‘CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Captain America vs. Iron Man
This superhero film is better than ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’!
Back in May 2016, I saw the superhero movie ‘Captain America: Civil War’. It’s the first film of Phase Three in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ film series. I enjoyed seeing it at the cinema and found it a great movie to watch for my birthday back in May 2016. My birthday was exciting for me back then!
On the weekend before I saw the movie in May 2016, I attended the ‘Stars of Time Film and Comic Con’ at the Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare. I had a great time seeing Sarah Sutton (Nyssa in ‘Doctor Who’) at the comic con before going to see ‘Captain America: Civil War’ the following week.
I didn’t purchase ‘Captain America: Civil War’ when it came out on DVD/Blu-ray after it was shown at the cinemas in 2016. I had it given to me by my parents as part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe – Phase Three: Part One’ DVD box set for Christmas 2018, which I’m very thankful about. 🙂
‘Captain America: Civil War’ stars Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. The film is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, and they both previously directed ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’.
The film also has Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Don Cheadle as Lt. ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes/War Machine, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Daniel Brühl as Zemo. There are plenty more characters featured in the cast list with new heroes being introduced.
At the time of seeing this movie at the cinema in May 2016, I hadn’t seen all of the ‘MCU’ films that started with ‘Iron Man’ back in 2008. I’ve made up for it over the years with watching all of the ‘MCU’ films featured in the first two phases. I’ve gained a clearer idea of the overall ‘MCU’ story arc. 🙂
It’s amazing to think that ‘Captain America: Civil War’ was the first ‘MCU’ movie for me to review on ‘Bradley’s Basement’ in its early days back in 2016. I found the movie thoroughly entertaining to watch at the time and if you’re a Marvel superhero fan like me, then you’re bound to enjoy this one.
‘Captain America: Civil War’ is loosely based on the ‘Civil War’ comic book storyline that was released in 2006. Whilst I’ve not read that comic story myself and I know there are criticisms about it, I still found this Marvel superhero film based upon it entertaining and enjoyable to watch on my birthday.
With that said, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ can be quite a confusing movie to watch if you haven’t seen all the previous ‘MCU’ films in the series. This ‘MCU’ film continues where it left off in some of the previous ‘MCU’ films such as ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’.
Incidentally, this is the third ‘Captain America’ movie in the ‘MCU’, with the first two being ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ and ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. I saw ‘The First Avenger’ at the cinema and I vaguely saw ‘The Winter Soldier’ on DVD before I watched ‘Civil War’ at the cinema.
The story focuses on a turning point in the Avengers’ lives where their actions may have cost the lives of millions in previous movies. A set of political registrations called the Sokovia Accords causes the Avengers to be divided into factions, with one led by Captain America and the other led by Iron Man.
In many ways, this feels more like an ‘Avengers’ movie rather than a ‘Captain America’ movie. This should’ve been called ‘Avengers: Civil War’ instead of ‘Captain America: Civil War’. But with Captain America’s personal feelings and friends at stake, I appreciate why it’s called a ‘Captain America’ film.
If you’ve been following these movies, this is also a follow-up to the Winter Soldier story arc that went on in ‘The Winter Soldier’. Bucky Barnes returns, as he was once an old friend of Captain America and it seems somebody may be framing him to cause acts of terror within the whole world.
This movie is a turning point for our main characters in the ‘MCU’. With political pressures being put on them and someone trying to tear the Avengers apart, ‘civil war’ ensues. You have to choose who’s right and who’s wrong. Is it Iron Man for the Sokovia Accords or is it Captain America who’s against it all? 😐
Me personally, I’m on the side of Captain America, who believes they mustn’t give in to political pressure and they must do what’s right to keep on saving people whilst Iron Man is on the opposite side. The performances of the cast are superb throughout this movie, even as I saw it at the cinema.
Chris Evans is brilliant as Steve Rogers/Captain America in the movie. It’s interesting to see from his viewpoint how he’s opposed to the Sokovia Accords. He believes the Avengers will be required for something important when the world needs them in the future. How tragically true that is in the ‘MCU’.
There’s also a personal story going on for Captain America, as he has to protect his friend Bucky Barnes who seems to be used as the Winter Soldier again against his free will. He’s butting heads with Tony Stark in this movie, but he does it in a way that’s reasonable, polite and full of utter goodness.
Steve Rogers also loses the love of his life, Peggy Carter, who dies in the movie. It was nice to see the interaction he had with Natasha, who supports him personally, yet is on Tony’s side over the Accords. He utilises the help of the Falcon, Wanda, Hawkeye, Bucky and Ant-Man in this ‘civil war’. 🙂
It was also great to see Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man in this film. I was amazed to find Tony Stark in a ‘Captain America’ movie, as opposed to an ‘Iron Man’ film or an ‘Avengers’ film. Sometimes, the film focuses a lot on Tony Stark, especially on his opinion about the Sokovia Accords.
