Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Film Review No. 6 Captain America: Civil War (12+)

Strong Points:
Great pace
Awesome action scenes
Slick inclusion of other superheroes/villains
Twists and turns
Great acting from all
Nice character and emotional development
Clever references to other characters, films and pop culture
Superb effects
Great music and sound
Some actual consequences in the film
The Vision wearing human clothes
Clever ways of allowing the different characters to fight each other
Martin Freeman!
Stan Lee cameo!

Weak Points:
Early fight scenes seemed sped up?
As many answers as questions
Didn't finish - set up for other films
So much content - will need to watch multiple times!
Some characters storylines were rushed/thin on the ground
Bucky's metal arm shouldn't be able to block that many bullets
Some emotional depth may have been lost as the superheroes are needed for other films

Slight spoilers ahead:
In-depth Review:
Ah, consequences. They may not happen straight away but boy will they catch you eventually. That seems to be the idea of this film, as much political thriller as superhero flick. I'm going to try and not spoil much in this review, although some points will have to be addressed so you have been warned.

So the story opens with a familiar character for those who watched Winter Soldier. Yes, Brock Rumlow is back and has a new suit and plan, to steal something from the infectious disease unit. Of course, to deal with this, we need some fight scenes. The fight scenes themselves were extremely well choreographed and acted for this film. From the calculated and planned out opening sequence (Deadpool-esque), transitioning into a chase or a  stairwell scene with dozens of grunts versus Captain America and Bucky transitioning into, well, another chase scene but this one's with cars! And Black Panther, we can't forget about him. There are more fight scenes but we'll get to them later. One thing that the Russo Brothers did well with this film was getting the fights between the heroes believable in their causes. 

And these causes are both varied and questionable for both of the main characters. Tony, wracked with guilt over his involvement in selling weapons and Ultron (among a myriad of other things), wants to take some of the responsibility away from him in one of the best character developments I've seen. I mean, think back to the original Iron Man and look at him now! A chance opens up when Wanda accidentally kills quite a few people, leaving the worlds leaders to question just how safe they are with these superheroes running rampant. To battle this tension, they decide to set up a document which only allows the Avengers to fight battles they condone are right. Yes, this is just a tad questionable and as Cap says 'what if there is a fight which needs us but they don't let us?' (paraphrasing) but then again they also need to be kept in check in case one goes rogue and with the ever increasing numbers of superheroes... Ahhh! It's too difficult to choose a side!

This is the central story arc for this film - which side is right least wrong. And it's difficult, not only as more information is uncovered but due to the other characters also adding their own spin on the conflict. For example, The Vision (who looks awesomely bad in human clothes) is tasked by Tony Stark to keep Wanda housebound, an idea he thinks will help Wanda get over her fear of other peoples reactions but in actuality, it only made things worse and she switches sides. I won't get into any more character arcs but they are all mostly fulfilling except for maybe Hawkeye and Black Widow as they are used more to bounce other people off instead of developing their characters.

The actual 'evil' guy in this film is Zemo, a Slovakian terrorist who works behind the scenes to break up The Avengers team and it actually works really well, even if I was slightly confused as they had two characters who looked similar and didn't properly introduce either!

Big fight scenes are always great if done properly and this films signature one is just plain awesome. After gently introducing characters Black Panther, Ant-Man and a certain Spider to the groups they face off as Caps team tries to escape and Iron Man's team understandably doesn't want them too. Effortlessly switching between each character's fight scenes, the Russo Brothers outdid themselves with this scene, with surprises and humour coming from all angles as well as fan service a plenty. One of the best parts was saved for Ant-Man as he has quite a 'big' impact!

Emotion was also one of the prevailing and surprising factors of this film. Again, without too many spoilers, the consequences of some of the actions of the main characters were really well handled and given some actual depth instead of the usual 'everything's peachy routine' or 'they're just dead there's nothing you can do, get over it'. Instead, we see the characters dealing with the trauma in their own special ways, to great effect.

The special effects, sound effects and music were extremely high quality, just as we'd expect from a Marvel film. The Stan Lee cameo as well was great and more substantial than normal and we even had two post-credit scenes!

Conclusion: I found myself constantly changing sides throughout this movie, what with new information and opinions being revealed but one thing's for sure, I think the majority of people are now on Team Marvel. Can't wait to see how the rest of the universe turns out (and as this movie set up, there is quite a lot more).

Rating: 93%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

P.S. which side are you on? Comment below.

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