They say that thirteen is an unlucky number so with ‘Captain America: Civil War’ being the thirteenth entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) could this be true for Marvel? So far Marvel have rarely dropped the ball in terms of quality. Even the lesser favoured entries into the MCU are enjoyable and I’m personally yet to dislike one of them. With so much going on, new characters, old storylines and the combination of many other elements there was so much potential for things to go wrong with ‘Civil War’.
As the film began it really failed to grip me, the opening action set piece didn’t do much for me. I thought that the special effects that were employed here were some of the worst I’ve ever seen in the MCU and I just found that I couldn’t get into things. I did like Frank Grillo’s Crossbones though and would have liked to have seen more of him. With so many characters present this Captain America movie does feel more like an Avengers one and therefore the absence of Hulk and Thor is felt, but this can’t really be held against the film as it is most definitely categorized as a Cap sequel. In terms of the vast amount of characters for the most part they are handled quite well. However with such a large amount much of the film’s response will come down to personal preference, depending on which characters individuals like and which plot elements they enjoy, which there is much room for debate on. In terms of the new characters which I’ll discuss shortly, it would have been cool to see solo films setting their back stories up a little more but this is only a minor flaw as they are introduced well, it’s more of a selfish desire from me to have more superhero movies just. One problem that I think will never be rectified is how much of the film is spoiled by the trailer. I don’t even watch trailers but inevitably I see small clips and stills from them – I just wish Marvel for once would keep some of its strongest moments undercover until fans are in the cinema.
So whilst the narrative took it’s time to really intrigue me there is a definite turning point in the film where the story really kicks in and never lets up. Once you reach this stage you forget the troubled beginning to the film and are able to fully immerse yourself into ‘Civil War’. By the end of the film I thought that ‘Civil War’ actually had one of the best, if not the best narrative of any individual MCU film to date. I loved the debate it provoked throughout the team and it made you choose your allegiance as a result. The tension between certain characters was fantastic and the dialogue and character writing really made you turn against certain characters which you have previously loved, anyone else think Rhodey was a complete knob here? I was team Cap through and through despite many of my favourite characters being on Team Iron Man, this showed me the strength of the writing. Our much loved characters are once again portrayed wonderfully here by the well seasoned cast. By now these performers are so used to portraying these characters that there is no need to even evaluate their performances as we know we’ll get the good stuff. Although I think special mention has to go to Robert Downey Jr. for continuing to add elements to his Tony Stark/Iron Man, he’s never not going to impress.
As it’s been no secret during the promotion ‘Civil War’ sees the introduction of a couple of new characters to the MCU in the shape of Black Panther and Spider-Man. Black Panther was awesome and his presence was helpful in giving the story momentum, a little more back story and information about his suit/abilities would have been good though. In terms of Spidey, despite his rather short role he probably steals the entire movie. I am a massive Spider-Man fan and was so gutted when The Amazing Spider-Man sequels were cancelled due to the Sony Marvel deal. I thought Andrew Garfield was a great Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Luckily when the casting news was announced I was happy with the choice of Tom Holland and he didn’t disappoint here being possibly one of the most accurate portrayals of the web-slinger to date. I cannot wait for the solo Spider-Man movie now as he was just so perfect here. The new characters worked very well with the more established ones and even the likes of Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man slotted in very well into an ensemble setting that they hadn’t been previously exposed to before. The main showdown between the two sides was brilliant and definitely the highlight of the movie. With so many wonderful moments throughout it has to be one of the strongest Marvel set-pieces to date.
The number thirteen is also apparently lucky for some, however it’s not luck that makes ‘Captain America: Civil War’ a success. The careful building of the cinematic universe is vital here and the focus on this films narrative rather than setting up for future installments was so refreshing. With stimulating writing and narrative for the majority of the film and when it’s some of our favourite characters embodying this what’s not to like? The action was joyous and there are too many special moments to highlight which means that ‘Civil War’ is only going to improve with re-watches. The introduction of new characters and the almost perfect balance of humour to drama help solidify ‘Civil War’ as one of the greatest superhero films of all time.
Rating – 8.5/10
Question: Where does ‘Civil War’ rank for you amongst the MCU to date?
(Leave your answers in the comments below!)
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