Walt Disney Pictures.
PG for Violence
Running Time: 148 Minutes.
3 stars out of 4.
Marvel Studio's latest instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a thrilling, ambitious, edge of your seat thrill ride, that is satisfying enough for comic book fans and audiences alike. Captain America: Civil War marks the start of Phase Three in the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the new additions of Black Panther and Spider-Man to the Avengers lineup, Civil War stands out from previous entries for its scope, thrilling action sequences, and characterization of both Chris Evan's Steve Rogers/Captain America, and Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark/Iron Man. Not only is Civil War one of the best Marvel Cinematic films ever released, it is one of the best comic book films of recent memory.
In Captain America: Civil War, Political interference in the Avengers' activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man. While the synopsis could make the film sound similar to last months disastrous, Batman v. Superman, Civil War is the movie that Batman v. Superman tried to be. A smart and thoughtful commentary on the place for superheroes in the world we live in. Having been invested in the MCU for nearly 10 years, we as moviegoers care about these characters and what is at stake. This was a problem for Batman v. Superman, where we were expected to care about the titular heroes, yet, we knew so little about them.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo return to directed after having previously directed 2014's incredible Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Russo Brothers do a great job balancing the action with the character moments and make Civil War feel less "kid-friendly" then any previous Marvel film before. There are actual stakes here, not just having the world at stake, but having the fate of The Avengers at stake, and I applaud the filmmakers and screenwriters for this choice.
The entire ensemble from all prior Marvel films return (minus Thor and The Hulk), making this less a Captain America solo film and more so an Avengers 2.5 film. Everyone does solid work, especially Evans as Captain America and Downey as Iron Man, but the standouts for me were Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, and Tom Holland as the new Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Not only is Holland given the best material to work with in just a limited amount of screen time he embodies everything that the original Peter Parker from the comic books was like, and gives us a Peter Parker/Spider-Man unlike any we have seen before.
The action sequences, for the most part, are incredibly well done. The airport battle between Team Captain America and Team Iron Man is amongst the best action sequence that I have ever seen on film before. It's just so much fun and every character gets a moment to shine. I won't spoil how it all goes down, but it is incredibly satisfying.
Civil War does have some issues with pacing, which I felt to be all over the place, and in some of the action sequences in the beginning felt a little cartoonish for my liking, as the random and unnecessary reliance on punching/hitting/kicking sound effects distracted me from what I was seeing. The villain, Baron Zemo, as played by Daniel Bruhl is just another satisfactory Marvel villain. His motivations and desires are never made clear, and I felt as if his entire role could have been cut from the film, and nothing would have changed. I found that the ending of the film left me cold, and I was expecting more of an emotional punch to cap (pun intended) off, this epic superhero extravaganza.
Captain America: Civil War is a thrilling and very satisfying film. I can't wait for next years, Spider-Man: Homecoming which will feature Downey Jr and Holland reprising their roles. Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is off to an exceptional start, and future installments will tell if there is enough to really keep this 10 year long story continue on. My expectations are high, and knowing Marvel, they will not disappoint.