Captain America: Civil War (2016) – movie review

civil war

I would’ve liked to have taken this movie seriously and be serious with the characters but Deadpool seriously messed that up for me. I can’t look at a Marvel movie now without thinking of Deadpool. Thank you Deadpool.

Captain America: Civil War is the latest Marvel blockbuster to ride on the never-ending success train that kicked off with Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.

The titular “war” that occurs in Civil War starts when the United Nations give the Avengers an ultimatum; join the UN and play by their rules or be arrested for the innocent lives taken during their quest for peace. 

Captain America says the Avengers should not sign the accords, Iron Man says they should and every other Avenger (except Nick Fury, Thor and Hulk) must choose one of the two sides and a couple of newcomers jump into the fight to pile onto the already endless box office gross.

I really liked the fact that Civil War is taking notes from Deadpool and Ant-Man. Those movies proved that you don’t need the whole world to be under threat for there to be a threat. In fact I believe that the smaller the threat, the better. Civil War doesn’t threaten the existence of a whole city or of the entire planet rather than it does threaten the lives of a few key characters, which in my opinion, makes the threat a lot more… threatening.

Speaking of key characters, there are a lot of them.

Every actor in Civil War who has portrayed their character in a previous movie plays them exactly the same here as they did in that previous movie. The main performances didn’t change but what did change was the headcount.

Chadwick Boseman plays what I understand to be the first live-action screen appearance of Black Panther (one of the more underrated Marvel characters) and you couldn’t hope for a better portrayal. Boseman will not only satisfy those who have been waiting for Black Panther to appear but he will also satisfy those unfamiliar with the character.

Martin Freeman plays the head of some organisation (forgot the name) and he was slightly odd. I personally love Freeman’s body of work and he is one of the central cast members in my favorite movie ever (The World’s End) and I was really quite excited to finally see him in a Marvel movie… and then he spoke. He’s changed his voice for the role in this movie and he didn’t have to. He’s an Englishman who was attempting to put on some American(?) accent which didn’t work and he just should’ve stayed with his real voice.

And for the third main addition to the cast… Spider-Man… again… again.

I already felt that rebooting the franchise with Andrew Garfield was a little unnecessary but if they were trying to tie him into the universe, I could bear it. But Marvel went ahead and decided they wanted a third Spider-Man and that he would make his mark in Civil War, which again, I could bear if it was part of a bigger story. But no. He wasn’t.

A lot of reviewers are saying that Tom Holland as Spider-Man is the best Spider-Man they’ve seen in a live-action Marvel adaptation but for me, he may be charming and he may have what it takes to helm a Spider-Man movie if needed but in Civil War, he feels unnecessary and forced.

Plonk Peter Parker into Civil War and what do you get? A couple of funny lines and some cool fighting in one scene.

Take Peter Parker out of Civil War and what do you get? No change whatsoever.

Also Daniel Brühl portrays Helmut Zemo, who reminds me of Jesse Eisenberg in a recent billionaire bat vigilante versus gym mascot adaptation that shan’t be named.

Translation; Brühl’s character is really only there to pit two once-allied sides against each other, a conclusion those sides would have reached on their own.

Despite the obvious shoehorn of Spider-Man into the film, he did provide some nice moments in one of the two main fights. And speaking of the fights… woah.

The first main rumble in Civil War is between all of the characters on the poster plus a few and said rumble is great. I felt it could’ve lasted longer and it could’ve been a bit more intense.

The second main rumble however is only between three characters, the ones at the front of the poster and that rumble is indeed a lot better. It reminded me of the lightsaber duels in the Star Wars original trilogy and The Force Awakens, channeling the characters’ energy and anger into punches and slices. It felt intense and I liked that.

One thing that Civil War did a whole lot better than Batman v Superman was its pacing. In Batman v Superman, I was constantly checking my watch wondering when the movie would end but in Civil War, I was never bored. Not once did I wonder about the time or think about anything other than the movie.

A big problem I had with Avengers: Age of Ultron was that it was focused more on setting up future films that it was with delivering a wholesome story. Civil War however knows better. This film does leave some questions for future films to answer but it also delivers on it’s promise of a packed story with way too many characters that it somehow manages to fit in.

The Russo brothers were responsible for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was a great action thriller superhero movie. And they were also responsible for Captain America: Civil War, which was a great action thriller superhero movie.

It doesn’t feel like a Captain America movie and it also doesn’t feel like an Avengers movie. It feels like something in between that was borrowing unsolved plots from previous films and finishing them with a bang, a bang which in turn created a couple new stories but we don’t need to worry about those at the moment.

The acting was great, the direction was fantastic, the fights did look a little shaky for my taste but you get used to it and they looked awesome, the pacing was perfect, the characters were aplenty and for once… I forgot to look out for the Stan Lee cameo… making it all the more funny.

What did you think of Captain America: Civil War? Leave your comment on the side and don’t forget to follow my Instagram page for movie posters.


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