While Captain America: Civil War is not really a Captain America movie as much as it is a third avengers movie, it is the darkest edition yet in the Marvel movie franchise, as it explores the greyness of morality. But, a plot centering around moral ambiguity is to be expected of a film that pits protagonists against each other.
The script attempted to fit a lot into the roughly two and a half hour run time, and it accomplished most of this especially when you compare it to a movie such as Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Marvel once again showed their ability to handle a complex film with the steady hand of directors Anthony and Joe Russo, returning from Captain America: Winter Soldier. While the film did well to balance the characters and move the plot along at a good pace, it still continued Marvel’s over reliance on action scenes. Although the big budget scenes were magnificent (more so than usual), the film could have benefited from focusing a bit more on the dialogue between the characters, especially considering how strong that dialog was when given screen time. That being said, the Russo brothers did a good job of explaining such a complex situation like the civil war story arc in a relatively short time frame.
One uncharacteristic criticism of the script is on the ill fitting and forced nature of the humour. Normally a fresh and organic part of any Marvel film, it sometimes felt like an unnatural fit with the tone of the film. However, that was made up for by a noticeably darker plot which was a nice change of pace for Marvel. The script did a great job of approaching the themes of morality and friendship as it discarded the black and white concept of the super hero genre. This even extends to the unique characterisation of the antagonist Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl), who’s backstory ties into previous events and paints an unexpected sympathetic backstory.
Chris Evans continued his string of solid performances as Captain America, as he shared considerable screen time with Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, who portrayed a more troubled and angsty Tony Stark . Sebastian Stan also continued to develop well into his role as Bucky Barnes as the slow characterisation of the Winter Soldier continues. The overall performance of the ensemble cast was solid, and it’s clear Marvel has a good history of casting decisions throughout the franchise. However, a noticeable bright spot was Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, who’s comedic timing provided excellent comic relief throughout the film.
While the idea of this being a Captain America movie fell by the way side, the film managed to accommodate a massive cast of actors (even by Marvel‘s standards) including introducing two major characters to their expanded universe. The introduction of Spiderman (Tom Holland) and The Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) were handled well and added to the intrigue of the film, playing in well with the civil war concept.
Overall, the film achieved a lot in the grand scheme of the Marvel expanded universe. This includes Marvel laying important foundations as they prepare for the next Avengers movie, as well as setting up Spiderman and Black Panther for their own feature films. Although this film is a piece in a much larger puzzle, the quality of this movie should not be forgotten as it continues Marvel’s long run of success.
Rating 7/10 Genre Rating 8/10