Captain America: Civil War – A near-perfect follow-up
The Russo brothers return for a fantastic follow-up to the success of Captain America: Winter Soldier. Following on from the events of the previous film and Avengers: Age of Ultron, we see Cap and Iron Man take opposite sides of a debate surrounding the monitoring and oversight of the Avengers. Iron Man believes that, due to the chaos caused during the events in Age of Ultron, there needs to be some boundaries and limitations to their activities in order to protect the people they are trying to save, and also prevent the group from evolving from heroes to vigilantes. This is not a position Cap is particularly keen to support. He feels that the best way to ensure safety is to keep politics out of the equation and focus solely on their job to protect. This argument forms a backdrop to a series of unfolding events surrounding the Winter Soldier and other new introductions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe which, combined with the politics, causes Cap and Iron Man to drift apart in spectacular fashion.
Following the uproar surrounding the recent Batman v Superman release, Marvel has responded with a fantastic demonstration on how to construct a ‘Superhero Versus Superhero’ movie. This is a thoroughly entertaining watch from start to finish. There is a plethora of characters, both old and new, and a perfect balance being struck between establishing new characters, developing current players, all without stealing the limelight away from the main heroes (apart from a fantastic appearance from Spiderman who absolutely steals the show). This is a beautifully crafted superhero movie that manages to captivate the audience, and make them care about the characters involved more so than any other recent superhero film.
The action sequences are wonderful, in particular the big confrontation between all the major heroes, which is one of the best set pieces I have seen in a recent film. The action is thoroughly engaging, and the interactions between the characters during the fight raises the bar even higher. Some impressive, if occasionally disorientating, camera work really brings out the impressive choreography, and especially when looking at the way in which some of the action scenes were filmed, and the precision and execution involved by both actors and animators alike, it makes it doubly entertaining to watch.
This is one of the few films I can think of which not only allows a believable and engaging conflict to play out on screen, but also allows almost equal justification for supporting either side. It is a film which will split audience members in the argument surrounding the politics of this film (which is actually something which I would have liked to have seen more of, although it would have been difficult to squeeze it in without losing some of the scenes allowing the humanisation of various characters).
If you’re still unsure about my position on this film, I like it. I like it a lot. If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend going to your local cinema and purchasing a ticket. If you haven’t seen Winter Soldier or Age of Ultron, do so first. You won’t leave disappointed.
Images courtesy of Marvel Studios/Buena Vista