CAPTAIN AMERICA : CIVIL WAR

Directed by: –Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Produced by: –Kevin Feige

Starring:  Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom
Holland, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Daniel Bruhl
 
Run time: –147 minutes (2hrs 27mins)
 
                         
 
United we stand, Divided we fall
 
2016 so far has been an extra-ordinary year for the super-hero genre. Ironically we’ve seen the calendar start off with a self-aware anti-hero with a dirty mouth and an extreme penchant for violence, Deadpool, which to many was a surprise hit. We finally got to witness Batman and Superman (Batman v Super-man: Dawn of Justice) duke it out on the silver screen for the first time. Unfortunately it ended up being the movie equivalent of the Mayweather v Pacquaio fight, all hype no substance.
 
This is the season where we will also witness the X-Men fight their greatest adversary Apocalypse, in an earth shattering encounter (X-Men: Apocalypse).  Michael Bay will try and ruin our childhoods with his second attempt at a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the shadows). We will see a squad of villains attempt to play hero (Suicide Squad). The crazy marathon will finally come to a conclusion, as Benedict Cumberbatch will try and enchant us as Marvel’s resident sorcerer, Doctor Strange.
 
 
The show-down we've all been waiting for !!

The show-down we’ve all been waiting for !!

Probably the biggest one of them all is Captain America: Civil War that is loosely based on Mark Millar’s and Steve McNiven seven issue limited series “Civil War” which sees the Marvel heroes engage in super hero warfare.  Given the fact Marvel doesn’t own the film rights to all its characters it would be very difficult for the studio to translate the action from this classic Marvel event to the big screen.  The Russo Brothers return from the excellent Captain America: Winter Soldier, which for many has been hailed as the best Marvel studio picture to date, to direct this epic in hopes to perfectly round off the Captain America trilogy of movies and kick start phase three of the Marvel cinematic universe. The question we must ask ourselves now, does this movie deliver the goods where Batman v Super-man: Dawn of Justice, a conceptually similar film failed to do so?
 
Are you with Team Cap ?

Are you with Team Cap ?

The film shows a world that is growing weary of the actions of the Avengers as their ‘heroics’ are also causing casualties.  The film starts with the titular character (Chris Evans) and his Avengers teammates- Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and War Machine (Don Cheadle) attempt to stop a terrorist attack in Lagos, Nigeria which results in collateral damage.
 
 
Or are you with Team Iron-Man ?

Or are you with Team Iron-Man ?

 
The government, led by the secretary of state, Thaddeus ‘Thunder Bolt” Ross (William Hurt) pressure the current members and former members of the avengers like Tony Stark/Iron-Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and the Vision (Paul Bettany) into signing the Sokovia Accords: A document named after the city that was destroyed in The Avengers: age of Ultron. The document plans to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. This proposed bill naturally causes a rift between the team and creates two camps.One led by Steve Rogers/Captain America who openly acknowledges that can’t save everyone but they should remain free to defend humanity as much as they can without interference from the government.

 

Cap America 05

 

The other camp is led by Tony Stark aka the Iron-Man (Robert Downey Jr.) who is surprisingly supporting the decision to support the government oversight and accountability. Its kind of ironic as Iron-Man prior to this point in the cinematic universe has always fought the government from confiscating his suits. This change of heart has come as a result of post traumatic stress disorder and the fact that he feels responsible Ultron’s creation and Sokovia’s destruction.

The real catalyst to the conflict arrives in the form of Bucky Barnes/ The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).  After a further terrorist attack is pinned on Captain America’s best-friend-turned-assassin. Cap is instructed to leave the situation alone but refuses to listen and attempts to help his old friend, which turns him into a fugitive and leads to a civil war between the heroes. Whilst all this is happening a mysterious new villain named Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) is searching for key information tied to Bucky’s past as an assassin. Lets start with the positives. Oh boy there is a lot to talk about.
 
 
 
 
 
