As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to dominate the superhero genre putting it’s main competitors DC to shame; we have finally reached the beginning of it’s so called ‘Phase 3’ which comes in the shape of the third and final Captain America film: Civil War. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and featuring Marvel’s largest and most ambitious cast to date, mixing Marvel mainstays such as Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey JR.), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) etc. with newcomers such as Black Panther/ T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) could have dragged the film away from it’s serious and emotional plot, however the sizeable cast only helped to tell an excellent story and create action scenes likely to go down in history.
Why All The Fighting Guys?
What Marvel have excelled at where many have failed is the continuity of the Universe’s arc, and Civil War picks up exactly where the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron left off as well as incorporating the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier too. After a fatal error on a mission in Nigeria by the New Avengers, the UN and Tony Stark want to restrict the Avenger’s unchallenged power by only allowing them to become involved in situations after UN approval through signing the Sokovia Accords. In what seems like a juxtaposition compared to previous Marvel outings, Iron Man/Stark sides with the government whereas Captain America chooses not to comply, which leads to rising tension within the Avengers camp. It is only when Cap’s best friend Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier surfaces and Cap defies the government, essentially becoming an outlaw, which sparks the retaliation of Stark and completely divides the Avengers to the brink of war. As the emotional rollercoaster this film takes the viewer on begins to break hearts by forming a battle royal between our favourite heroes, alliances are formed and we have our two sides. There is Team Iron Man, consisting of: Iron Man (duh), Spider-Man, War Machine, Vision, Black Panther and Black Widow; then we have of course Team Cap, featuring: Captain America (also duh), The Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Falcon and Ant-Man. The resulting battle in an abandoned airport is one of the greatest action scenes in history, seamlessly flowing from hero to hero and honestly you could count the number of you times you blink on one hand; it is so perfectly choreographed yet still takes time to include Marvel’s classic tongue-in-cheek humour.
An Expert Story Performed Perfectly
The general plot of Civil War is without a doubt the most serious and heartbreaking storyline that the MCU has explored so far, and it was of paramount importance that this was translated into the film. Across the board, there isn’t a single below-par performance; however it is the different sides we see to the arguably three main characters, Iron Man, Captain America and The Winter Soldier that are the highlights. Each actor displays such contrasting emotions throughout the film and there are times when they all bring the viewer to the verge of tears, as they explore a heartbreaking situation of the ilk we have not yet encountered in these films before. As well as those three, the rest of the Avengers provide ample support as expected, however it is newcomers Black Panther and Spider-Man who steal the show at times, their exciting introductions as well as excellently written scripts for them which help bring their characters to the forefront of the film’s action. Another excellent yet under-the-radar performance is that by Daniel Brühl playing the film’s main villain Baron Zemo; and without giving too much away there are times when you absolutely despise the S.O.B but also there are points in which you feel sympathy towards him. Generally speaking there isn’t a bad performance and it can be said that in Civil War, every character has their moment in the limelight and not a single one fails to capture it perfectly.
I might be going out on a limb here, but as far as the MCU goes, this might well be their greatest achievement to date. Though Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t feel as rushed at times and had probably the better script and soundtrack (obviously), the fact the Russo’s fit so many characters into one film and still managed to retain substance over style, as well as creating some of the best action scenes in recent memory and making this Marvel’s most moving and emotional film to date; it’s truly a triumph. An absolute must-see for any film fan who can appreciate filmmaking at it’s finest as well as of course fans of the genre; this blockbuster movie truly does not disappoint.
Words by Elliott Jones