REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

My original review of Captain America: Civil War from May 2016 is here, and my spoiler-filled rambling review is here.

After a series of a mission that put the public in danger, the Avengers are told they need to be regulated by the U.N. While Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) believes their actions need guidance, Steven Rogers (Chris Evans) doesn’t trust politician’s involvement. The rift between them causes a divide in the team that’s only furthered when Steve’s friend and former assassin Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) reappears.

Captain America: Civil War does a great job at showing both sides of this conflict over the Sokovia Accords – the agreement that will put the Avengers in check. You not only get to see both Steve and Tony’s opinions on it, but also why various other characters ultimately end up on a certain side. The film shows how there’s shades of grey in these opposing views and that’s where some characters end up, Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) is the notable example of this.

For a film jam-packed with superheroes Captain America: Civil War never feels overcrowded. This is due to the script and how the story is continuously moving on from one conflict or reveal to another. Each character has their moment to shine, though for some that may last longer than others, and it’s a thrill to see these character’s we’ve seen over the course of multiple films fight together and against one another. You feel for these characters and their strained relationships because you’ve grown attached to them over the years, and because all the actors involved give brilliant performances – Downey Jr. and Stan especially.

There are some characters making their first appearance in Civil War, Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and both of them make a big impression and leave you wanting more from their individual films.

The action sequences are exciting and are on the whole well-shot and easy to follow. The humour that runs through the film never detracts from the seriousness of the situations the heroes finds themselves in, instead it gives you a brief moment to breathe before the tension builds once again.

At Civil War’s heart it’s a story of friendship. The friendship between Steve and Bucky that’s spanned decades and the new one between Steve and Tony which has never really found its footing. Captain America: Civil War has it all, great action sequences, humour and drama but it never forgets about what is important – the characters, their motivations and their relationships. There are some minor quibbles like the tonal palette of the film is decidedly grey and it could be argued it’s more Avengers 2.5 than Captain America 3, but all in all it’s a fantastic film. 5/5.

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8 comments

  1. Awesome review! I agree that the way the action was shot was interesting! It’s cool that they made you really feel like you were in the action by not using lots of staged equipment and went free-form. Unfortunately I couldn’t watch a lot of it because it made me motion sick! 😦 haha

    Erica | Erica Robyn Reads

  2. I enjoyed this enough to see it twice at the cinema, and I echo much of what you say in your well-written review. I would point out that the political machinations of the plot don’t seem to add up to very much, and though it was bigger and more inflated, its storytelling wasn’t as focused as Captain America: Civil War. But then, its a tonne of fun.

      1. It’s good to know that the overall quality of Marvel films is being sustained, regardless of my sense of general apathy towards the whole thing. That said, I’ve watched them all so far…guess I’m just a sucker for the big budget blockbusters.

  3. I think it showed great self awareness for Steve Rogers to not sign. It was established in First Avenger that his moral sense was heightened along with his physical strength; that the super serum pushes a person further down their moral path was critical to why Steve was chosen. I would argue that Steve knows he has to do what he thinks is right even if he is told to stand down. The question then for me is, does he therefore have more or less free will than before he took the serum?

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