Film Review: Captain America: Civil War

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(Spoiler-free)

I am a huge Marvel fan. I’ve been watching the films since I was a kid, like the original Spiderman films with Tobey Maguire, to the X-Men films. I’ve seen both of those original trilogies numerous times, but when the new wave of Marvel films began, I didn’t actually pay them a lot of notice until Thor in 2011. I hadn’t been interested in the Iron Man films, but when Thor came out, followed by The Avengers a year later, I was undeniably hooked. I found the first two Iron Man films on Sky Movies and watched them, wondering why I had ignored them when they’d been released.

Upon the release of The Avengers, I was only familiar with Thor and Loki, and I hadn’t yet watched Captain America: The First Avenger. In fact, I always thought Captain America looked like a really corny superhero; I’m not American, so his inherent patriotism was foreign to me. But when I watched the first Captain America film, I really, really enjoyed it. For starters, it was set during the Second World War, so I found it interesting watching a ‘superhero’ in a setting that wasn’t the modern day. But also, Steve Rogers was just a small guy with a big heart, who got big to match that heart. He is in actuality very different to the other Avengers, not to mention the fact that all his loved ones have been and gone, believing him gone too. It’s hard to imagine the loneliness.

And then Captain America: Winter Soldier happened and Cap’s closest friend Bucky Barnes, who he believed dead, returned with no memories, a metal arm, and an order to kill Steve. The tension and emotion was too much. That’s when I knew the Captain America films were my favourite Marvel creations, along with the character of the ‘Winter Soldier’.

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So, understandably, I was pretty hyped for Captain America: Civil War. In fact, I was more than hyped. After the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, I was looking forward to the new additions for the team (especially after Age of Ultron fell a bit flat).

Did it live up to my expectations? The answer is yes, and then some.

I’ve heard some critics say that Civil War is a little slow to get going, but I think that only ramps up the tension. Besides, we know that there’s going to be a divide in the Avengers team, we know that there’s going to be two sides: Team Iron Man and Team Captain America. So why not build the tension? All the pieces shown to us at the beginning wrap up at the end to weave a complex plot that keeps you guessing. I was really glad the Russo brothers were back to direct this installment because they did a superb job with Winter Soldier and there was no exception here. By the time I left the cinema, I had a slight headache from getting way too excited and tensed up. There’s also a big, big twist at the end that I did not see coming and it’s the clincher of the film. It definitely got my heart pumping.

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What with the whole idea of the ‘teams’, there was the potential for this film to fall into a plethora of corny lines, but the Russo brothers were clearly expecting this. The jokes dotted throughout the film are really quite funny, especially during some of the fight scenes that have the potential to be taken too seriously. A lot of the good one-liners went to Paul Rudd as ‘Ant-Man’, but that was to be expected. However, one of the funniest things was the dynamic between Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson, ‘Winter Soldier’ and ‘Falcon’ respectively. It was unexpected and comedic, and I look forward to seeing more of their duo in later films.

However, the plot wouldn’t be possible without Bucky Barnes. Despite Steve Rogers’ and Tony Stark’s differences taking top bill, the arguments wouldn’t be there to begin with if it weren’t for Bucky. For fans of the first two Captain America films, it’s just as interesting as it is heart-breaking to see Bucky attempting to recover after his time working for HYDRA, as well Cap’s mission to protect him. Just like Winter Soldier, the human element, not the big battles, take precedence here (although there are a lot of fights and explosions, so don’t worry if that’s what you’re after). This was something Joss Whedon failed to do in the previous Avengers film.

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The great thing is, you can also see the reasoning behind both teams. I was always going to be #TeamCap, but I did feel sorry for Tony the more and more frustrated he got; he really believed he was doing something for the greater good. And maybe he was, but I understood Steve’s actions more, especially after witnessing Steve and Bucky’s friendship in The First Avenger (and witnessing Bucky Barnes’ face, he’s prettier than most girls). But that was what made the film so likeable; there’s no right or wrong answer and because of that the tension is sky-high.

All in all, this film exceeded my expectations. Good pacing, great humour and a humanity that had been lost in the previous team-up. As soon as it finished, I wanted to go back and see it again, and I was so thankful it was over 2 hours long! Even if you’re not really into Marvel films, it’s a slick piece of film-work and feels more like a thriller than an action movie. Just read up on the backstory before you go.

My Rating: 5/5

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Which Team are you on? Have you seen the film; what did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Caitlin (1)

 

 

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