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Captain America: Civil War – Joint Review


Release Date: 6 May 2016 [USA]
Director: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus - Stephen McFeely [Screenplay] - Joe Simon - Jack Kirby [Characters] - Mark Millar [Comic]
Cast: Chris Evans - Robert Downey Jr. - Sebastian Stan - Scarlett Johansson - Anthony Mackie - Don Cheadle - Jeremy Renner - Tom Holland - Paul Rudd - Paul Bettany

Posted May 2, 2016 by

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Captain America: Civil War – Joint Review

Louis Skye’s Perspective:

It’s finally here, the Marvel cinematic event of the year, Captain America: Civil War. One of the greatest comic stories written, Civil War had been generating immense amounts of hype since it was announced as the concluding story to Captain America’s trilogy.

The New Avengers, under Captain America and Black Widow, are sent on a mission to Lagos to apprehend Crossbones (formerly Brock Rumlow). Unfortunately, things go south pretty fast and a group of Wakandans end up dead. Secretary of State Ross, last seen in The Incredible Hulk, proposes the Sokovia Accords that will see the Avengers, and other superpowered beings controlled by the United Nations. Tony Stark, overcome by guilt after being confronted by a lady whose son was killed in Sokovia, is the first to sign. But Captain America believes the Avengers need their autonomy and refuses to follow Tony’s lead.

When the Sokovia Accords meeting is attacked by an assailant fitting the description of the Winter Soldier, formerly Cap’s friend Bucky, hostilities escalate. Cap, with the help of Falcon and Sharon Carter, tracks Bucky down, but should he protect his long-dead friend even though he is also the world’s deadliest assassin? Cap’s choice will alienate him from Tony, the Avengers, and even the world.

As one can see, the plot is very loosely based on the comic series; Captain America : Civil War contains the essential elements of the comics’ storyline while serving the purposes of the MCU. This is both a positive and a negative.

The Civil War comic series, while brilliant, turned beloved hero Tony Stark into a cruel, self-serving monster while painting Captain America as a saint. The film gives equal credence to both sides of the argument and shows both characters as flawed but human heroes. You can’t choose a side because they are both heroes we admire.

On the flip side, however, there are so many amazing moments between Steve and Tony in the comic series that I would have loved to see on the big screen that couldn’t be included. What we get is the husk of the Civil War storyline and it might actually be best enjoyed if you go into it expecting an original film and not an adaptation.

Performances aren’t what one looks to critique with a blockbuster but they play an important part in the making the MCU a success. Chris Evans and, especially, Robert Downey Jr. can play their characters in their sleep but they still put their all into their roles. RDJ is in top form as a man once again tortured by the legacy of Iron Man. It’s the nuances he adds that make Tony Stark a believable and relatable character that we continue to care for.

I feel like Evans has had less and less to do emotionally with each passing film. Steve’s relationship with Bucky is the underlying theme of the film but neither Evans nor Sebastian Stan gets enough screen time together to give us a taste of the emotional roller coaster we experienced in TWS.

The strength of Civil War was always going to be the characters but there are just too many for each of them to be given their due. Though not as bad as Batman v Superman, Civil War does try to do too much by being not just the conclusion to Captain America’s trilogy but also the origin story for Black Panther and Spiderman.

I know I’m not being as positive as I would have liked to be but after the runaway success of The Winter Soldier, I was expecting much of the same from the Russo brothers. TWS was close to perfect; the acting, the story, the pace. Unfortunately, Civil War struggles with pacing. The film works towards setting up the big battles – and also the personal battles – but it does so through a bit too much dialogue for a blockbuster.

Having said that, the Russo brothers have a gift for storytelling and they do a fantastic job with the actual plot, which is incredibly well-built and full of exciting twists and turns. I won’t say more for risk of spoiling the film.

Civil War may not be the adaptation we expected, but it is thoroughly good cinema that caters to the fans. The epic action sequences, the relationships that we have seen grow over the course of so many films, the characters who we continue to love as well as the new characters we will soon love, it’s all in there. And more than anything else, Civil War has certainly whet our appetite to see the Avengers back again in Infinity Wars.

Written by:

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 20.58.57

Louis Skye
Freelance Contributor


Michael’s Perspective:

Don’t worry, No spoilers here!

There’s a royal rumble in a colourful costume jungle! Yes, Cap is back to face his greatest ever enemy, in the form of government red tape. He must fight for the right to save the world, before he can actually save the world. Not prepared to sign any contracts or follow any rules, Cap and all his best mates’, crash bang wallop their way through the usual array of Marvel action set pieces, one of which, is an absolute must see!

Captain America (Chris Evans) is really up against it in this latest marvel instalment, you might need to see a few other entries to know who everyone is. Unless your comic book mad, in which case you probably already know. Not content with his new reliable best mate Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Cap is determined to get back his unreliable brainwashed war buddy, now known as The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). On top of all this, it seems he is refusing to do what he is told, resulting in yet another cinematic hero going rough.

