Captain America: Civil War was like watching a comic book come to life, and should be considered the new benchmark for superhero movies to strive for – in my humble opinion.
A loose adaptation of the 2006-2007 Marvel event of the same name, Civil War tells the story of a growing rift between the Avengers when political pressure begins to build on the group to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
Complicating matters is the return of Captain America’s old mate Bucky, AKA The Winter Soldier, who Cap is desperate to protect, despite him being on the run from the law for his crimes.
Civil War felt like the culmination of everything Marvel has been building for the last eight years and a near perfect blend of action, comedy and drama. Now that’s not to say that it didn’t have its flaws.
At times it felt meandering, which considering how much the film is trying to juggle was probably to be expected, but some scenes felt overly long and unnecessary.
That said I do feel that this was less the Russo brothers doing and more Marvel demanding that the brothers plant the seeds of future films, i.e. the upcoming Spider-Man and Black Panther movies.
However, the film’s biggest problem is that it comes with as much baggage as a Kardashian at the airport. By which I mean if you’ve not been keeping up to date with the rest of the Marvel universe then you may be confused, especially if you haven’t seen Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron.
All that said though, I felt the film was a triumph, managing to overcome its shortcomings through sheer spectacle and fun. The action was clear, fluid and exciting, especially during the movie’s main set piece at the airport.
As a long time comic fan I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – it was like watching what I used to imagine when I played with my toys as a kid, and as such it was a joy to behold.
And when I say it was ‘fun’ or a ‘joy’ to watch I don’t mean it was lightweight, because the film deals with some heavy themes and ethical dilemmas, instead I mean it was enjoyable to watch and a fun experience that left me smiling when I left the theatre.
The highlight was Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who may be the best on-screen Spidey we’ve ever seen.
Holland manages to nail all aspects of the character, clearly understanding Peter in a way that other actors haven’t. He’s both nerdy and heroic at the same, and we finally have a wall-crawler who is as irritatingly quippy as his comic equivalent.
Despite Holland being my favourite, no one in the expansive cast gets left out and all of the Avengers, on both teams, had something to do and a moment to shine.
Even Ant-Man, who’s by far the most tangential to the story, and is basically there to make up numbers, gets a giant moment which had the audience in my screening literally cheering in joy.
Of course though, this is a Captain America movie, and Cap is at the heart of the piece, with the film essentially being a vivisection of his relationship with Tony Stark and the rest of The Avengers.
Ultimately this leads us to the film’s ending, which while I won’t spoil here, was genuinely heartbreaking, and a nice change of pace from indiscernible, migraine inducing action that I’ve come to expect from big action films these days.
And there’s a lot more that I’d love to talk about, including Black Panther, Vision and the climax, but I’d be wandering out into the spoiler minefield and we wouldn’t want that!
So all I’ll say is go and see this film! You won’t be disappointed: