“Civil War does a fine job at being both fresh and entertaining”
Captain America: Civil War, the third installment of Marvel’s Captain America series, takes on more of the role of an Avengers film, being that the film surrounds about eight main characters. While many action movies housing a cast this large would struggle to spend enough time with each character, Captain America: Civil War actually does an impressive job letting the audience connect just enough with each character without taking away from the action of the film.
It seems that this year’s superhero films have somewhat of a theme: superhero versus superhero. Much like DC Comics’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Marvel’s Civil War pits hero against hero when the United Nations presents the Avengers with a document called the “Sokovia Accords,” which will establish regulations to restrict and oversee the activities of the Avengers. These accords seek to reduce the number of casualties that occur when the Avengers intervene. Tony Stark (Iron Man), played by Robert Downey, Jr., supports this legislation, but Steve Rogers (Captain America), played by Chris Evans, is very against it. The other members of the Avengers take sides and fall in line behind Stark and Rogers, thus creating a civil war amidst the group.
In all of the areas that Batman v Superman failed, however, Civil War succeeded. The Marvel film’s plot was straightforward and easy to follow. There was much less confusion and jumping around between characters and locations and issues. It was cohesive, and it worked. Where the former film’s script seemed amateur and childish, the latter’s was deliberate and natural. The only times I laughed during Civil War were the scenes in which the writers included premeditated comedy, whereas I scoffed more than a few times while watching heated conversations between Batman and Superman.
The film was not perfect though. The action scenes (which of course dominated the movie) cut away just a little too quickly and a little too often, which didn’t allow the audience to really see the power behind the punches, the swiftness of the kicks, the potency of the flips. Action movies certainly require a standard of action that is visibly accessible to the audience, but this film keeps the audience mostly blind to the heart of the activity.
While I enjoyed the plot of Civil War significantly more than the plot of Batman v Superman, it still was not that pleasing of a story. Good guys fighting good guys for two hours gets slightly predictable because the audience knows there’s no way a main character will be killed in this type of storyline, and when there’s no clear supervillain that the good guys are trying to defeat, it gets frustrating. For most of the film, I really just wanted the Avengers to stop punching each other and just hug it out.
The most enjoyable scenes of the film, however, were those that introduced Tom Holland as the new Spiderman, as well as the scenes that starred Paul Rudd as Ant-Man. It’s always interesting to watch a new actor play an infamous character like Spider-Man, and it was pleasing to see Holland do such a great job with it. Holland’s Spiderman is introduced in the midst of Peter Parker’s naiveté, which is engaging and comical. Paul Rudd is another definite fan favorite, and I could feel the beams of every smiling face in the theatre as he appeared on screen toward the last half of the film.
As far as superhero movies go, Captain America: Civil War does a fine job at being both fresh and entertaining and it undoubtedly sets itself apart from its other recent superhero film competitors.