The 13th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Captain America: Civil War follows on from the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron as a rift forms in the Avengers team after political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when another incident results in collateral damage. When the new status quo fractures the team, the Avengers split into two camps – one led by Captain America (Chris Evans) and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other led by Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), following his surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability – causing an epic battle between former allies.
Preparing us for what’s to come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Civil War sees a battle between many of our favourite superheroes and is action-packed with entertaining fight sequences and intense character struggles, making this the superhero blockbuster of the year.
The Russo’s are brilliant at combining humour and action with some pretty serious political drama in the background, but the focus on entertainment does override the huge steps in plot development this sequel takes, making it feel like quite a light-hearted time-filler of an instalment rather than an impactful one, as it really should have been.
But, at its core, Civil War is a film about friendship and conflict, about duty and honour but also about staying true to yourself. This instalment is deeply grounded in character, with Rogers and Stark, especially, taking some huge steps in personal development. Civil War may be less slick than its predecessors, but it’s this stronger emotional centre that it benefits from.
Captain America has always been one of my least favourite superhero films, but he has a lot more going for him than most of the characters, and his stand-alone films are getting stronger and stronger, more so with the help of the rest of the Avengers joining his battle.
Also starring the rest of the Avengers team – Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Vision (Paul Bettany), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and War Machine (Don Cheadle) – Civil War welcomes Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Tom Holland as the newest Spider-Man, and Paul Rudd be invited to join the team as Ant-Man.
With Daniel Brühl as Zemo, a Sokovian colonel-turned-terrorist who is obsessed with defeating the Avengers, and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, a member of the Joint Counter Terrorism Center, who is likely to appear more in the upcoming Black Panther stand-alone film, it’s this ensemble cast that will make you watch this film more than once.
With the excitement for what’s to come within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, whichever side you decide to take, Civil War is pure entertainment and has all the fun of what these comic books are about.