After the surprise that was Captain America Winter Solider, the excitement was high for Civil War and it pays off dividends; giving the perfect balance between a Captain America movie and an Avengers Movie. It perfectly balances the screen time between the entire supporting cast and allows moments for character drama and development. Regardless of the already huge roaster, the new additions of Black Panther and Spiderman find themselves gracefully moulded into an already rich universe.
First things first, this is definitely a Captain America movie. Although there is a large amount of time given to the rest of the cast, the primary story revolves around him, which is great. It gives the film focus and stops it from being a huge uncoordinated brawl. As the title suggests there is unrest within the members of the Avengers after yet another moment of large scale destruction. It makes them question who they are actually saving and although they have the ability to save anyone, they don’t have the ability to save everyone.
The offer that is laid before them is one of government control. If the government feels that the only course of action is to send the team in, then that’s what will happen. However, they are not permitted to go around and choose their own missions. Captain America stands firmly behind the idea that it is up to them to decide what issues require the assistance of the Avengers, whereas Tony Stark strongly feels that by sticking to the demands of the government more work will be achieved with fewer casualties.
The movie starts off with these two leaders gaining support from different members of the superhero community to either sign the bill or turn their back on it. The primary focus is that of ideological differences, which sets the tone for the whole movie, however towards the end as ideologies collide, it develops into a much more personal conflict.
I found myself seeing both characters perspectives on the matter and at times even switching side as to who I supported more. This conflict feels organic and rational. It never feels like these titans clash forces because it would make for a ‘sweet ass movie.’ Also, the plot uses its source material so lightly that it actually enhances the intellectual property. Civil War, as a comic, is greatly praised, however, doesn’t really stand up at all. By using the basic idea and moulding it to fit into a more cohesive story, whilst making some of the characters more sympathetic, the movie attains rich emotional reactions throughout.
The movie is also an absolute blast. The scene we’ve all seen in the trailer is better than it looked. It’s a joy to watch these forces clash in a well-executed and balanced battle. Even in such a fight, there is still time to have those character moments that develop characters even though they are punching each other in the face.
The addition of Black Panther is also a welcome one. His presence is something new and fresh and further adds to this idea of international heroes. Through Panther, we are introduced to Wakanda, an African nation as well as his motivations and beliefs; which perfectly sets us up for his solo spin-off.
And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, Spiderman is back! Oh, is Spiderman back, and better than we could have ever dreamed. This is the best Spiderman we’ve ever had. Not much can be said about Peter Parker, as we haven’t seen enough of him, but Spiderman is perfection. We get the feeling he’s just a kid who’s a bit in over his head and just wants to have fun. Although he’s only in the film for around 30 minutes, it’s enough of a teaser to make everyone cry out for more.
Despite everything that has been said, there are a few issues with the plot regarding the villain, Zemo. As much as I liked the fact the villain wasn’t another maniac in tight pyjamas, it did seem rather unreasonable that a single man had the ability to orchestrate all the destruction he causes.
There were also emotional beats throughout the movie that do depend on the viewer’s familiarity with the previous Marvel properties, but this doesn’t have too much impact on the overall experience.
Captain America Civil War is probably the best Marvel movie since the nerd party that was the original Avengers. It has all the fun and action you’d expect but goes deeper into the characters ideologies and personal histories to enrich the superhero experience beyond your standard hero/ villain flick. It has just the right about of everything and it ties together so neatly that it’s impossible to not find something about this movie that you love; which will be Spiderman, of course, it’s going to be Spiderman.