The film is directed by Russo Brothers.
You wouldn't have to wait for a couple more years for the Avengers to team up for a movie again, since Marvel Cinematic Universe's latest flick that is releasing this week, has basically all the Avengers you want, with the exception of Thor and Hulk. However, they are replaced by new entrants, Black Panther and your friendly, 'never heard before' superhero, Spider-Man. The film is directed by Russo Bros., who gave us Winter Soldier, the second film of the Captain America trilogy and in fact, the best film of the entire MCU for me at least. Civil War is the third and concluding part of the trilogy, and, let me say it in the start itself, it is a TREAT to watch!
What's it about
Civil War is the culmination of the loose threads from the Avengers, Iron Man 3, Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron. Though based on a series by the name same, the movie is nothing like the series, except for the fact that Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and Captain America (Chris Evans) are on the opposite sides of a feud that involves all the superheroes found in the MCU (except for the green man and the God from another realm). The movie starts off with the new Avengers, led by the Cap (War Machine is missing for some reason here), landing in Lagos to stop Crossbones from taking a deadly biological weapon. Though they do stop him, the mission goes horribly wrong when there are civilian casualties involved thanks to Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)'s lack of control over her powers. Fed up with the collateral damage caused by their missions, the government, through General Ross (William Hurt), try to put a control over the Avengers. Surprisingly, Tony Stark supports the government's decision, feeling guilt over his role in the creation of Ultron, while Cap objects to giving control of their powers to some government agency. The team gets divided with War Machine (Don Cheadle), Vision (Paul Bettany), Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) supporting Tony, while Scarlet Witch, Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) siding with Tony. However, the rift is further widened when UN assembly is bombed and Cap's old friend, Bucky aka Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is blamed for it, with Cap helping him escape. Thrown in a vengeful prince of Wakanda or you know him as Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), a teen struggling with his powers and homework aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and a mysterious Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), who is looking into a mission of Winter Soldier's that happened in 1991, and we have pure comic book treat for two and a half hours...
...and we forgot Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)! Why did we forget Ant-Man? He is the best...
If I have to sum up the film in one line and make it delectable for you, it would be this - Civil War is a much, much better film than the previous superhero showdown released this year, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Here, there are characters we have known for many years, care about them - and now, they are fighting with each other, and we don't know who to root for! Both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are right and wrong in their own stands, and the screenplay provides enough moments to tip the balance in each other's favour. And that's what makes their final fight so painful! It is to the credit of the Russo Brothers that they have managed to do with Civil, what Joss Whedon tried and failed with Age of Ultron. Don't get me wrong - I loved Age of Ultron, but the purpose of its existence was to create a more intimate struggle with the heroes, however too many subplots spoilt the narrative. Unlike Ultron and even Batman V Superman, the film doesn't sacrifice much of its runtime to set up future projects (except for the end-credits that is...). There is very less fat in the film, despite the two and half hours runtime, and the film pushes you right into the conflict. Yes, Civil War is darker than most of MCU films, but that doesn't mean humor is sacrificed. In fact the film is fun thanks to the occasional banter and quips of the superheroes (not overdone as in Age of Ultron), even during the fight scenes, with Ant-Man and Spider-Man, along with Falcon getting the lion's share. The action scenes are brilliantly choreographed with the airport sequence, being the highlight of the film. In fact, that 15-minute sequence is in itself, worth all the money you have spent on the film's tickets. However, it's the final fight between Iron Man, Cap and Bucky that had the biggest impact on me, because here, the fight is so very intimate and personal that with each punch the superheroes land on each other, we feel the pain!
Although the film is crammed with superheroes, everyone gets a chance to shine in the film. Vision and Scarlet Witch have better roles that Age of Ultron, in which they were introduced, and their struggles with their powers as well as their feelings for each other are subtly nuanced. Falcon's camaraderie with Captain America is also developed, and his rivalry with Winter Soldier for Cap's attention is hilarious. Black Widow might feel sidelined in the plethora of characters, but if you observe closely, she can still see her internal dilemma as she is not sure whom to support. Even the returning Hawkeye has a brilliant conversation with Tony Stark towards the end of the film. However, the old players are upstaged completely by the new players in town. In his first appearance, Black Panther is a hero that could change the dynamics of the genre. Chadwick Boseman plays the Wakandan prince with enough regal poise and seriousness. His moves are terrific, especially his chase scene with Bucky and Cap. Tom Holland as Spider-Man simply ROCKS! Though it is too early to say if he is the best web crawler ever, there is no denying that this Peter Parker is what we always wanted in the movies. However, the man who simply stole every scene he is in and even the movie itself, if I may say, is Paul Rudd's Ant-Man. I won't say any more about his performance, because I don't want to spoil anything for you...Even the villain played by Daniel Bruhl, has motives that are understandable, and in fact, even emphatetic enough to not make us want to hate him more.
However the film belongs to Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan. This time, Robert Downey Jr is a very serious Stark (though he retains his quips in the Peter Parker induction scene), and the man bowls you over with his perfect performance, especially in the climactic portions. Sebastian Stan brings pathos and gravitas to what has been a one-note role in the previous two films. Chris Evans is Captain America! That's the best I could say about his performance!
The film is not without its flaws. It is not as cohesive as the Russo Bros' previous venture, the brilliant Winter Soldier, that had a tighter, far more seamless plot. Due to so many characters in the film, the presence of a few feel unwarranted, like Martin Freeman's government agent and Frank Grillo's Crossbones. Cap and Sharon Carter's (Emily VanCamp) romance is a rushed-up job, especially their kiss (though it provides with one of the best ROFL moments of the MCU). The villain's intentions and plans are not very easy for an average movie-goer to understand, to the point that he even feels it might be unnecessary to the story. But if you did pay attention to his dialogues, you will realise how seamless his plans were. Also DON'T GO TO THE MOVIE watching those spoiler-ish TV spots and clips, they ruin the movie's best scenes! The end-credits, though fun, doesn't spring any major surprises on you.
What to do
If you have been a Marvel Fan all along, go for it. If you have been a Spider-Man fan all along, go for it. If you have been a superhero movie fan, go for it. If you hated Batman v Superman for being no fun at all, go for it! In short, go for it!
4.0 out of 5
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