Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Captain America: Civil War (2016) - Film Review


*Originally written on April 29th, 2016*

Here we are, Marvel's biggest film of the year. I was a little sceptical of this, as I've have been suffering some Marvel film fatigue. I was severely disappointed by Age of Ultron and Ant Man was just fine, so I pleasantly surprised by Civil War, which is now probably in my top 3 of the MCU.

After all the carnage caused by most of the previous films of the MCU, the government finally decide it's time to keep The Avengers in check, something not all the team members agree with. Split into two sides, one led by Captain America and the other by Iron Man, they go to "war" while trying to deal with Bucky situation left at the end of The Winter Soldier.

I'll get the bad out the way first. Again, like 90% of the films in the MCU, the villain is forgettable and bland. His motivations are pretty clear at least by the end so it was fairly easy to sympathize with him. It's just we were given enough time with this character played by a fairly talented actor who deserved more. He also didn't get in on a single action scene, which was strange.

Captain America and Iron Man
I will also say it played a little too safe, there was no real or big surprises here. The big reveals are stuff people (Including myself) have predicted since 2014, when the Winter Soldier was released. It didn't bother me too much though, because at the end of the day, I was just there to have a good time and that's what I got, a good time.

It was also a real display of how far some of the main characters have come since the beginning of the MCU. Tony Stark is far more mature and responsible than he used to be and has somehow become the voice of reason in the group. While Captain America has adjusted to the modern day, he even had a smartphone and his morality hasn't changed, but he still does the right thing.

What scared me most about Civil War was the run-time, I had no idea until just a couple of days ago that was 2 and a half hours long and the longest entry in the MCU so far. So I was a little braced for a slog, but I didn't really feel that time at all, despite being extremely tired and worried I was going to nod off throughout.

I was also pretty pleased by the focus on Captain America, despite the large roster of characters to play with, new and old, the focus is firmly on Cap' and his fractured friendship with Bucky that comes to a fairly satisfying conclusion in the finale with some surprisingly high feeling stakes.

Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man
The action is far more inventive than other MCU films, there's no big third act where a whole city is levelled. It all felt personal to the characters and had some really cool moments. The airport fight was awesome and gave each character a time to shine. The Russo Brothers really seem to have a handle on these characters and the action, so I'm excited to see what they do with the two part Avengers: Infinity War.

In terms of story. Not every character felt essential to the plot, but it all made sense to the plot, and any second spent with the gorgeous Elizabeth Olsen was fine by me. With the new additions, Black Panther was fine and his character is introduced with no boring origin story and very quickly into the story which was fine.

Then we have the big new character to the mix: Spider-Man. Who I loved, he stole the show with every scene he was in. He felt far different than the Raimi Trilogy and the misguided 'Amazing' series which was short lived. Here he's fun and full of quips and pop-culture references and he felt like an actual kid, which was nice. And I liked Stark's small, but fatherly like relationship with him, which will explored more in Spidey's own film in the MCU 'Homecoming'. I gotta say, the new aunt May, I did not see that coming, what a lovely bit of bacon.

Civil War was a pleasant surprise overall. A fun, action packed entry in the MCU with smaller action, but higher emotional stakes. It's also pretty much everything Batman V Superman failed to be. Excellent.

8/10 Dans

Captain America: Civil War is out now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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