanced superbly. Each character gets just the right amount of screen time due and each has something significant to offer. While Captain America, Iron Man, Bucky & Black Panther are arguably the biggest players, the likes of Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, Falcon & Vision all step up and put their game faces on. Not one second of this film has a wasted moment between 12+ Avengers and each also gets their own level of character development and progression.
Where the film also excels is that it does not really make a villain out of either Captain America or Iron Man. While both sides and their allies firmly believe that they are right, both have made similarly strong arguments. It comes down to your personal opinion as to who you feel is right or wrong, who is the hero and who is the villain, regardless of what side of the law they are on. Not only does the Sokovia Accords put our two favourite Avengers at odds, but so does Bucky Barnes. Cap’s best friend/Hydra weapon places a divide between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark that transcends even the Sokovia Accords and in all honesty may be irreparable. There is also a very strong villain in Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) but we’ll leave park that thunderbolt where it is. *winks*
While trying to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, we would be fools not to mention the involvement of the web crawling Avenger, Spider-Man. This writer does not want to give anything away but the web-head’s homecoming is beautifully portrayed. Forget Tobey Maguire, forget Andrew Garfield. Tom Holland IS Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Personally, I have attended several premieres for big blockbusters including the universally loved Deadpool, but Spider-Man’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War is the first time I have heard applause MID-MOVIE! It was a moment that has been craved by fans of the Avengers and Spider-Man for a long time and now things just feel right in the world.
The scoring and soundtrack are top-notch as always with Marvel. Everything is set off beautifully with Henry Jackman’s soundtrack and it rarely misses a note. The effects of course are on another level and to mention the airport fight scene again, it all culminates effects wise here in one of the biggest and best fight scenes that Marvel have delivered thus far. Everything flows in spectacular fashion. Adrenaline will rush throughout and emotions will hit so many high and low points as your favourite Avengers will come to blows over their own personal belief over the group’s future.
There is one con, for this writer anyway, among so many wonderful pros. Captain America: Civil War was said to shake the MCU up drastically, in ways that we can never come back from. However in the grand scheme of things, rather than hitting a terrifying 10 on the Richter Scale, this shattering earthquake probably came in at a hefty 5. What occurs is more of a ripple, than a catastrophic disaster for the Avengers going forward. The status quo has changed, there is no doubt about that. Some things will never be the same in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Civil War that is a fact and there will be consequences for everyone’s actions, but in ways you feel that maybe, just maybe the Russo Brothers could have taken things a little bit further and really dealt the entire MCU a major artery severing sort of blow.
That being said, Captain America: Civil War is still the finest movies to ever grace the superhero genre and will instantly go to the top of everyone’s favourite Marvel movie list. It will become a guaranteed repeat viewing classic for any Avengers fan. You will want to relive some of the greatest moments in all their glory over & over again. Many had concerns for the future of the Avengers after the departure of Joss Whedon from the fold, but we can assure you that after witnessing Civil War, the future is safe in the hands of Joe & Anthony Russo. It is safe to say that things are teed up very nicely going into the run up to Avengers: Infinity War. Anyone who feared that the Superhero genre was stagnating or starting to fade better watch out because Captain America: Civil War is about to give everyone a collective ass-kicking!
Captain America: Civil War is released on April 29th in Ireland & the UK.