Directed by Anthony & Joe Russo
Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Produced by Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito and Stan Lee
Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Daniel Bruhl, William Hurt, Martin Freeman, Marisa Tomei & Stan Lee
UK Release Date: 29th April 2016
Plot Summary: Set directly after the unfolding disastrous events that took place in Age of Ultron, the Avengers’ careless actions and results of those actions have seriously been seen as highly questionable by the U.S government. So much so that a governing body, headed by Secretary of State, Thaddeus Ross (Hurt) feels its in their best line of duty to put in place safety procedures and a controlled system of accountability to oversee their future missions. Tony Stark (Downey Jr) is all for the idea, believing that the Avengers need to be put in check before any more damage can be caused. Steve Rogers (Evans) on the other hand, isn’t so thrilled by it, believing that government interference will take away their freedom to choose to do the ‘right’ thing. This causes a bit of friction between our two heroes, enforcing many other Avengers to take opposing sides…
Its been ten years since Civil War was first published as a graphic novel way back in 2006 to an unexpected world. And during that time it was a story that would go on to be joyously re-read over and over again by none other than Kevin Feige (producer and president of Marvel Studios) whom often day dreamed how amazing it would be to translate this to the big screen but felt it would be too impossible of a task. But as legendary film-maker Stanley Kubrick once said ‘if it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.’ And considering we’re now at a point in time where not only has advanced technology in film been made so readily available and with Marvel having embarked on such a long, mighty journey within the MCU, since it all started with Iron Man himself in 2008; bringing Civil War to the big screen doesn’t seem such an incredibly daunting task after all.
The Russo brothers have proven themselves after just two Captain America films that they now belong to a calibre of just a few hand-picked directors who are able to successfully juggle many characters, be it heroes or villains, within the same movie. Sam Raimi definitely couldn’t pull it off in Spider-Man 3, nor could Marc Webb with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But poor Zack Snyder unfortunately takes the full brunt of it with the disastrous follow up to Man of Steel; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earlier this year. But as bad as that film was, it also serves itself as the most relevant comparison to Civil War in terms of the plot and it’s main premise. You know, its that whole premise of two superheroes who have basically been looked upon by most (not all) of the population as true world saviours, only to now have truly ‘fallen’ by becoming a pair of warring enemies due to unforeseen consequences and unable to put certain differences aside. With Iron Man and Captain America at serious odds with one another after the legislation that Secretary Ross has proposed with the full intent of setting it in stone, has more or less led our two ‘protagonists’ into losing hindsight of what it actually means to be a ‘superhero’. With all this one on one battling and conflicting going on, its not long before we realise that the real villain of the piece, played with sneering brilliance and surprisingly embedded human realism by Daniel Bruhl, is the one responsible for turning both Stark and Rogers against one another via an alarming chain of events that ensues. Like Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, Bruhl’s baddie is very much a master puppeteer, always staying one step ahead and hell bent on ensuring both Cap and Iron Man end up destroying each other as a way of paying for the destruction they’ve already made.
The main difference between this and Batman v Superman really comes down to characters we’ve grown to love and really care about. Marvel have really taken the effort to establish these characters and bring them gradually together within the same film universe through careful precision over the duration of 8 years now. Bear in mind these have included a lot of solo outings for each of the Avengers too (apart from Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye). Whereas where DC is concerned, we’re being made to give a damn about both Supes and Bats in just one single film. It just doesn’t work. At all. There’s no emotional attachment to either of these super vigilantes and considering it was two and a half hours long, everything still seemed very rushed and with a number of scenes being really disjointed as well. Marvel Studios can feel rest assured that DC can be no match for them right now – that could change by the time Suicide Squad arrives later this summer – but in the meantime, they’re an almighty film studio to be reckoned with.
Another aspect that makes this film such a crowd pleaser and perhaps arguably one of the greatest Marvel movies yet, is a much needed injection of comedy and fun humour provided by Ant-Man (who, to my suprise, really enjoyed this time around) and of course Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man (he has it nailed perfectly, really the best on-screen Spidey we’ve had! It’s the truth) in one of the most eye popping, exhilarating and exciting action scenes I’ve seen in a comic book movie.
I may have been slightly disappointed by the ending, wasn’t quite what I wanted but everything else was pretty solid. I don’t think it quite beat my love for The Winter Soldier (such a hard one to beat in my eyes) but I liked it slightly more than Guardians of The Galaxy. And I totally dig that movie so that’s really saying something.
On a final note, is it bad that I’m anticipating the Black Panther film more than I am with ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’?
Rating: ★★★★ 1/2