The Russo Brothers are back on hand as directors for the next installment of the already fantastic Marvel Cinematic franchise – Captain America: Civil War. At 146 minutes, the Cap’s third solo film boasts a gargantuan feature starring almost the entire Avenger’s team, as well as impressive newcomers, huge fight scenes and a new rivalry that sets the stakes throughout the entire film.
At first glance, Civil War seemed like an Avengers sequel we didn’t need so soon, due to the appearance of almost the entire Avenger’s squad and how each member seemed to play an intricate part in the overall storyline. That being said, The Cap’s story still takes center stage, alongside the film’s central focus on the loss of unity between a team of Earth’s fiercest protectors in the face of global adversary.
Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) and the team come under conflict when the Sokovian Accords, a treaty put forward by the United Nations following the events in Age of Ultron, is enforced and backed by Tony Stark (Iron Man) to allow government oversight when it comes to the doings of The Avengers. Stark believes unchecked power comes with a price, and expresses remorse over the countless deaths him and his team have caused trying to save the world while Rogers abhors the idea of putting their power in the hands of the Government, especially after serving in World War 2 and following terrorist organization, HYRDA’s infiltration of the government agency, SHEILD. Both Rogers and Stark bring up valid points and the rest of the team is forced to choose sides.
Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jnr bring life to the newborn rivalry between Captain America and Iron Man and it is their disagreements and opposition where Civil War is at its most engaging. #TeamCap and #TeamIronMan became trending topics on social media even before the release of Civil War and it was pivotal that the film got this epic showdown correct – which, through large part, I believe they did. Both The Cap and Ironman received decent enough screen time to explore their differing ideologies in a way that allows audiences to understand their journeys and ultimately, pick a side (I was #TeamCap all the way, but found myself on the minority side when speaking with others).
Seeing the Avengers assemble is always a thing of glory with Marvel, as Civil War brings our favourite old faces (Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Vision and Ant-Man) into the fold, as well as introducing a few newcomers (Potential spoilers to follow). Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman) and Spiderman (Tom Holland) are excellent additions to the team: Boseman nails his performance as T’Challa/Black Panther, whose introduction is more than just a cameo, whereas Holland is memorable as the new movie incarnation of Spiderman. As stated before, every superhero on Civil War’s roster has their moment to shine, and despite the huge ensemble, each character is utilized perfectly to make the film work.
The Captain America movies have always boasted political undertones, which, to an average viewer, can come across as boring or incomprehensible. In Civil War, the idea of bureaucracy is the driving force to many events that occur throughout the film. Steve Rogers/Captain America’s refusal to sign the accords is brought on by the return of his old friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) following a massive crime that was apparently caused by the mysterious Winter Soldier. The Cap believes there is a shred of good left in Barnes that The Powers That Be can’t see, fueling his own desire to protect his friend and uphold his own beliefs. This is where the internal conflict between the Avengers commences, as the group becomes largely divided in response to the Cap’s stance.
In the end, Captain America: Civil War is another glitzy, action heavy superhero flick that you’d come to expect with Marvel but what makes this film stand out from the rest is that instead of the film following the same formula where a villain comes and goes before the end credits, Civil War’s main conflict is between our team of heroes we have grown to love which leaves us with a cliffhanger question going into the next Marvel film: Can the Avengers be Civil with each other again, or will there always be war?
Running Time: 146 MIN
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Daniel Brühl