Captain America: Civil War (2016)
This was originally posted on Phoenix Film Reviews, another blog which I contribute too.
Directors: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Paul Bettany, Elisabeth Olsen and Daniel Brühl.
Synopsis: The political backlash and human cost of the Avengers’ actions shows the governments of the world calling for the Avengers to be controlled. Iron Man, supported by Black Widow, Vision and War Machine, want to sign the treaty although Captain America, with Falcon and Scarlett Witch, refuses. This dispute splits the superhero team, and the reappearance of Bucky Barnes, The Winter Soldier, furthers the reasons for the world’s greatest heroes to turn on each other.
The Good: The newly introduced superheroes came across really well, Spiderman and Black Panther are both strong new additions to the MCU. The return of Ant-Man was also a highlight amongst the return of the entire ensemble. Marvel did try to do something different with the story, as this is not the usual heroes vs. villains action flicks that we are used to seeing. The heroes vs. heroes concept was a lot more thought-provoking, the moral dilemmas of revenge and friendship took the forefront over the political debates of controlling superheroes. The fight scenes were still just as impressive as ever before, the airport scene being the main highlight of the action for me.
The Bad: A 147 minute run-time meant a lot was crammed into the film. The script covered a lot of content and an even larger amount of superheroes. The focus on the main themes and the main conflict between Iron Man and Captain America, left some characters as pure fillers, some being dragged in to merely make up the numbers on each team. The appearance of such entertaining and powerful characters began to show some of the old characters (Black Widow and Hawkeye) becoming more obsolete in comparison. In some ways the film tried to do too much, leaving a sense of information overload and too many personalities to deal with.
The Verdict: I would still highly recommend this film, it is, after all, one of the largest and visually spectacular films in the MCU (so far!). It does not reach the heights of Guardians of the Galaxy, but it does take a pretty good shot at it. The large amount of content and overall length is what let it down for me although the Marvel core of this film remains overall, very strong.