Captain America: Civil War‘s premise explores the difficulties in coming to terms with doing what’s right, rather than what’s best. But beneath the ideological dichotomy, is a film that looks at how past actions can have dire consequences on the present – creating demons, both figurative and literal.
Given the breadth, scope, and ensemble cast of the film, it’s difficult to not think of Civil War as an Avengers 2.5, and to be fair, it very much is. Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, and Jeremy Renner, among others, are all back, with newcomers Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland adding a substantial amount to the already-impressive acting roster. However, the microscope does hover over the leading protagonists, Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark and Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers, and their struggle with how to fit into a world not ready for superheroes. It’s a compelling discussion and their specific performances add a level of emotional gravity that elevates the superhero genre to new heights.
In keeping with Marvel’s strong sense of continuity, Civil War unpacks the foundations that have been laid out since Iron Man first hit cinemas in 2008. Every character has some sort of skeleton in their closet, and seeing these superpowered beings humbled by their collateral actions and personal tragedy is what makes Marvel’s characters and world so beloved – they’re relatable. There’s no doubt that Marvel’s meticulous planning and water-proof writing is hitting its sweet-spot, with everything culminating into one glorious symphony of clever social commentary, brilliant dialogue, charming humour, and face-punching moments – which are spectacular, to say the least.
The action sequences in Civil War are arguably the best in any Marvel movie to date. Stunning fight-choreography, stellar cinematography, and inventive situational battles make for a quintessential popcorn-blockbuster, but one which has the heart to back it all up, with some incredibly emotional beats in the film creating some poignantly heart-wrenchingly stutters that leave you gasping.
And these emotional moments are all thanks to the cast, which we as the audience, have become so invested in over the years. Add the stern and majestic presence of Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther (who commanded all attention every time he was on-screen) and Tom Holland’s endearing portrayal of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, it’s evident that Marvel’s casting is where the magic is, and added surety that the future of the respective franchises are looking extremely bright.
With Civil War, directors Anthony and Joe Russo have managed to raise the bar of what to expect from a Marvel superhero film even higher, crafting something that is as thought-provoking as it is explosively entertaining to watch. It’s no easy task to put together something with such a large cast and massive scope, but with the level of coherency and confidence the film-making brothers have done it, it has to be commended.
Captain America: Civil War hits cinemas 29 April.