I’ll start by saying this is a FULL SPOILER REVIEW, meaning that through this review I will talk about moments and plot points.
Civil War is the 3rd Captain America film in the MCU. Coming into this, Captain America films stand at 1-0 with me with The First Avenger being one of my least favourite Marvel films and Winter Solider being one of my favourite. However I had really high hopes that the Russo Brothers could knock another one out of the park and let me tell you, they did.
The film starts with flash backs of the Winter Solider in his prime in the early 1990s. Starting with a flash back really wasn’t what I picked as the start of this film, especially one of Bucky as the Winter Solider. For me what this did from the start was pose itself as a film about Captain America and Bucky. I really had concerns that this film would just be an Avengers 2.5 but I can honestly say that the Civil War side of the film was really just an event that happened to be happening whilst the Cap and Bucky plot continued on from what was set up at the end of Winter Solider.
The first present day scenes we see are some of the Avengers performing a mission in Lagos. In this mission we got to see Crossbones for the very first time, then see him die several minutes later. For me, I wasn’t really holding any of the villains to high standards. Apart from Loki and the Netflix villains, for the most part they aren’t the greatest. On top of that, with this movie having a lot of emphasis on the Civil War aspect, I didn’t really wonder how the villains would be portrayed in the film. Essentially, the villains were part of the catalysis to drive the plot forward and even though yet again we didn’t receive the strongest villains, I thought they were used really well with the plot. Crossbones was only in the films for 10 minutes tops but his role of blowing himself up and taking down a building in the process was the main catalysis for the Civil War story line.
The other villain for the film was Zemo. I actually didn’t mind this villain as far as Marvel villains go. I like how they made him a lot like Loki in the way that he is never in the front line but instead manipulating everyone else and essentially is able to tear the Avengers apart from the inside. For the most part you don’t really care about what he is doing and you don’t understand why he is doing it but all is revealed at the end and everything really makes sense.
Onto the Civil War itself, after Crossbones takes out a building with some accidentally help from Scarlet Witch, the Sokovia Accords are written up by the UN and placed in front of the Avengers, stating that the Avengers will no longer be a private company but instead controlled by the UN themselves where they will deployed by the UN’s discretion. Coming into the film I was on Team Iron Man and after this scene I was even further on Team Iron Man. It really made sense to me and I couldn’t logically see why Team Cap would oppose the Accords. But this is what the film did so well. I started the film as being so deeply invested in Team Iron Man and why they stood for the Accords but by the end I completely understood the stand point of Team Cap and to a certain extent, agreed with freedom of the Avengers more than government control. I think part of why they were able to switch the mindset was how they got Iron Man to switch his personal mindset. In the end Iron Man was able to see the flaws of being under complete government control and evidently joined Cap and Bucky for the final mission, despite laws telling him he can’t.
Airport. This film now has given a completely new meaning to the word airport. I can easily say, this fight scene that we were teased so much with in the trailers is by far the best group action scene I have seen in any movie. It lasts for nearly 15 minutes and what makes it so amazing is how well distributed this scene is. Unlike most fight scenes, this sequence has a multiple of different individual fights within this massive war, and then it gets changed up and different people are fighting other people. I loved all the team combos we got especially with Iron Man and War Machine and Bucky and Falcon. The Bucky and Falcon vs Spiderman fight was one of the most entertaining moments of the whole film. Partly is because we got to see Spiderman in action, which I will talk more on later, but mostly because of how smoothly the fight flows and how natural Bucky and Falcon’s combination formed. By far that was my favourite moment of the Airport scene. A close second was Giant Man, something I completely forgot we were getting.
