Civil War is now the 13th movie in the MCU, as part of a continuing saga with each film linking with each other in various shapes and forms. Sometimes subtly with a brief mention or cameo, and sometimes blatantly as a full on Avengers style team up. And we will hold our hands up as saying that after the disappointing Age of Ultron, we can be quoted on the podcast as saying we had ‘Marvel Fatigue’. And who can blame us after two pretty bad Iron Man sequels, and a shockingly bad Thor: The Dark World as well. We wondered if maybe these movies he’d started to become tiresome, and we held a lot of reservations over Civil War, given the magnitude of the world building they were taking on and the amount of characters that needed, and the sour taste of Age of Ultron still lingering. But as the trailers began to roll and the excitement built up, even we got a little excited for this movie. The reveal of Spiderman and the TV spots featuring some kick ass action scenes, finally got us hyped.
Captain America: Civil War follows the story of a newer stronger Avengers formed after the events of Age of Ultron, and the aftermath of what we saw in Winter Soldier. Cap leads a team who’s methods are being questioned by government bodies over their lack of accountability when it comes to the destruction and havoc they leave behind when dealing with global catastrophes. On one side you have Tony Stark (still holding responsibility for the creation of Ultron), convinced that signing a document that will place the Avengers under UN control is the best thing to do. And on the other side - Cap, who believes that UN control could result in them unable to intervene in the things they should, and may lead to the Avengers interfering with bias political agenda. Along with Cap’s old friend Bucky the prime suspect in a series of bombings, and rising tensions between the heroes and the loyalty they hold towards either side of the argument, nothing but all out war between the two factions can come of it.
After my Friday afternoon viewing on opening day, my reservations and previous post trailer criticisms were well and truly thrown out of the window! This movie has nothing short of a screaming triumph! Every aspect of this movie allowed the plot to develop so well and build a convincing story line that meant every turning point had reason and value and every character played their part intrinsically to help the story grow. The screen time for each hero was beautifully balanced, giving our well knows such as Cap and Iron Man enough to make them feel like the protagonist/antagonist (depending on which side you choose) and the main focus of the story, but given that we know these characters already from so many movies gone by, despite their conflict being the main arc, the heroes we haven’t seen at all since Age of Ultron were given so much space for dialogue and development. I originally thought that we could have had a bit more Vision, but given his introduction and screen time in AOU, and the rest of the story that needed to be told, I can appreciate his presence and the role he needed to play. (non spoiler - a particular speech he lays down in the eve of the conflict was one of my highlights of the movie) Scarlet Witch is shown to be developing into the goliath of power that she is, and truly taking her place as an Avenger, as well as Falcon who we have been yet to see since Winter Solider. His loyalties still lie strongly with Cap, and had no hesitation on choosing his side. The beauty of this movie lies no only in the balance of everything going on, but the way each character chooses their side and the rationale behind every decision made on their part is laid out so well. No ones actions or decisions are felt unnecessary and no turning point hits a dead end.
Black Panther, who’s introduction is played out so smoothly, is shown to be a powerhouse of a character! His motivation is clear and works into the story like a dream. Spiderman, who we all knew was going to make some sort of appearance in this movie, is given way more time than I could have ever imagined. A particular scene with Stark, Peter Parker and Aunt May supplies a heavy dose of comic relief to this film. And his action sequences may well have given every die hard Spiderman fan the cinematic interpretation of the character they have been dying to see all these years. The way these new additions work alongside the main arc of the story is masterfully played out, making you stay focused on the story throughout every turn, plot point, twist and red herring that gets thrown at you.
The idea of the ‘Civil War’ is not just a minor segment of the movie that is shoe horned into the story amongst a smorgasbord of plot points and world building, but a continuing theme throughout the entire film. With action scenes, set pieces and wonderfully written dialogue, that draws the whole theme together, making every minute of the 2 and a half hours seem crucial to exactly what is going on right there in the moment. At no point did I feel like a hint towards a future movie, or something that may lead to a future MCU project was forced in unnecessarily, but at the same time I still felt like there is so much more to come in this cinematic universe and so many things that will tail from the events of this movie.
I will admit to having a couple of issues with this film, however it would mean going into spoiler territory, so… if you are so inclined to know about them, hit me up on Twitter @openallpowers to find out what they are.
If you loved Winter Soldier, then there is no doubt in my mind you will love this movie. If you are a fan of comic book movies, you will love this movie. If you are a movie fan, that wants action, a touch of humour, great story, dialogue, and everything that makes up an entertaining flick then I can’t recommend this more! I used to think that the Daredevil series on Netflix was the best thing Marvel had out their name to, but after seeing this, the game has completely changed, and unlike AOU which left me feeling sour over Marvel and un-enthused over what they were going to come out with next, now I couldn’t be more excited over the future of the MCU.