The theme this superhero summer season seems to be inner fighting. We’ve had Batman vs Superman, and later we will have the Xmen vs Apocalypse and his four horsemen. But arguably the most hotly anticipated superhero brawl is Team Captain America vs Team Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War. But can the winner be the audience this time around?
When the Avengers are involved in an incident that results in civilian casulties the government decide they need restrictions and asks them to sign The Sokovia Accords. However the team is divided with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr.) leading up the side to sign while Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans) heading up the team to resist. Can the two sides reconsile or will events drive them further into conflict?
It’s perhaps unfair to compare Civil War to BvS but Civil War is miles ahead a better film than DC’s output last month.
For two hours we’re treated to a rollercoaster of action, revelations and the breaking apart of the Avengers. The film does a great act of balancing its huge ensemble cast with everyone getting a good moment and a motivation for their actions. It easily could have been Avengers 2.5 but the Russo brothers keep Cap at the centre of it all with him being our moral guide through the action. However even though this is Cap’s film we still get a well rounded argument to the Slovakia Accord. We can see why Iron Man and co decide to sign the accords just as we understand why Cap and his friends don’t.
Last time I criticised Winter Soldier for being a bit humourless at times but Civil War provides lots of funny moments amid the action and arguing. The new characters are introduced well with Tom Holland providing a lot of humour and showing why rebooting Spiderman (again!) may not be such a bad idea. It was great seeing him interact with the veteran superheroes. Chadwick Bosworth also makes an good impression as T’Chilla combining vengeance with a royal refinement and intelligence.
We are also treated to a bit more character development and depth to returning newbies The Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlert Witch (Elizabeth Olsen – proving they kept the right twin from Age of Ultron). Bucky ((Sebastan Stan) also makes a welcome return and builds more on already complex and tortured character.
There is some finely executed fight scenes on display here with a nail biting mission in the film’s opening to the Iron Man/Captain America/Winter Soldier battle shown in the trailer. Of course the main event we were all waiting for is the epic showdown between Team Captain America and Team Iron Man. Luckily it does not disappoint, it’s brimming with excitement and the action choreography is brilliantly executed with style and humour.
If there’s any slight bump in the road it’s Daniel Buhl’s villain with ambiguous motivations and end goals. At first he seems interesting and Buhl is a good actor but as soon as his endgame is revealed it all goes downhill and numerous plot holes come to light. In the end he joins the long list of Marvel movies uninteresting villains (Loki excepted of course). However if this is a mis step it’s a minor one in a movie that deserves to do well at the box office this year.
Rating 4.5/5 -intense, dramatic, hilarious, roll on Avengers: Infinity Wars
Also for the Community fans out there did you spot Jim Rash’s cameo? Let’s hope the Russos’ continue the cameos in the next installments.