Try not to get distracted by all this though, simply prepare yourself for the very first live action interpretation of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). His long awaited entrance is sure to be a memorable one, and it kind of is, he certainly gets a fair chunk of the films action. Joe and Anthony Russo have taken the Marvel Cinematic Universe to new heights, mainly in terms of action, which gets better with every film. But with so many hero’s being thrown at them from all angles, don’t expect appropriate screen time for all of them, especially as the number of hero’s is set grow wildly out of control in the future films.

Another highly anticipated moment in the film is the first appearance of the brand new Sony Marvel collaborated Spider-Man, and with two previous acts to follow, Tom Holland has got big webs to sling, and a lot of money to make for Sony. I think Spider-Man has finally found a place he can call home, he belongs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and fits in perfectly. Add to that a large chunk of the films humour falls on him. He needs a guiding hand however, which he gets in the form of mentor Iron Man. As Robert Downey Jr. is ready and willing to disagree with Cap at every opportunity, so then is Spider-Man, and as Iron man has already been confirmed to pop up in the Spidey movie, it’s no wonder they get on so well.

I really enjoyed watching this movie, it’s certainly a fun ride that moves along at good pace considering the topics involved. But as with all things in life, it’s not perfect, any plot twist’s the film thinks it has are a bit obvious, you’ll probably figure them out a long time before they happen. The films villain is not very impressive, and his evil plan (if you want to call it that) is even less so. Despite the film being vastly better than most other’s in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and despite any long term implications the film may or may not imply, I still feel like I’m waiting for Infinity War or something else, something bigger. The film feels like another building block in a building that should have been built by now.

If you think this films overcrowded with heroes, just wait because Marvel’s future films are set to get a lot busier. If you’re a fan of those heroes who don’t get their own solo films, then you better watch this, as there all jammed in there somewhere. This film clearly had some making up to do after Age Of Ultron underwhelmed everybody, mainly just by having virtually the same plot as the first Avengers movie. It truly is what the second Avengers movie should have been. It’s refreshing to have issues at stake that require brains as much as brawn. There’s a genuine dilemma as to who’s side of the argument you should support, so you best be prepared to choose, Team Cap or Team Iron?

Written by:


Michael Fraser
Work Experience Contributor


Michael’s Perspective:

An Avengers mission in Nigeria ends with civilian casualties, bringing yet further negative press upon the team. Stark, arm in arm with the US Secretary of State pushes for the Sokovia Accords, an international agreement that will place the Avengers under government checks. But while Stark pushes, Rogers pulls. The disagreement between Iron Man and Captain America is only worsened by the arrival of a polarising figure; the Winter Soldier

Civil War begins with a flashback, a decades old mission carried out by Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier. You’re told little and teased with the scene repeatedly before its meaning is revealed during the finale for maximum impact. It is indicative of the Russo bros handling of plot and pace. Slow down and you’ll spot the holes but the Russo’s zoom and dazzle you past any inconsistencies.

Cap is still the family rock, albeit showing some cracks of doubt and fatigue. Despite the show being in Caps name, Stark remains true to form and steals the spotlight. This time not for show-off ego antics but instead RDJ gives his most emotionally heavy performance as Iron Man yet.

The ensemble is terrific, again a testament to the direction and writing. Characters who only receive a handful of scenes turn out fully formed. It’s clear the players relish their character’s skins (and super-suits). The gang continues to grow with the addition of Black Panther and Spiderman. While the former was awaited with anticipation, the latter was with more trepidation. Thankfully, both performances are terrific and memorable. Faith may be restored in Spidey yet.

Pick the movie apart and you will doubtless find great individual components but Captain America: Civil War is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Bringing this property to the screen, arguably one of Marvel’s most important, must have felt like an unenviable task. The dialogue is meaty. Every point and counter point raised by the divided Avengers has merit. The disagreement comes to blows and initially the fights are marvellous. Every trick in the bag is brought out and, unlike the bonkers ending of Ultron, there’s no fear of becoming desensitised to the action. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt and the gravity of this split becomes massive and very serious.

If Marvel’s Phase 3 opener is anything to go by, the rest is going to indeed be massive and serious (hopefully not too serious). The culmination of a decade’s work so far, bearing in mind how the characters have gotten here, where they’ve come from, who they’ve all become, literally boggles the mind. Its highest highs out-measure its lowest lows and the Marvel Cinematic Universe truly has no comparison in the history of cinema.

In the wake of Batman V Superman, Captain America: Civil War rockets forth and upwards, miles clear of DC’s gloomy fog. As great as the performances and visual effects are, the praise must be heaped upon the direction of the brothers Russo for steering this goliath of a picture, clear of countless obstacles, safely home to the silver screen. The best balance of the Marvel ensemble yet, Civil War is epic.

Written by:


Michael Keyes
Silences Band
Full Contributor


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