Film Review: Captain America: Civil War

Eddie Goldsmith


Captain America: Civil War had a lot to live up to. It’s easily one of the most well-known comic book arcs and crossovers out there. During its initial comic run it played into the story of almost every single Marvel character aside from the X-Men. It was huge and amazing and I’m not actually the biggest comic book buff (don't tell Felix) but I remember it fondly so I had pretty big expectations for this film. And damn did it deliver if not surpass my expectations.

It was a really solid film and there was a lot to be happy with. It had the superb action choreography that has come to be expected, if not the best of any of the Marvel Films in the airport. A lot of memorable comedic moments - my favourite being pretty much anything with Bucky and Falcon - but my main takeaway from this film was that Marvel had finally developed a solid villain. They have always seemed to struggle to write compelling villains as seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron or any other MCU movie that doesn’t involve Loki. They all kind of seem to fall flat, but now you could almost sympathise with Zemo and you could understand his reasoning, a consistency throughout the film was being able to understand each characters motivations. Zemo finally achieved what every other Avengers film has tried to do in tearing apart the Avengers and getting them to fight each other, and he’s not even superhuman nor was he vying for superhero cliche of world domination. It illustrates much of what made the film great in its writing.

You could see the reasons behind Tony Stark and Steve Rodger’s conflict. Captain America has only ever wanted freedom and has seen what can happen when governments and politics get involved. Tony Stark is only trying to make themselves accountable for their actions which honestly I probably sympathise with the most. The fact that this movie has been able to garner so much debate on whose side is right means it did a great job. It delivered a more serious tone compared to previous films. The stakes felt a lot higher as if our heroes were actually in danger albeit from each other. No other Marvel film has made me feel as if our heroes might not 'win' in the end.

It did a far better job of illustrating the ambiguity and shades of grey in the conflict than the comic books did. If you haven’t read the main arc it’s great and I highly recommend it. There're many throwbacks in the film for fan service to the comics but one thing they did deviate the most from was Tony Stark’s character. By the end of the comic, it was much more black and white who was in the right and wrong with Tony Stark using actual villains like Venom to try and capture and hurt those on Team Cap. Here in the movie they still allow for those shades of grey and masterfully execute so many different story lines and plot points going forward.

Black Panther and Spiderman were bright spots for this film as I walked away being impressed with both incarnations of the characters. For a movie with so many different players and thus reduced screen time for each, they managed to introduce and have me heavily invested in the next Black Panther film in a short amount if time. 

As for Spiderman, it was the best incarnation of Spiderman I’ve seen to date. Tom Holland managed to nail it as both Spiderman and Peter Parker, but a lot of this comes back to the writing for the character which again is the biggest strength of the film. When it is juxtaposed with the recently released Batman vs. Superman film it just makes it all the more impressive.

Captain America: Civil War is so far the most important film in the MCU as it had to create a real and important divide of the Avengers. The conflict had to feel authentic in order to set up The Avengers: Infinity War, the movie that the entire MCU is based around. I can safely say that Civil War delivered on everything it promised to be and more, an excellent Marvel film that wasn’t afraid of a serious tone or challenging the status quo of Marvel films in tying everything off nicely in a bow. We don’t know what is going to happen with the team next and we don’t know who is safe, just leaving me wanting more.

4/5


Real life Bond villain Eddie Goldsmith has a passion for photography, movies, basketball and speaking in third person. Like most other sleep deprived 20-somethings Eddie's managed to find a balance between calm and collected to being one coffee cup away from never sleeping again. Writer, Editor, Generous Lover, Photographer and part time funny man I'm always looking to try my hand at something new.