Captain America: Civil War, the newest entry to the long line of Marvel Cinematic Universe films. The film features Captain America and Iron Man facing off over the rules the Avengers should follow as well as the Winter Soldier’s accountability for his actions. The film itself features an interesting premise and stars a star-studded cast of superheroes and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and so forth. And that subsequently turns out to be the film’s major flaw: an over-stuffed cast of characters. The soundtrack, cinematography, and special effects are all fantastic and cutting-edge and manage to make the character-driven action scenes thrilling and emotional.
The film stars Chris Evans as Captain America who despite his remarkably small screen time still manages to get a few intense emotional scenes into the film. But this film truly isn’t really about Captain America, but is rather about Iron Man played by Robert Downey Jr. Downey Jr.’s performance is what truly drives this film, and manages to showcase some of his more dramatic acting that he never really managed to get across in any other MCU film. Scarlett Johansson also stars in the film as the Black Widow and manages to make the flip-flopping character interesting and compelling. Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier was in my opinion a lousy and annoying portrayal of a character who could otherwise have been interesting and compelling, but Stan’s grouchiness throughout the whole film shut down any possibility to be likeable. Anthony Mackie plays Falcon, one of the most lame of the Avengers, and isn’t exceptionally compelling on his own, but his screen chemistry with Chris Evans is great. Don Cheadle plays Iron Man’s Falcon-type-character of War Machine which much like the Flacon, is not a great stand-alone character but who has great chemistry with Downey Jr.
Jeremy Renner also makes a couple short appearances in the film, and has a handful of moments that makes the otherwise vanilla character more interesting and makes me hope for a Hawkeye film at some point. Chadwick Boseman makes his MCU debut as the Black Panther, which I think was really the highlight of this film. He made the character interesting, compelling, and ‘cool’. Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen play the Vision and Scarlet Witch respectively and manage to be the least interesting and compelling characters due to a mix of their monotonous acting and otherwise boring character-premises. Paul Rudd plays Ant-Man, and just like in his stand-alone movie he manages to be the most interesting and funniest of all MCU characters, but due to his miniscule screen time I was left unsatisfied. And Tom Holland makes his Spider Man debut, which is one of the worst moments in the film as Spider-Man continually throughout the remainder of the film kills the mood of action scenes wit his crappy one-liners.
The story of this movie is absolutely riveting and throws the audience on a mind-twisting journey that involves rooting for both teams throughout the film. The screenplay falters though, as it throws way too many characters into the mix leaving the viewer confused and unsatisfied with the lack of screen time of each individual character. Another problem that then subsequently arises is the lack of screen time of the movie’s ‘protagonist’, Captain America, who is really more of a co-protagonist along with Iron Man. It is also a little weird that major characters like Thor, Hulk, and Nick Fury don’t make cameos which leaves the movie feeling incomplete and the audience thinking ‘the film didn’t have money to hire them’. But enough with the negatives. The film had two of the coolest fight scenes in the MCU. One was when the entirety of the two sides clashes and each of the individual characters gets a few seconds to showcase their powers. This sequence is also complemented by Iron Man’s witty comments. The other scene being the emotional concluding battle between Captain America and Bucky and Iron Man. And though this scene may not have had the biggest effects or a large-scale epic feel to it, the scene was built on strong and powerful emotions that drove the characters and made for a truly thrilling scene.
The film also has astounding technical aspects to it. Most notably is the special effect team who absolutely stun with some of these epic scenes. As I said before, the clashing of the two teams is really amazing and this is in large part to the special effects. The cinematography for the film is also great and also helps build onto the already great special effects and make the scenes and fights even more thrilling and intense. The soundtrack for the music is also great and really shines in the big fight sequences where the full orchestral pieces really get to shape and form the rhythm, emotion, and drive of the sequences.
So yeah, it’s a great film, but it does have flaws with the over-excessive use of too many characters which leads to several of the characters fading into obscurity. The screenplay also seems to be unaware of which of the characters are most compelling as this Captain America movie is really carried in large part to the emotional developments of Iron Man. But in the end, the big fight scenes and great production keeps this movie afloat.
Best Part- Ant-Man
Worst Part- Scarlet Witch