#REVIEW: “CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
After many innocent civilians are killed in a botched mission, the United Nations decide it is time to create a governing body for the Avengers. Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sides with the government, while Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) believes the Avengers should remain interference free. And when the Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) sets off an international incident, the consequences ripple throughout the entire Avengers team.
Captain America: Civil War is a great Film period, but is also an extraordinary comic book film. Co-Directors Anthony and Joe Russo (who previously worked on Captain America: The Winter Soldier and are currently prepping for the Avengers: Infinity War two-parter) knock this one out of the park, and make you instantly forget any doubts you had after last year’s disappointing Avengers: Age of Ultron. This is easily one of the strongest and the single most mature Film in the overarching Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, dealing with accountability and consequences in a way that goes above and beyond the norm for this genre. The centrepiece airport battle scene between almost every single Avenger may go down as one of the most exhilarating fight sequences in the past decade. Believe me when I say the trailers have only hinted at how epic this sequence is.
While this globe-trotting adventure gets bogged down in exposition a few too many times, it manages to do an incredible job balancing its roster of characters. The Film packs in dozens of new and returning faces, but each of them is able to stand on their own no matter their length of screen time. The Film soars when it focuses on the camaraderie between Rogers and Barnes, but its quieter scenes with characters like Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen, still undecided on her accent) are even better.
But what makes the Film truly exceptional are the newest cast members: Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, Daniel Brühl as the villain Barren Zemo and scene stealer Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
Boseman gives the Film its heart. His T’Challa is an emotional, conflicted character who really drives the Film organically from his epic introduction all the way to the Film’s ending. His accent is perfect and his intensity is unmatched. I was skeptical of his solo adventure in 2018, but now I cannot wait. Brühl is his polar opposite: subtle, calculating and downright menacing. He does not get to do a whole lot in the Film, but his grounded and very real villain is something this series has never seen (and his motivations might be the clearest in Comic Book Film History). His Zemo is a departure from the character in the comics, so some hardcore fans may cry foul. That is, until they watch Brühl make a lasting mark on each and every single one of his scenes.
But the character that everyone will be buzzing about is Holland’s Spider-Man. His appearance is basically an extended cameo, but this take on the classic character we have all been waiting to see. He has a gee-whiz curiosity about himself, and Holland has a blast with the hilarious wise-ass quips he gets to throw at his opponents in the epic airport battle scene. It is crystal clear that Spider-Man was pasted into the Film after the Marvel and Sony deal went through, but you will forgive his erratic introduction after watching how wildly enjoyable his interactions with Tony Stark and the rest of the team are. Holland is an excellent choice and Civil War serves as a great, albeit very aggressive, tease for next summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Captain America: Civil War is nothing short of spectacular, and is a tremendous start to the summer box office season. The story is intense and deeper than I ever imagined, and it does a terrific job balancing its large arsenal of characters. The returning characters are great, but the new ones are even better. The airport battle scene is one of the best action sequences of any Marvel Film – and this Film is loaded with them. The real world consequences at the heart of the Film is something very few Comic Films delve into, but I hope its maturity suggests great things are in store for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR in theatres on Friday May 6, 2016.