This review is spoiler free.
Going in to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, expectations were low, but after the film broke so much ground and took all the acclaim from critics and fans alike, the expectation would only be at its highest going in to Captain America: Civil War.
The hype and the anticipation has been building for months. The pressure to follow up such an outstanding movie, like The Winter Soldier, must have been monumental. But have no fear, the returning Russo Brothers have nailed it, and produced a piece a cinema that surpasses its predecessor.
Captain America: Civil War is comprised of everything you loved about The Winter Solider, with so many extras on top, that it propels the film to a whole different level.
We are introduced to even more characters than before, both old and new, as well as treated to a taste of stories yet to happen in the MCU. These are all the juicy fillings that is held together perfectly by a gripping, and engaging storyline.
Marvel have had success with all their films, but it is their ability to keep the films from stagnating that has been the most impressive factor. The Winter Soldier was spy movie, Guardians of the Galaxy was a space movie and Ant-Man was a heist movie. They are not just producing superhero movies, they are creating genre movies. They are keeping the formula from becoming predictable.
In terms of the film there is the perfect balance of story, character development and action that will reach across a broad spectrum of cinema goers.
The pacing is all but perfect, the film rarely stands still, but the gaps are not just filled with pointless scenes, everything leads to something else. We jump across the globe and the momentum of the story continues to build right up to the credits.
The producers wanted to split fans, to pick a side. This was executed with mixed success in Batman v Superman, but in Civil War they got the formula spot on. You get to see both side’s point of view, and both had valid reasons, there was no one side more right than the other, they both were.
Even when it came to conflict between the characters on different sides, you found yourself routing for both of them. The balance was perfect. And when things did get physical, it was constructed in such a way that it wasn’t just ‘superheroes fighting each other’, you felt every blow, especially on an emotional level. They mixed the fights with humour, and it was this humour that helped keep the balance.
The outcome of Civil War was very satisfying, it will keep you eager to find out what happens next. Where do the Avengers go from here? Especially now that we have the pending threat of Thanos to deal with in the Infinity War movies.
While Marvel, at least in the films, struggle to produce compelling villains. That may all be about to change. Daniel Brühl as Helmut Zemo was one of the most human, and intriguing villains to date. And his time in the MCU is far from over. Here the Russo’s managed to not only create a character posing a genuine threat, but they managed to write an antagonist with many different layers to his character.
It looks like Marvel may have finally shook that ‘generic villain’ monkey off their back.
While the dynamics and story twists between the established characters had us on the edge of our seats, it was the new characters that really stole the show.
We all know Sony have lent Spider-Man out for the day for Civil War, and given the film franchise’s mixed success in the past, Sony are on to a winner with Tom Holland. He was the perfect Spider-Man, the performance was everything you could have hoped for and more.
The same goes for Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. His performance both in and out of the suit was one of the highlights of the entire movie. Here was have a character who can stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Captain America and Bucky. It wasn’t just his in-suit performance that had you hooked, it was Chadwick’s performance as T’Challa. He brought so much humanity and dignity to the role, that any doubts over the performance of a solo Black Panther movie were quashed there and then.
If you had issues with some of the ‘versus’ elements that were present in Batman v Superman, then you can rest assured that Civil War does not suffer from these problems. The balance is perfectly weighted and the storytelling is a lot more cultured and self-contained.
Everyone involved in the movie can be very proud, it was an engaging and exciting watch from start to finish.
The action is fast and frantic, the story is gripping and compelling and the cast bring their A-game to their performances. The film’s humour was perfect, and the tone was sublime throughout. We are confident in saying that Captain America: Civil War is the the best Marvel movie to date.