Another month, another bloody superhero film. But after the trainwreck of a film that was Batman Vs. Superman (I know some of you like it but you are wrong) fielded by DC, it falls back to Marvel to show us how superhero films are done? Is it another classic, or was BvS a signal of the beginning of the end for comic book films?
Captain America: Civil War stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan and introduces Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland and is directed by the Russo Brothers. The film follows on after Avengers: Age of Ultron, where the team clashes over whether to be regulated and registered after the destruction they have caused.
The Civil War storyline was the story that got me into Marvel. Heroes fighting heroes was interesting idea and I didn’t think a film could manage to get the whole story onto screen. The film deviates from the comic book a lot and sets up an overarching theme of revenge with a B story, but for me it didn’t work. I understand they needed to move away from the established storyline but their replacement felt a bit flat. It would have been better to just have friend vs. friend instead of linking it to a background character whose been following the Avengers for a while.
While the film is billed as a Captain America film, it feels more like an Avengers film. We have all of the side characters, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Vision and introduce new characters as well. Black Panther (my personal favourite superhero), played by Chadwick Boseman and the new Spiderman, played by Tom Holland are superb additions and honestly the best parts of the film. Holland get’s the character’s trademark quips and chatterbox attitude down which is fun to listen to, while Boseman nails being a brooding badass and handles himself well in the fight scenes. The film isn’t interested in keeping Cap as its main character, instead jumping to several different characters all over the world.
The action scenes are done mostly well, although a few devolve into close-in combat. We get some beautiful scenes, Black Panther’s entrance/first fight, which shows some lovely fight choreography, or the Pro and Anti-Registration teams showdown is another excellent action sequence, especially when team members powers get utilised. After that though, it all feels a bit worn. We’ve seen Iron Man blast people, we’ve seen Cap throw his shield, give us something new.
The film tries to juggle several things; the main story, a B side, new villains and a romance between two Avengers, but none of them are great, just good enough. It’s the old, great at nothing, good at everything idea. The romance in particular; Marvel have never really been able to pull it off (with Age of Ultron making a half-hearted attempt at something between two teammates). It would be nice to see some improvement.
And just like all the other superhero films recently, it doesn’t have a conclusive ending. Sure, we have a fitting final showdown, but the villains comeuppance feels rather anticlimactic and most of the character development that could have changed up the direction for the series for the better get’s washed aside. The ending that doesn’t fit in with the story that Civil War was trying to tell and feels like the Russo’s were told by Marvel to not rock the boat too much just in case the fifty billion sequels to Civil War wanted to play with some of the more side superheroes.
Reading my review back, it sounds rather bitter. I’m trying not to be, I rather enjoyed Captain America: Civil War, but every time I look back at it, I keep finding more and more flaws. We’ve had thirteen of these films now and apart from The Avengers (mainly due to how it brought all the characters together) we haven’t had anything really excellent. If you like Marvel, Civil War will do you fine, but I wish there was something more.
Score: 7/10 It’s another Marvel film, make of it what you will.