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Review: Captain America 3: Civil War

One advantage of living in the UK is that we seem to be blessed with Marvel Studios’ movies an entire week before our neighbours across the pond, and having seen every one of these films since Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, the idea of changing the formula and having these heroes fighting each other instead of some boring villain (as apart from Loki the MCU has a track record for lacking a villain of any substance) and having the heroes fight among themselves would seem fresh were it not that Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice had not come out last month. The UN come to the stunning realisation that maybe these superheroes should have some people making sure they are not doing anything bad and Captain America (Chris Evans) thinks this is an unacceptable proposition, while Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) thinks that maybe they have a point,causing other superheroes to take sides and ultimately fight in what is the film’s most stunning action set-piece taking place, as shown in trailers, set in an airport.

To give context, I think that Captain America 2 as well as Ant-man were both overrated, while I believe the second Avengers outing did not receive all the credit it deserved, having stellar action although it had some dodgy moments of setting up other films. I went into Captain America 3 trying to avoid as much promotional material as possible, and I was excited to see my favourite Marvel heroes beating the living daylights out of each other.

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Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) squaring off with words. If you have seen any trailer you know they do not end up agreeing.

The film is great, with the multitude of characters being well-acted and fun to watch, especially the moments of Spider-man (Tom Holland), Ant-man (Paul Rudd) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), despite the brevity of their moments in the film, they still offer very memorable moments, including some of the best in the MCU. Chris Evans gives a performance I consider to be fine, not bad by any means but perhaps not as compelling as the film would want it to be, and during his endless conflict with Robert Downey Jr, who is always a great performer, the moments of conflict dialogue sometimes fell flat.

The film is directed by the Russo brothers, and their direction throughout the action feels very grounded in fights between a few heroes and soon goons or a villain, and it offers the grand scale and feeling of magnitude during the one great fight scene between all heroes at an airport. However some of the scenes of dialogue, including key talks between Iron Man and Captain America (out of costume of course) feel rather flat, lacking the intensity that the film may have benefited from otherwise.

The film has another plot line running through it, with the presence of James ‘Bucky’ Barnes (Sebastian Stan) also causing Captain America to be on the run as Bucky is framed for murder, and Cap wishes to clear his name during all the in-fighting going on among Earth’s mightiest heroes. The film almost splits into two, one half being Avengers 3: Civil war, and the other half being Captain America 3: Blathering about with Bucky. Although these two storylines are combined very nicely, Bucky’s blathering was less interesting than the civil war; although the ending of the film and the combined ending of the two arcs were very neatly handled, offering a satisfying conclusion while setting up for future films.

Although the film does have a few flaws, I think that it is great fun to watch and well worth your time, even if you have not seen some of the previous marvel films, a quick google search or a chat with someone who vaguely knows what is going on will remedy those problems quickly, however the film does not hold an unknowing audience member’s hand. But the film will still be enjoyable nonetheless, even if you are lost at some occasions.

★★★★☆