Friday, June 3, 2016

Review: 'Captain America: Civil War' is marvellous

By Lisa Goudy
 Image source:

'Captain America: Civil War' is a film not to be missed. 

With stunning action sequences, character substance and backstory and a few major plot twists, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is a fantastic addition and makes for a great 'Captain America' trilogy. Much like the other two 'Captain America' films, 'Civil War' takes a more serious approach and deals with politics and consequences of choices. More than anything, though, this film is about friendship and what it really means. It's a great game-changer for the MCU. 

'Captain America: Civil War' takes into account many of the events that occurred in previous MCU movies. It focuses on the civilian casualties and destruction caused by actions of the Avengers team while they are working to save the world.

The movie starts off in a fast-paced action sequence where Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) are on mission in Nigeria to stop a mercenary from stealing and releasing a biological weapon. However, things don't go as planned and many civilians are killed in the process. 

This prompts the Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) and the government to push for the Sokovia Accords to limit heroes' actions, meaning they would answer to the government. This oversight is for making the Avengers a public entity as they have violated national borders without any thought for international law. 

Signed by more than 100 countries, this political interference causes a divide between the Avengers. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is behind the Accords, claiming that they need to be kept accountable and in check or cities will keep getting destroyed. Steve Rogers on the other hand, is against the Accords, believing they can't rely on the government to protect the world and that their judgment is best left in their own hands. 

This conflict only escalates after a series of terror attacks force Steve's best friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) out of hiding. Steve chooses to protect his friend, who is more like his brother, only deepening the rift between him and Tony. 

Team Iron Man, including Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Vision (Paul Bettany), Black Widow, War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) fight with Team Captain America, including Bucky, Falcon, Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) while a new villain (Daniel Brühl) emerges. As it sounds, it is a fully loaded cast, but the ensemble is managed perfectly. 

While some characters get more screen time and development than others, the arrangement works. You really feel the energy surging in this movie and the biggest action sequence at the airport really showcases the best of what all of these characters have to offer. It's truly fantastic to watch in this beautifully shot and choreographed film. 

What's more is this film really delves into personal issues and beliefs and how far characters are willing to go. This wouldn't work if the acting wasn't excellent from everyone and it is. Evans and Downey Jr. are the driving force between the conflict of the two heroes and it comes across in their performance, and Stan is another standout. All of this really builds up to an amazing and heartbreaking climax that will take your emotions to a place they have never been in an MCU movie before. 

It was also fantastic to see the introduction of Black Panther and the new Spider-Man. Boseman really stole almost every scene he was in, only adding to the excitement for his solo film due out in 2018. His character's backstory isn't explained and it doesn't have to be in this context. 

It shows you just enough for what the story needs and he has some great character development as well. 

Holland does a great job with the new iteration of Spider-Man, the third we've seen in the last decade. He adds a lot of humour to the film (much like Rudd's Ant-Man) and his quirkiness adds a lot to the character and to the substance of the film. 

Marvel Studios has crafted a detailed universe where we've gotten to really know lots of these characters. This only raises the emotional stakes in the film. It is heartbreaking to watch the team fight with one another, but you can understand both sides of the argument, only adding to the depth and impact of the film. 

'Captain America: Civil War' is a remarkable film that is another fantastic addition to the MCU, giving it a new level of grey and a new sense of character understanding. As Marvel's longest-running movie to date at 147 minutes, 'Civil War' has an engaging story and is truly a captivating film.

*** This review also appeared in the May 25, 2016 edition of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald weekly publication, UnCut.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree! I love this movie too! It's awesome! :)