Tuesday 20 September 2016

Captain America: Civil War

The third part of the Captain America trilogy is finally here, and I was worried that, with all the recent comic book movies, I’d be all superheroed out. This one’s a bit different though, in that it’s actually pretty darn good.

Last time we saw Captain America (Chris Evans) he was trying to stop Hydra from taking over the world (they’d also taken over his best friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) and turned him into the Winter Soldier, hence the title). Now the atmosphere has changed somewhat - after a series of events that spiral out of control, the whole team are facing a bit of a backlash due to the destruction that they’ve caused across the globe. The government want the team to sign an agreement that gives them an element of control over when they step into a dangerous scene, which Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), War Machine (James Rhodes), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Vision (Paul Bettany) are all too happy to comply with. Captain America isn’t though, and with the Winter Soldier, Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Hawkeye (Clint Barton), and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) on his side the group split down the middle, and chaos ensues. 

After the last two films, ‘Civil War’ was what they really needed – although the other two were good, I can’t help but feel that Captain America is one of the less interesting superheroes that Marvel has created. This has thrown a whole new dimension into the mix, and the storyline has finally become engaging again. In the second film the Winter Soldier was a key part, yet he didn’t feel like it – in this one his character is explored much more in-depth and we get to see some really awesome fight scenes with him in.

Sadly for Captain America, he does seem a tad upstaged by the others, with a banterous dynamic and comedic dialogue that felt less present in the first two films. There’s also some great new additions, with Ant Man (Paul Rudd) and Spiderman (Tom Holland) thrown in as surprisingly entertaining team mates. Holland plays one of the least annoying Spidermans (Spidermen?) to date, with one of the best scenes in the whole film being a simple talk between Stark and Parker as they meet for the first time. 

I’m glad the comedy was a lot less cheesy this time around, and I’m also glad that the plot was so much more in-depth (even if it did seem rather similar to the basic premise of ‘Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice’). It’s also shot a lot better than superhero films often are – the intro is particularly well filmed, with a real sense of raggedness and grit that isn’t so often seen in Hollywood blockbusters of the superhero kind. 

The character dynamic is what really makes it though, and more of a connection between character and audience. Whatever side you are on, you will connect with them regardless, which makes it all the more interesting to watch. I found myself torn between both sides, with the film making quite a strong point about organised control and government influence.

Sure, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ is a Marvel film with a real Hollywood feel. And sure, it’s still got all your usual explosions and unbearable quips. Captain America is so unfocused on that it might as well have just been called an Avengers movie, plus it’s a bit longer than it should have been (although two and a half hours is becoming the norm for these sorts of film), but this time they’ve gone and done it really darn well. 4/5


Hannah Read

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