 
PROS
 
  •  The film balances the conflict extremely well. A concern of mine was that this film would only see the war from Captain America’s perspective and would paint Iron-Man as the villain. The Movie also spends a considerable amount of time showing us Iron Man’s and the other heroes reasoning for supporting or dismissing the accord and it makes us think about the avengers actions and their consequences. One camp believes that being controlled by the government, people whose agendas change will essentially turn the avengers into living weapons of the government.  The other camp believes that they shouldn’t have the right to roam into other countries unless authorized to do so as they fear that their appearance will most likely add further complications.  It is intriguing that the film presents two sides of the argument very well and it doesn’t make this element of the plot black and white, which is a refreshing change of pace as far as Super-hero films go.
  • Civil War boasts some of the greatest action sequences seen in a film to date. Its gritty, fast, exciting and it keeps viewers on their toes. Special mention goes to the big showdown between team Iron-Man and team Cap that will go down the annals of time as one of the greatest if not greatest Super-hero fights on screen. What makes it better is that its truly feels personal and its hard to pick a side because we’ve seen these characters develop and grow into the team they are and it’s sad to see them fight each other in that manner. The big scene even manages to have a bit of humor, which I was not expecting. That makes the skirmish more memorable and it puts that ‘fight’ Batman & Super-Man had to shame (a topic for another day).  
  •  This movie has the honour of introducing us T’Challa, The Black panther (Chadwick Boseman), who steals almost every scene he appears in. Chadwick Boseman gives us a powerful performance as the Warrior prince of the fictional African country, Wakanda. He doesn’t come off as a caricature of a tribal warrior, but he presents himself as a man who is diplomatic, deadly and extremely charming. Lads be warned, your ladies will be purring for the panther by time they are done watching this movie. His appearance has got me really excited for his solo outing in 2018.
  • The film also introduces us to a new version of Spider-Man. Tom Holland without a shadow of a doubt already eclipses Tobey Macguire and Andrew Garfield as the best iteration of the web-slinger in his short but sweet appearance.  His predecessors got one aspect of the character right whilst sacrificing the other. The former got the fact that Spidey had a cheeky mouth with a tendency to make funny quips at his enemies’ expense. The latter was only good at portraying Peter-Parker as he got the nerdy kid down on his luck aspect down.  Holland who plays a significantly younger version of the character and has both aspects of the character down and makes him infinitely more like the relatable character that we all love. His short appearance has definitely got me interested in next year’s film Spider-Man: Homecoming.
  •  One of the surprising things that came out of this movie was how funny it was at certain times. Given the tone and seriousness of the situation that the heroes face in this chapter, I thought the film would lose a lot of its Marvel charm and humour but the Russo brothers have managed to keep it intact which is a feat in itself. If anything I think it’s definitely funnier than the previous Captain-America film, which is strange but marvelous when you think about it. I’m putting it on record that Paul Rudd’s sophomore outing as the Ant-Man had me in stitches throughout the film and was a personal highlight of the experience.
  •  Even though he is not one of Marvel’s iconic villains Helmut Zemo, who is portrayed by Daniel Bruhl, is probably the best Marvel villain in the cinematic universe next to Tom Hiddlestone’s Loki (Thor, Thor: The Dark World & The Avengers). He is not going to amaze you with super powers or abilities, as he has none. He is not going to leave you at awe with theatrics and comedic timing nor does he have the sultry voice that Ultron possessed, but his motivation is understandable and so human that if the viewers were put in that same situation you’d empathize with him.
 
 
Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man swings into action !

Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man swings into action !

 

 
CONS
 
  • Despite their somewhat decent but not entirely accurate portrayal of Lagos state, the way people in the movie pronounced Lagos state in Nigeria annoyed me a little. This is probably because I was born and raised in Lagos, so it comes off as a nit pick rather than an actual criticism.
  • The movie slows down a bit before the big fight but one must notice that it was necessary for the plot and character development. This problem is also diminished due to the fact that the Marvel humour and charm is present in those moments as well so the wait isn’t all that bad.
  • This point is not really a criticism but just a point to note, With the exception of the new comers and Paul Rudd whose performances were excellent, everyone played their roles extremely well but a part of me feels that they didn’t really lift up their game, maybe it’s a result of them being a little too comfortable with their alter-egos or maybe we are a little too familiar with the characters at this point. 
  •  If you are new to watching Marvel studio films, I must inform you that this is not a great movie to start your marvel cinematic universe experience as there are a lot of characters to keep track off and the movie assumes that you have already seen a lot of the movies prior to this particular flick.

 
let's settle this !!

let’s settle this !!

Captain America: Civil War, rounds of the Captain America trilogy with a bang and has gotten me really excited about where Marvel studios will go next as it gives the viewers an engaging, thought –provoking, nail-biting and ultimately fun summer blockbuster that you cannot afford to miss.  
 
 
 
wokers-seal-of-approval
 
 
 

Category: Hollywood, Reviews
Olisa Nwokedi
About The Author
- Olisa is an Aberystwyth University law graduate and Fordham University School of Law Masters graduate who was admitted into the Nigerian Bar in July 2016. He enjoys playing and watching rugby, writing, watching movies, playing video-games and Shark wrestling.......... that last part was fiction.