Captain America: Civil War

"Excellent"

Captain America: Civil War Review


After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were in danger of getting stuck in a rut, but a smart script for this surprisingly focussed thriller kicks everything into a new direction. What's surprising is that the screenwriters have managed to incorporate a wide range of characters without the film ever feeling overcrowded. Each person has a journey to travel, so the actors get a chance to invest plenty of personality into the action.

After the events of Ultron, there's a political debate about the need to oversee the Avengers' missions. Iron Man Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) thinks a special UN council is a good idea, but Captain America Steve (Chris Evans) thinks that will limit the team's ability to help people. Then Steve's best pal Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is framed for a bombing, and Black Panther T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is drawn into the fray. The Avengers are forced to take sides, with those supporting Bucky becoming outlaws. Tony recruits Spider-Man Peter (Tom Holland) to his team, while Steve drafts in Ant-Man Scott (Paul Rudd). And as they all face off against each other, none of them realise that this entire situation is being manipulated by a vengeful man named Zemo (Daniel Bruhl).

Watching this film requires the audience to suspend disbelief that these super-powered friends could be pushed to try to kill each other. That never quite makes sense, and indeed the script acknowledges this fact when one person goes down and everyone reacts emotionally. But the high-powered cast is so good at creating these intensely driven superheroes that it's not difficult to go with it.

Evans and Downey are terrific at the centre, deepening their characters by keeping the tone jaggedly humorous even as things get nasty. As Vision and Scarlet Witch, Bettany and Olsen add some emotion in their interaction. Holland and Rudd provide a hugely amusing blast of energy, and Boseman's character is darkly fascinating. Johansson has the strongest role among more sidelined characters played by Mackie, Renner and Cheadle. And Bruhl is a surprisingly complex villain.

Best of all is how the extra-long plot avoids the usual structure, maintaining a more personal approach that's edgy and resonant. This means that most of the battles have an emotional angle to them, while the story is more linear, inexorably moving forward to the next showdown. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo struggle to keep the action coherent (especially when it's blurred by 3D) or thrilling (because they surely won't kill anyone off), but there are exhilarating moments in each fight set-piece. So fans will be impatient for the next chance to catch up with this growing mob of heroes.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Captain America: Civil War:



Captain America: Civil War

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 146 mins

In Theaters: Friday 6th May 2016

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: Marvel Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 8.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Steve Rogers / Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, as James Buchanan 'Bucky' Barnes / The Winter Soldier, as Sam Wilson / Falcon, as Clint Barton / Hawkeye, as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch, as The Vision, as Lieutenant James "Rhodey" Rhodes / War Machine, as Scott Lang / Ant-Man, as T'Challa / Black Panther, as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, as Zemo, as Brock Rumlow / Crossbones, as Secretary of State Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, as Sharon Carter / Agent 13, as Everett K. Ross, as May Parker, John Kani as King T'Chaka, as Howard Stark, as Miriam, as FedEx Driver, as Maria Stark, as F.R.I.D.A.Y. (voice), as M.I.T. Liaison, Ray Sahetapy as Auctioneer, Gene Farber as Karpov, Florence Kasumba as Security Chief, Amelia Morck as UN Staffer Gibson, as Stark's Assistant

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