This post is going to be chocked full of spoilers so if you haven’t seen Captain America: Civil War stop reading. You will ruin it for yourself.
Well here we are again, another Marvel movie and another round of back slaps and congratulations that the longest streak of great films has continued even further than anyone expected. I swear with each film the questions seem to be the same. Before everyone wonders if it’s going to be this film that breaks the streak and afterwards the question seems to be how long can we carry this on for. The answer: not long. While I throughly enjoyed Civil War and want to give it all the praise I can, long time cast members Robert Downey Jr, Jeremy Rennar and Don Cheadle are showing their age. When standing next to hulking specimens such as Chris Evans and Chadwick Boseman it would be easy to believe that it’s time for some of the old guard to retire. However, past that small sticking point, the cast brilliant with every actor reprising there roles perfectly and delivering the fun and vibrant performances characteristic of the Marvel Universe. It’s just a shame that the third act lets them all down.
The film works on a very definite three act structure to balance the frankly insane amount of plots and sub plots. Act one is the introduction of the Sokovia Accords and the search for Bucky, climaxing in a fantastic triple chase sequence as we see Black Panther try to bring justice for his fathers death. This is followed by the amazing act two as the two teams are assembled and prepare to face off, culminating in the airport battle, which is the high point of the film. Then after the pitched twelve super-man brawl we get a third act which serves to tie up more from Captain America: Winter Soldier than anything from act one and two. Don’t get me wrong, the Russo Brothers are fantastic film makers Adam every character, with the exception of Ant-Man and Spider-Man, gets a full arc through the story and the major theme of familial relationships is served well.
That being said, the final fight between Captain America and Iron Man has nothing to do with the Civil War debate and is instead centred around Iron Man attempting to avenge his mothers death. I guess this is just the year for heroes to act out of character due to reference to the death of their mothers, it’s all very Freudian, at least Stark’s mother isn’t called Martha. The individual character plots are incredibly strong throughout the piece but the overarching narrative can’t decide whether it wants to tell a ‘Civil War’ story or if it wants to finish the Captain America trilogy and so it manages neither perfectly.
In the films defence, it has to be said that the Russo Brothers were attempting the Impossible going into this film. Handling twelve different heroes, two of which are brand new and need some form of back story, whilst also trying to give a satisfying end to a trilogy of great films while also both paying off and setting up off Marvel films and paying tribute to the original Civil War comic book. Most writers and directors would run screaming from such a challenging prospect but while the Russos don’t manage it perfectly they do seem to attempt and manage each of those tasks to some degree. The characters are well served, the trilogy finds a slightly rocky ending, a few threads from previous Marvel films are tied up while others are set up and there’s enough nods and structural parallels with the original Civil War comic book for fans to get something out of the film. My point is, given what this film had to accomplish, it’s nothing short of a miracle that it manages to satisfy as well as it does. Then we get our new heroes.
Tom Holland as Spider-Man is exactly what the Marvel Universe needs right now, he is talented young blood with the ability to stick around for a lot of films. Holland’s Peter Park er is a little weak but endearing in a geeky teenager sort of way, but his Spider-Man is spot on and while he pales in comparison to Andrew Garfield’s performance he is still fun and steals every scene he swings into. While Tom Holland’s Spider-Man still left me wanting a little more from his performance, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther left me wanting for nothing. From his very first appearance Boseman’s T’Challa commands respect and authority in a way very few actors can, displaying a regal air with no hint of pomposity. The Panther looks cool and sleek, with fighting style unlike any character we have seen before, taking plays for more African forms of martial arts while also incorporating many cat-like movements. With a film not too far away, it’s obvious that Black Panther will be here to stay for a long time and could well become one of the strongest staple heroes going forward.
All together I enjoyed the film and would easily recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed the previous Marvel films. There is still a strong sense of banter and comedy running through the piece but it’s contrasted well with more heart and drama than we saw in Avengers: Age Of Ultron or the majority of previous Marvel films. This film, while imperfect, bodes well for the future of the Marvel Universe. Guess it’s time to start guessing whether Doctor Strange will be the film to ‘ruin’ the MCU but I have a funny feeling it won’t be.
…That was this week’s BearSleuth Opinion piece!!! This week’s Comic History 101 is going to be delayed till next week so check back on Friday for a new Covert Coot article!!!