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If 2016 were to be defined in terms of the superhero movies it releases, the only ‘normal’ one would be…well, none so far, anyway. Deadpool is not really a hero, Batman v Superman pitted two of DC’s biggest characters against each other and failed miserably. Captain America: Civil War, on the other hand, accomplishes almost everything it sets out to do, making it an amazing watch from start to end.
The governments of the world demand oversight of the activities of The Avengers given all the destruction they’ve indirectly caused in all the Marvel movies of late, and present a set of Accords that the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes must sign. Tony Stark/Iron Man, played by the ever sarcastic Robert Downey Jr., is in favour of signing but Steve Rogers/Captain America, played by Chris Evans, is not in favour. There are discussions going on between The Avengers, but when Roger’s old war buddy Bucky “Winter Soldier” Barnes is seemingly behind a deadly attack at the UN, Cap goes rogue to save his best friend. Stark, and the other Avengers, are given a deadline to capture them before more extreme methods are used. Meanwhile, Daniel Bruhm aka Zemo, is operating in the shadows to carry out his own agenda.
Despite the presence of almost all the Avengers barring Thor and Hulk, and a lot of new faces, the movie does an extremely well job of handling them. The biggest reason for this is that the story is very much Captain America’s and the others come on screen only when they’re needed, which adds a lot more to the narrative. He’s a good man, but as the audience you are more frustrated which Rogers’s ideologies rather than Stark’s – to Rogers, everything is black and white, he hasn’t really changed his values all that much since World War II. This does make the ideological clashes between the two a bit repetitive, especially since neither side actually does something meaningful to convince the other that their way is better.
The movie’s first half is somewhat lacking in the humor typically associated with Marvel movies, particularly Iron Man, but the second act of the film shows us everything we expect. There are a lot of one liners which hit the spot.
MCU newcomer Black Panther is a surprisingly welcome addition to the cast, and the character is played admirably by Chadwick Boseman – Panther is arguably the only major character with any positive growth in the movie. But there’s another newcomer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: your friendly neighbourhood Spider Man. Yeah, Spidey swung his way into Cap’s movie, steals his shield and even his movie. Tom Holland is exceedingly comfortable in his role of such an iconic character, and this iteration of the character is the truest to the comics. Both of these characters have some amazing costumes too!
The building affection between Vision and Scarlet Witch, portrayed by Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen respectively, is fun to watch in terms of the characters’ development, but adds nothing to the main plot – which is fine, actually. There is also a bit of competition between Bucky and Sam Wilson/ Falcon (Anthony Mackie), which is primarily for comic effect. Another relationship between friends is that of Bucky and Rogers, and how the two really are best friends and willing to do anything for each other.
But the most compelling relationship is the increasingly deteriorating one between Iron Man and Captain America. The two have some amazing action scenes while battling each other, and both Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. don’t hold back with their emotional punches. The movie is paced perfectly, with each plot twist coming at just the right time, and each character’s arc tying in well the overall plot and their own development. Take notes, DC. This is how it’s done.
A word on what is easily the best action scene ever seen in a superhero movie: the airport brawl. Each character has their own moment to shine, and the sequence is ripe with one – liners, and some truly well-choreographed scenes. It’s every comic book fan’s dream come true.
Captain America: Civil War is what a movie which pits superheroes against superheroes should be like. Put together an amazing cast, great action sequences, a plot paced to perfection, and you’ve got what is arguably Marvel’s strongest entry to date.
My score – 9.3/10
Note to parents: a background knowledge on previous Marvel movies would help; specifically The Winter Soldier (2014) and Age of Ultron (2015) in order to fully understand the plot and characters. While the movie is a little dark and involves politics, it is nothing that a child aged 11 and above can’t handle. There is some obscene language which is censored in both audio and subtitles.