Directors: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johannson, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Daniel Bruhl, Tom Holland, Emily VanCamp, Chadwick Boseman, William Hurt, Frank Grillo, Don Cheadle, Martin Freeman
After a series of international incidents with civilian casualties, 117 Countries sign the Sokovia accords, designed to keep a tighter reign on the activities of Superheroes around the world. While Tony Stark (Iron Man) agrees that all super heroes must sign up to these accords and be subject to oversight and limitations, Steve Rogers (Captain America) believes signing away certain rights and civil liberties, no matter what the intention, will start them off down a very dangerous path. And so begins a new kind of civil war.
The Marvel movie franchise can be very hit and miss for me, a number of times I have walked away from films disappointed, but I have always enjoyed the Captain America series, in particular enjoying its dramatic qualities and deeper, more relevant story lines. Civil War is no exception, and is easily the best comic book movie I have seen to date. More importantly though, it is a great film.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t moments where something is too convenient, or a line is, perhaps, too cheesy- I can even think of one jolting moment when the timelines for two different characters talking to each other seem way out of whack. However, these moments are few and far between, and what we see unfold is generally a clever tale detailing the clear philosophical differences between people as they, ultimately, all try to do the right thing and keep the world safe. It's a case of people on opposing sides having valid points to make about the way something should be done, but staying in conflict none the less. Hence the marketing slogan "whose side are you on?"
The world of Captain America achieves a very tangible sense of reality. Anthony and Joe Russo have directed the actors very well, keeping them grounded in their performances, which allows the drama to unfold nicely, and for humour to have its desired effect when it should. As an audience member I can really connect with how they present the Captain America (Chris Evans) storyline, and his desire to do the right thing- in this instance, to protect his friend, former villain Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) aka The Winter Soldier. There always seems to be a sense of clarity and purpose in the Captain America films that is missing in a lot of the other franchise movies.
Civil War also uses multiple super heroes in this film to great effect, and in greater numbers than the Avengers movies. I would even go as far to say that this film is a superior film to the Avengers, and at no time did I feel a character was given screen time because it was written into the actors contract somewhere. Characters such as Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) make their debut in this film, and it is done in such a way so as to make complete sense and contribute to the story, nothing felt like a token add on.
There is a pathos to this movie which really drew me in, kept me attentive, and it is largely driven by the effortless nature of the performance given by Chris Evans as Captain America. His choices are simple and effective, and it is his assuredness and self belief as Cap in the face of circumstances where someone of lesser character might capitulate that I really connect with, am inspired by, and find myself barracking for throughout the film.
Civil War is gripping in a way the Avengers should have been, Cap finally explores love, and all in all we are taken on a thrilling, action filled ride.
Rod @ Lovesac