With this film we were introduced to 2 main new characters as well as the introduction of Antman into the Avengers line up. Firstly, I have to talk about Black Panther. We first saw him early as just T’Challa, the son of Wakanda’s King. I really liked how they portrayed T’Challa as himself without the Black Panther suit on. With the death of his father early in the film we got to see an emotional T’Challa which they were able to translate really well when it came time to unveiling Black Panther. Black Panther was straight out amazing. What Black Panther brings to this film is a hand to hand combat fighting style that we have never seen before. Everything from the way he runs to jumping between buildings to just kicking ass, everything looks spectacular to watch. The only other hand to hand fighters we really had before this were Black Widow and Cap, which at this point was getting a bit old to watch. I think that is what made Antman such and interesting character in his stand alone and again in this film. I really liked how they introduced ‘Tik Tac’ into this film. It was known that Scott Lang was a massive Cap fan so for them to essentially just bring him in without motives was alright with me. Theres a character that joined the fight whose motives were never explained which annoyed me but I’ll touch on that later. But the fact that they set it up that Lang is the sort of character that was use to going against the law and also turned out was a massive fan of Cap, it only naturally made sense that he would give his services to Team Cap. Now onto Spiderman. I can easily say with 100% confidence that this version of Spiderman is the best that we have ever seen. I was a massive fan of Toby McGuire’s portrayal of Peter Parker and I thought he did a decent version of Spidey. For me Andrew Garfield was a god awful Parker but when he came to Spidey, he brought the humour and the tone we have been looking for. Tom Holland has both sides the Spiderman as a character. We were first introduced to him as Peter which I thought was really well done. I like how early on they quickly tied Tony Stark and Parker together as a mentor/student type of relationship and it really worked. I liked how they were able to bounce off each other and how Parker’s nerdy characteristics really stood out against Stark’s intelligence. Moving on from that, Spiderman’s fighting style was amazing. While the physical fighting wasn’t much new to how we had seen in the pervious Spiderman films, I thought the nature in which he did it was something we have never seen before. He brought the smart ass yet genius Spiderman that we have never seen before til now. It’s only fitting that the characters that they introduced in Spiderman, Black Panther and Antman are in line to all getting individual movies, or a sequel in Antman’s case. Coming out of this film, you can see that the MCU is in wonderful hands and if they eventually plan to phase characters out and bring new ones through, they are never going to leave us feeling empty.
Something I really loved in this film was Scarlet Witch and Vision. In the comics we know that they do grow close and eventually end up together and I think that they have done an excellent job in starting to set these two up. I think what makes them so good as a pair in the MCU is their youth in relation to the other members. Scarlet Witch is the youngest of all the Avengers and is very much the baby of the group while Vision is the odd one out, being the only one that is not human, whilst at the same time present a really young and naive personality. I think their characteristics really do pair up well and I really loved the scene at the end of the airport fight where Vision goes over to check on Scarlet which and they apologise for their actions. I really wouldn’t be surprised that these has carried on strong and when we next see them in the Avengers Infinity War they are closer than ever and are able to produce a lethal fighting combination that is formed over emotion.
The ending to this film I thought was fantastic. This is when the villain Zemo really played his part in the film and everything started to really click. What I loved the most was how the flash backs we saw at the start of the film were so important to the final act as it reveals that the vision of Winter Solider in action was actually the death of Howard Stark. Evidently from this we saw what is one of the greatest 2 on 1 fights I have seen since Darth Maul vs Obi Wan and Qui-Gon. The way it was choreographed was amazing. Everything from the exchanges of Cap’s shield to way they were able to build punch combinations. It was amazing to watch. I thought the ending of this scene was great with Cap and Bucky winning the fight and leaving Iron Man to live. Going into this I was extremely convinced that someone was going to die. For a long time it was Rhodey but we soon found out it wasn’t, so all hands pointed to Cap or Bucky for me. But that’s the thing, after this fight I was alright with no one dying because the amount of emotion we saw going into these conflicts, especially this one, was enough for me.
There were however a couple of down points that I really hated in this film. And when I say a couple I literally mean just 2. The first was the kiss between Cap and Agent 13. First the first time we saw them interact together in the film they showed chemistry and I was mostly okay with it. I did think it was a bit weird seeing as Agent 13 is Peggy Carter’s niece and the basics for their chemistry was a bit odd, but I was okay with them building something that might form to something for that just a friendship. But there wasn’t enough building. It sort of felt like they had to back up the Widow/Hulk romance and had to produce something and I didn’t think it worked at all. The kiss however got one of the best character reactions of the film. The scene of Bucky and Falcon nodding their heads to Cap was hilarious.
The second thing I really hated in this film was Hawkeye. While it wasn’t Hawkeye himself, it was his actions which I though were in a way not very logical and a little uncalled for. First of all, him joining Cap didn’t seem completely right. Not that I saw him leading his services to Tony Stark but I wouldn’t think the Hawkeye would go against the government and Black Widow. The second Hawkeye heard the Black Widow was on the other team I thought he would of taken her side, especially with her side being the government. The other thing I really couldn’t make sense of in regard to Hawkeye was his reaction to Tony Stark entering the prison. After all the fighting and Hawkeye choosing to go against the government, he blames Tony? What really makes this uncalled for is the exchange between Falcon and Tony where they can respect that they are on different sides of the fence for this issue but Falcon knows Tony is not doing it to put the team at risk. With this it made Hawkeye’s actions seem really unlikely and it didn’t really sit well with me.
After first viewing, this is by far my favourite Marvel movie and one of my favourite movies of all time. This had everything that makes the MCU what it is plus so much more. It had a really strong plot line, some of the best humour Marvel has the offer, one of the best action scenes, as well as producing an ending that makes you more exited about the future of Marvel. I really loved how even after this conflict, the Avengers still are a team and while Captain America may no longer be apart of this team, his services are still going to be offered and required in the next Avengers instalment.