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article imageReview: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ delivers on the big things Special

By Sarah Gopaul     May 6, 2016 in Entertainment
‘Captain America: Civil War’ does great with its more worrisome elements, but loses ground on generally reliable aspects of the franchise.
Even though the team found a way to put their differences aside, cracks in The Avengers’ armour began to show in the last ensemble film. Superheroes no longer exist in a world in which there are no consequences for their actions — Batman v Superman recently dealt with similar themes. But who gets to decide when and where they’re deployed? And if they disagree, whose decision has greater authority? There’s a fine line between regulation and control; and while one may appear essential to co-existence, the other is a significant and probable risk. Captain America: Civil War addresses these questions, dividing The Avengers into opposing factions.
After another operation results in inadvertent casualties, the United Nations proposes an accord that would place The Avengers under the jurisdiction of a special council. Still reeling from the guilt of Ultron’s creation, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) concedes they require oversight. Conversely, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) sees the agreement as a slippery slope to relinquishing their will and becoming weapons of convenience. Standing on either side of the line, their supporters fall in next to them. In the meantime, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is being coaxed out of hiding by an unknown enemy and his retrieval becomes the first test of their disagreement. Determined to do what he believes is right, Captain America risks everything to save his childhood friend.
There are two key components to this picture that raised it above what is now becoming the humdrum of Marvel offerings: the incorporation of new characters and the superhero showdown. This movie introduces Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), as well as integrates Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) into the group. In addition to being the most intriguing aspect of the film, it was also the most worrying as trying to establish new characters within an already complex and crowded story can be a tricky endeavour. Fortunately, each of these personalities is provided an adequate introduction that effectively sets up their characters and whets audience’s appetites for future narratives. Black Panther has a larger role than may have been expected as this film also serves as his origin story to some extent. Boseman does an excellent job portraying the hero’s regality, intelligence and righteousness, all while delivering an authentic-sounding accent. Even more surprising is the depiction of Spider-Man, who is an uncommonly effective mix of jocular and awkward teen. Holland is quite impressive and he, along with Rudd, own many of the picture’s laughs. Consequently, Rudd and his roguish Ant-Man is undoubtedly one of the movie’s highlights.
L to R: Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie)  Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd)  Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Je...
L to R: Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in 'Captain America: Civil War'
The above-mentioned three characters join team Captain America and team Iron Man, as well as Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Winter Soldier, in an epic battle of heroes vs. heroes. Just past the midpoint of the film, those for and against the accord stand head-to-head, neither willing to negotiate their positions. As team members, they’re most familiar with each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which makes the fight even more interesting and entertaining. The action, which won’t be described in too much detail here, is peppered with some of the script’s best dialogue, certainly ranking this scene as one of the film’s best.
However as great as these elements are, this movie also has some significant issues. Guilt and animosity do not suit these characters — the gravity of their dispute weighs heavily on the typically more light-hearted narrative. In spite of the regular action sequences, the first half of the movie is resultantly rather dull. There’s a lot of talking and debating, including a very “grown-up” conversation between Rogers and Stark; though it’s not necessarily the chatter that makes the picture dry, but the lack of Marvel’s characteristic humour. Moreover, the ultimate villain (Daniel Brühl) of the story is a relatively weak one who serves as more of a plot device than a formidable foe. Even though this narrative is clearly secondary to The Avengers’ internal conflict, it still feels inadequate in the scope of the MCU.
Nonetheless the Russo brothers produce a film that is sufficiently entertaining, delivering big on the major aspects and slightly underdelivering on the generally more reliable elements of the franchise. Finally, it should come as no surprise that viewers should stick around for a mid- and post-credit bonus sequences.
Directors: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson
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