Captain America: Civil War Review

Captain America: Civil War

Over the past year, Joss Whedon has publically voiced his feelings about being broken by Avengers: Age of Ultron.

If for some reason Whedon had a change of heart at this stage and fancied a crack at the Infinity War movies, he would probably have a tough job prising the Russo Brothers from the directors’ chairs. Captain America: Civil War has surely cemented the Russo’s prime place in moving the mammoth franchise forward.

The third Captain America film picks up strands from both the Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron.

Cap and the ‘new’ Avengers are finding their way as a team, but collateral damage is incurred during a routine mission, leading to increased oversight from the government.

A set of rules, the Sokovia Accords, is drawn up to better marshal those with super-powers, causing a division within the superhero community.

Former soldier Captain America is uncharacteristically reluctant to toe the line with the new regime, whereas rebellious playboy Tony Stark is oddly eager to comply.

Just go with it. The screenwriters somehow make it plausible.

Adding to Cap’s stress, a further incident takes place which implicates his hypnotised-assassin-best-mate, Bucky Barnes, who is currently in hiding. This naturally incites those who favour the Accords and a manhunt ensues, with Cap’s loyalties torn.

As can be surmised from the movie’s subtitle, things get a little out of hand.

Let’s leave the plot there.

The comparisons with a certain other recent blockbuster in which two comic-book legends go head-to-head? Inevitable.

The theme of power and accountability plays a large role in both movies, alongside the driving force of vengeance, but the greatest differentiator is the audience’s investment in the clashing sides, one of this film’s strongest points.

Fair enough: unlike DC’s recent efforts, Captain America and Iron Man have had between them seven screen outings in which to establish their own characters and also to build up a credible friendship, the destruction of which is all the more resonating.

The film also excels in action choreography and its juggling of characters, giving each one a chance to shine, in addition to introducing three new characters.

Daniel Brühl balances out the super-testosterone on show with a nicely understated villain in Zemo, and Tom Holland’s much-advertised take on old web-head bodes very well for his upcoming solo feature.

But whereas Spidey is already known to, well, everyone, Black Panther is less so. Chadwick Boseman does well in the role and makes a mark, though one suspects that his character may benefit from some form of comic-relief sidekick to lighten up a stand-alone movie.

As someone who is a more recent fan of the MCU, as opposed to being a lifelong fan of the comics, I can only suspect that Captain America fans may feel a tad short-changed at the amount of screen-time their hero is forced to share.

The film could easily be dubbed Iron Man 4, The Winter Soldier 2, or even The Avengers 2.5, as apparently the stars themselves joked.

But hey, whatever you call it, it certainly delivers on a huge scale.

And not all of this year’s super-fare can boast the same.

Conor Brennan

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