Captain America: Civil War (2016) Movie Review
“Captain America: Civil War” is the third installment in Marvel’s Captain America series. This film takes place after “The Winter Soldier,” and the Avengers are being put in check by the United Nations. Many people want The Avengers to be under more strict government control due to the constant destruction they have been causing. The Avengers must come to a conclusion whether to fight under the government, or not fight at all. This splits them and tensions become high, as a civil war is brewing between The Avengers- United they stand, divided they fall.
Going into this movie, you may be expecting another fun, light and humorous entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After all, their approach to their entrees have been mostly fun and with wild results. The 13th film in this built-up universe seems like Marvel may lose it steam, but, we may just have their best film yet- and their most mature.
What this film manages to do so well that other comic book movies don’t is balance it’s many aspects. This film is very fun to watch, but it also has darker and more mature elements that come with it basically being an all-out war movie. It’s able to mix the two so well and the film greatly benefits from being mature. Sure, the characters may crack a joke or two for comic relief, but it never takes away the really engaging and darkly surreal tone that the film itself is really based on. This is a film where the characters are finally realizing the consequences of their actions and war- this movie is not as fast paced as other Marvel movies, which could be a bit of a pain to some who are not looking to watch a politically based superhero movie. But, once you get engaged- there is no denying the true brilliance of this movie.
The last Captain America movie, “The Winter Soldier,” was called by many the best Marvel film at the time of it’s release. That is because it was really a smart and tensely crafted politically espionage thriller, mixed perfectly with the usual tact of Marvel humor that we have come to accept. Yet- it was still compelling. “Civil War” not only does all of this, but more. This is due to directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, who directed “Winter Soldier” brilliantly- and direct this movie brilliantly as well. The craft and the story they have produced here are outstanding- it’s extremely engaging and the film never feels dull or drags on. Not to mention fantastic, eye-popping cinematography and shots that offer breathtaking moments that are hooking and help the audience stay glued to their seat.
Not to mention great writing that balances the dark elements with some of the humor really well. Mark Millar, the writer of this film, did a truly great job. The film has some great one-liners and incorporates great dark humor and some lighter humor to keep the film moving at a reasonable pace- which it does.
The visuals are outstanding, but they never get in the way of the real story and characters set in place here. The action set-pieces are also fantastic, and the sound is really mixed in well. I’m no technical expert, but let me lay it out for you- this movie is really technically fantastic. The technical pieces of the film really make the action outstanding, and the film ultimately is really realistic due to these aspects.
Now that we have covered the film’s craft areas, let’s talk about the characters and the performances. All great. Chris Evans as Captain America is great, and so is Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. They are really the main two people in this film who have turned against each other. There are some really well-written, powerful scenes between the two that make the film all more riveting. The rest of the cast is great, there really is no point in listing all of their names. The new-comers to this big group of Avengers are great editions. Ant-Man is great and super funny as always. Black Panther is fantastic, and this movie really makes his motivations and core point clear. However, the best part of the cast, and maybe of the whole movie is Tom Holland as Spider-Man. Man is he great in this movie. The humor they did with his character was so so funny, and Holland as the character did such a great job. Zemo was one of the best Marvel villains ever, because his motivations are really clear in the end and he really is hidden in the film’s core. What they end up doing with his character is really great, and is definitely a stronger villain than the usual average comic book antagonist. This one felt really brought down to earth and portrayed really well by Daniel Bruhl, a worthy new addition to the MCU. So, what I have to say about the cast in the end is that they were all fantastic in their roles.
With great acting also happens to come great character development and great writing for the characters. They really are all brought down to earth and their realizations about their actions really becomes clear and affecting. It’s truly amazing how this film is able to make all of these characters into one movie without it feeling clunky or messy. This movie honestly could’ve been a messy, unbalanced disaster, but it turned out to be a brilliant war film that’s deep and meaningfully longing. And that’s the real surprise of Captain America: Civil War.
CONSENSUS: Captain America: Civil War not only proves to be the best Marvel film, but an outstanding film itself- it’s terrifically directed and the film itself explores mature thematic themes while maintaining great in-camera action to make this a worthy, soulful comic book film that’s pleasing to the eye and to the heart.