Director: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Chadwick Boseman, Tom Holland, Paul Bettany, Daniel Bruhl, Martin Freeman, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Emily Van Campm, Paul Rudd, William Hurt
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-fi, Thriller
Released: 28th April 2016
Captain America 3, Avengers 2.5, Steve and Bucky’s grand road trip adventure…whatever you’d like to call it, Civil War, one of the biggest story lines in comic book history, is brought into fold of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Anthony and Joe Russo along with Chris Evans once again return to Captain America and this time it seems that they have brought everyone else along with them.
Whilst out on a mission in Lagos, Cap (Chris Evans), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) run into some trouble with mercenaries and things go astray in a big way. The resulting casualties are the straw that breaks the UN’s back and they want to reign the Avengers in under some sort of control. This comes in the form of the registration act called the Sokovia Accord (the name of the country involved in final Age of Ultron battle). The situation and the right and wrong of it all draws lines in the sand with Cap on one side and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) on the other. Further complicating the issue is the implication of Bucky (Sebastian Stan), and his recently outed alias as the Winter Solider, in some mysterious mess.
Looking at the cast list you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s an another Avengers film, however what does set it apart from being another Avengers movie is the fact the main storyline is very much grounded and propelled by Cap. Having a large amount of characters (current and new) there could be a danger of underdeveloping some characters at the expense of others (as happened with Batman Vs. Superman) but not so in CA: CW. The directors (the Russos) along with the writers (Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely) have accomplished a good job in giving each character their own moment without hindering the main plot. Other than the main characters, the arcs of supporting players (such as Vision, Scarlett Witch, or Black Panther) flow well along the main storyline without dragging the beat down.
A film of this scale also serves as a suitable platform for the introduction of new characters: Spider-man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). With both individuals having solo films in development, CA: CV provides an appropriate amount of screen time to each person in relation to the overall plot. The audience is given a great taste of both their superhero fighting capabilities and their alter ego personalities. Very smartly, this leaves the audience intrigued, thus ensuring an invested interest in these characters when their own solo films come out.
The fight scenes are as always perfectly choreographed, with most characters displaying new moves/gadgets. The only slight letdown is that in the first portion of the film the camera work is a bit too shaky. As a result, Black Widow’s chase scene in the market place and Bucky’s fight in the stairwell come off too frenzied and hard to follow in comparison to other scenes. The big battle of opposing sides is a joy to watch, with some images pulled straight out of the comic book. The entire sequence from start to finish brings to mind an epic Super Smash Bros melee, with characters displaying new, impressive and (in some cases literally) larger-than-life moves. To dispel the serious altercation humorous banter is injected throughout, and proves that for some characters taking sides in the conflict has not affected their friendships.
At 2 ½ hours (the longest Marvel film to date) CA: CV has everything you could ever want from a Superhero movie: epic fight sequences, humorous interactions, a compelling storyline, and all your favourite characters having their moment to shine. A film as long as this does extremely well to maintain the narrative moving along smoothly, whilst keeping the audience engaged from start to finish. DC take note THIS is how you do a great big multi-character superhero film.