Captain America: Civil War Film Review

Film Review by Jon E Clist

The Premise
After another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps, one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark's surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.

The Review
Wow, what do you say after you have sat through over two hours of the craziest, full on, action-packed big screen entertainment? Well I guess you start at the beginning. The film opens with a very intense action sequence as members of the Avengers attempt to thwart a robbery of a chemical weapon. The action is framed rather close and so it comes across as rather frantic and extreme, which kind of sets the tone for the rest of the film. This is a film that is full to the brim with emotions that have been simmering underneath the surface as the result of all the things that the Avengers have seen in the previous outings. I think that in the past we have seen films where superheroes are portrayed as having the ability do big things without any emotional or personal consequence. Or at most minimal distraction. Of course we have seen many stories of the emotions behind family members or partners being hurt or in danger, but not the personal effects of having to do things that put the general population in danger and in some cases to die.

That is in its simplest form what this film is all about. The ways in which these heroes deal with what they must do. The blurring of the lines between doing what you think is right for all and what is right for you. In this conundrum we see the drawing of battle lines within the Avengers and hence the whole story unfolds. Having said that there are plenty of nice little reveals along the way that help the story seem fresh and exciting to watch.

It certainly helps to bring in a couple of ‘new to the Avengers’ characters to freshen up the roster. Black Panther is something very cool to behold, with great skills and a mad cool suit, you feel the set up for more to come from him. T'Challa, the Black Panther is one of the first African superheroes in the Marvel universe and even the overall comic book world. Chadwick Boseman is really good in this role and I personally am looking forward to seeing more from him in future Marvel endeavours including the Black Panther movie in 2018.

Then there is the new Spiderman. At just 19, Tom Holland is the youngest to portray Spiderman/Peter Parker in the films and certainly brings one of the funniest and liveliest performances to the role. Yes, I will say it… The best Spiderman yet and we are certainly looking forward to what comes next for Spiderman, which at this stage is Spiderman: Homecoming scheduled for release next year.

While we are missing the big boys of The Avengers, Thor and Hulk, we still get plenty of comedic release along the way thanks to Spiderman and Paul Rudd’s AntMan. So many great moments of action and levity revolve AntMan, while the drama is held firmly in the hands of Iron Man and Captain America. That drama is massive and at times the dramatic score kind of feels slightly cheesy and personally I felt like it watered down the intensity at times. However, the drama is still great and helps to keep you locked into the storyline. 

In fact, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans describe the dynamic between Iron Man and Captain America as a marriage: "We love each other, but it's explosive. You're working toward the same goal but you have very different approaches to it. It's blurry and that's what makes it great: no one's right, no one's wrong. It's going to make it even harder for them to come to an agreement."

Bear in mind that at 147 minutes this is a long film and it would be best to pee before the film as there really isn’t a lot of down time to sneak out.

The Verdict
Another smash hit that will do well over a billion at the box office and firmly keeps the mouse house in copious amounts of coin and kudos for how they are managing the Marvel Studios releases. Another Marvel winner…

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 5th May 2016
Rating: M – Contains violence
Duration: 147 minutes 
Genre:  Sci-Fi
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Elizabeth Olsen, Robert Downey Jr, Paul Rudd, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Renner, Sebastian Stan, Tom Holland, Emily VanCamp, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Don Cheadle, Chadwick Boseman
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo (Welcome to Collinwood, You, Me and Dupree)

The Extras
In an interview, Daniel Brühl said this movie's budget was so huge that you could make 20 films from it.

One scene shows Ant-Man being boosted by an arrow from Hawkeye. This is taken directly from the comics, specifically The Avengers # 223.

In the film, the Falcon utilizes a falcon drone called Redwing. In the mainstream Marvel comics, Redwing was an actual falcon, which was Sam Wilson's sidekick.

Iron Man orders Captain America to stay down, and Cap answers: "I could do this all day". That is the same answer he gave to a bully who was beating him up at the beginning of Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).

When the production of the film wrapped up, Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie raced each other while in their super hero suits.

Chris Evans has stated that this film will set up Avengers: Infinity War - Part I (2018) and Avengers: Infinity War - Part II (2019).

The finalists for the Spider-Man role would do separate screen tests with Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. with the intent of seeing the chemistry fit the best with both Evans and Downey.

The filmmakers describe Barnes as a divided character: "He's not Bucky Barnes anymore, he's not the Winter Soldier anymore; he's something in between. There's a part of his personality that was under mind control, and he murdered a lot of people. So he's got a very complicated history. Who is that person? How does that character move forward?"

Co-director Joe Russo said that "the most powerful shot of the film" was Steve Rogers stopping a helicopter from taking off with his bare hands. The shot was even featured in the first teaser trailer for the film. Russo said Chris Evans worked very hard in the gym to physically embody the character because they wanted to test the limit's of Steve's physical strength. About the shot itself he noted, "On set we had Chris straining against a crane holding the helicopter to get this fantastic shot of his muscles bulging and you can feel the energy and determination as he tries to stop it."