Are superheroes little more than reckless vigilantes in it for their own goals and ambitions, or should they be made to work alongside official organisations for “the greater good”. This is the question that Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War asks and it understandably splits the superheroes down the middle.
As Superheroes are increasingly subject to criticism both in the fictional world and from real world viewers, Marvel have decided to takle this subject on a grand scale. Opening to a chaotic operation in Lagos which saw Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) accidentally destroying a building filled with innocent people, The Avengers find themselves having to face the consequences of the damage cause by their past acts of heroism.
Under pressure from the UN to either submit to political control, retire or have their actions criminalised, The Avengers find themselves in a moral quandary as to whether the damage and the death toll is a price worth paying for ultimately saving the world or whether trusting a political organisation’s agenda is the right thing to do.
With the superheroes are divided, Captain America (Chris Evans) surprisingly goes against his patriotic character to head the team in favour of independence, whereas notorious hedonist Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) finds his own reasons to succumb to governmental pressure. Siding on Team Cap are Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Ant Man (Paul Rudd) and Scarlet Witch. And backing up Team Iron Man are War Machine (Don Cheadle), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Spider Man (Tom Holland) and Vision (Paul Bettany).
The next two hours see them individually questions the reasons for their individual involvement and then fighting about it. When the real catalyst for the drama is revealed the motivations become even more personal and complicated, secrets are revealed and moral lines are crossed in an emotional standoff which sees one party emerge as the clear winner.
Tom Holland and Paul Rudd bring much needed levity to the seemingly endless political drama but their appearances are brief. The sarcastic recruiting of Spider Man by Tony Stark gives us the best scene in the film and the only glimpse of Starks former jovial self as for the majority of the film he seems to be bordering on depression. Chris Evans’ Captain America is a po faced and uncharismatic as ever and it’s not a film that works was a stand alone, in fact, unless you have a photographic memory, even if you have seen all the other Marvel films then it’s just difficult to follow. It’s definitely a film for the Marvel universe fan base and it’s unapologetic about it. The stunt scenes are relentless with some being funner than others but you do begin to wonder if they’re possible of resolving conflict with methods other than violence. The political message of the film is clear, why would anyone want a publicly owned nanny state over independent privatisation but the conflict is boiled down to a language that is easy to visually represent…lots of fighting. Captain America: Civil War is jam packed with so much and without a ticking time bomb or usual structures of heroes Vs antiheroes, it feels a lot longer than it is.
Captain America: Civil War might feel long but there’s plenty of intellectual toffee to chew on for adults as well as the occasional interject of a humorous scene. Kids will appreciate the flashy adrenaline filled fight scenes and liberal use of CGI. Mainly and most importantly however, fans will love it
Captain America: Civil War stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Tom Holland, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl. Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee serve as executive producers and the screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.
Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War – in UK cinemas 29th April 2016.
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