By Jack Dignan
It's the Marvel film everything has been building up to.... until Infinity War comes out in two years time. Captain America: Civil War was the movie nobody, including myself, thought could possibly be translated to screen, but bestow and behold, here we have it. Civil War was the biggest shakeup in the Marvel comic universe, affecting every single comic run at the time, and as it is the first film in Marvel's phase three, it's about time the movies shook things up to, and what better way to do that than by pitting the Avengers against each other in a full on brawl.
Captain America: Civil War, despite having almost the entire Avengers lineup, still follows the story of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), also known as Captain America. After another Avengers mission results in collateral damage, the government, led by Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt), comes in to take control, setting forth a bill that forces the Avengers to work under government control. Half the team agree with it, the other half don't. The Avengers are split in half, Captain America leading one team and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) leading the other. The two go head to head, fighting it out in a war with consequences far greater than either of them planned.
The Civil War comic book storyline, in my opinion, is the best comic run Marvel has ever done, and it's quite possibly the best comic series I've ever read. Captain America: Civil War most certainly does the comic book justice, and even though it has just a fraction of the amount of characters the comic used, they're all utilised well, resulting in some moments of pure insanity. But more on that later. Before the insane moments start to appear, this is still a Captain America film through and through, his relationship with Bucky becoming a very crucial part of the story, and even introduces us to a man named Zemo (Daniel Brühl), a villain of sorts with a lot more depth than you would expect.
Tension is rising in the team, and after a series of catastrophic events, it's about time they get some new recruits. Civil War sees the inclusion of Ant-Man, who made his debut in his extremely entertaining solo film last year, Black Panther and, of course, Spider-Man. The new recruits fit in perfectly, never crammed in, but instead are welcomed as a part of the team and each serve as important aspects of the story. I was already excited for all of their upcoming solo movies, but after watching them onscreen here, I'm even more excited than I already was.
While all the new Avengers are great and each get a few moments in the spotlight to really show off their powers, it's Spider-Man who undoubtably steals the entire film. We may have only seen him on screen for about twenty five minutes, but Tom Holland is already my favourite Spider-Man/Peter Parker. He's charismatic, funny, agile and is a 100% accurate portrayal of the Spider-Man from the comics. As a Spider-Man fan, this film blew me away. They can call his solo movie whatever the hell they want. If this is the Spider-Man we get in it then I am going to be there in the cinema ten times opening day.
It's not just the new characters who steal the show, either. Almost everyone in this movie has a standout scene, each of their personalities absolutely nailed. To my surprise, it was Falcon who ended up being one of the best things about this film. First appearing in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Falcon has proved himself to be worthy of the superhero attire, and in Civil War he's never been better. The scenes between him and Bucky are an utter delight, their banter a joy to watch.
The Marvel movies are typically seen as lighthearted and fun, but with Civil War, things change. Sure, there's still plenty of humour and smiles, but it's also the darkest Marvel movie yet, raising some serious issues that haven't been dealt with until now. There's a political undertone to it all, both teams raising some seriously good points, so much so that I was, at times, actually conflicted about who I agreed with, and that's exactly what this film needed to do. It's a Captain America movie, but it shows the reasoning behind both sides, and when they brawl, they brawl, and I didn't know who I wanted to win.
It's shown briefly in the trailers, but there's an airport fight scene about halfway through this movie that's an Avengers vs. Avengers battle, and it may just be my favourite scene from any superhero movie ever made. It's friends fighting friends, and this gives it an emotional and personal push, and while they're all at war, you know they don't want to be doing this. You know they'd much rather be fighting bad guys than fighting each other, but as the war continues and more revelations are made, the battle just gets more and more personal., resulting in a final fight that had my jaw dropped.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo last directed Captain America: The Winter Solider, which featured big scale action with global results. They're also signed on to direct the upcoming two parter, Avengers: Infinity War, which again, will more than likely feature action on a global scale. Captain America: Civil War deals with the consequences of those sort of scenarios, and because of this, the film is told on a much smaller scale. No cities are dropped from the sky this time around, it's just a few Avengers brawling it out, and it works so much better than you'd expect it to. It feels just as big, but it's really not, and the Russo Brothers continue to prove that they're the best guys for the job. Phase Three is in good hands.
To sum up, Captain America: Civil War makes me a happy movie fan, Marvel fan and yes, a happy Spider-Man fan. It's an explosive and fun installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that manages to blend together a good amount of drama for what is quite possibly the best film Marvel have ever made.