Tony feels responsible for the death of a young man that the mother blames him for during the Sokovia attack and devastation in ‘Age of Ultron’. He was also responsible for causing Ultron’s creation along with Bruce Banner. Tony is very determined to sign the Accords to pay for his actions.
It’s interesting how Tony and Steve don’t see eye to eye in this movie. Very often, Tony doesn’t listen to reason, especially when Steve tries to tell him something about Bucky Barnes’ innocence and with him being framed. Tony also faces personal issues regarding the deaths of his mother and his father.
Scarlett Johansson stars as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in this film. I liked Natasha’s character development in this movie, as she’s torn between the sides of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. She’s clearly a really good friend of Steve’s, but she won’t support him against signing the Sokovia Accords.
It’s easy to say there could’ve been potential romance material between Steve and Natasha, but that’s not how it works here. Their friendship is deeper than that, especially connecting to ‘The Winter Soldier’ when Steve feels responsible for protecting Bucky and she warns him of the dangers.
Natasha fights alongside Tony’s group against Steve’s group in the epic battle at the Berlin airport in the movie’s second half. But when Natasha chooses between helping Steve and Bucky to escape in an aircraft or not, she chooses to help them and she stops Black Panther getting them. Very defining.
Sebastian Stan stars as Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier in the film. At the end of ‘Ant-Man’, there was a post-credits scene where Captain America and the Falcon found Bucky. That was actually a scene taking place during ‘Captain America: Civil War’. Trust me; I’ve checked the scene to be sure. 🙂
Bucky becomes a wanted man here, especially with being framed for blowing up a Vienna conference over the Sokovia Accords and killing Black Panther’s father. He, of course, had nothing to do with it, but everyone thinks he did. He also becomes conditioned to become the Winter Soldier again against his will.
I like that he’s broken out of his conditioning later on in the movie and is friends with Steve Rogers again. The two share more friendly interaction between each other compared to ‘The Winter Soldier’. It’s something that should’ve been in the second film, but had to be waited for in the third.
Jeremy Renner stars as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in the movie. Hawkeye sides with Captain America in the film. He enters the film rather late in the second half when he goes to pick up Wanda Maximoff from Avengers HQ. He has to tackle Vision first when she seems to be held prisoner at Avengers HQ.
I’m not exactly sure why Clint chose to side with Captain America in this spasm among the Avengers, especially when he had his wife and children to consider and when he claimed to have gone into retirement. Jeremy Renner stated that ‘Cap was the first guy who called.’ I guess that’s reasonable. 🙂
It was fun to see Clint/Hawkeye get back into action and use his bow and arrows in the fight at the Berlin airport between the two Avenger factions. Clint and Natasha still share a banter of camaraderie when fighting each other. It was funny how Clint introduced himself to Black Panther. 🙂
Don Cheadle stars as ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes/War Machine in the movie and of course, he sides with Iron Man over the signing of the Sokovia Accords. It was interesting to see Rhodey’s reaction to the announcement of the Sokovia Accords. He clearly thinks it through with being an army man himself.
It was tense when Rhodey as War Machine stopped a chase scene between Bucky, Captain America, Black Panther and Falcon. He arrests them saying “Congratulations, Captain! You’re a criminal!” It was also great to see more of Rhodey as War Machine in this movie compared to the previous films.
It was a shock when War Machine got accidentally shot and paralysed by Vision who was meant to be shooting Falcon in pursuit of Captain America and Bucky Barnes in an aircraft. I liked it when he shared his feelings to Tony about the consequences of signing the Sokovia Accords by the film’s end.
Anthony Mackie stars as Sam Wilson/the Falcon in the film. It was interesting to see how Falcon started being a new Avenger alongside Captain America, Wanda and Black Widow during a mission in Nigeria at the film’s beginning. Sam Wilson of course sides with Captain America for the ‘civil war’.
Sam and Steve have a huge respect for each other, especially in terms of their relationship when dealing with the Sokovia Accords and protecting Bucky Barnes. I get the impression Sam isn’t keen on looking after Bucky as his friend, but he does so to support Captain America throughout the film.
The movie also highlights Sam’s resourcefulness, especially when he uses a robotic drone called Redwing to help out in missions, fights and car chases. The soldier aspects of Sam Wilson as Falcon come through and it indicates why he’s so loyal to Captain America on his side during this ‘civil war’.
Paul Bettany stars as Vision in the movie. It’s interesting to now see Vision as a character and one of the Avengers since his debut in ‘Age of Ultron’. He didn’t have much of a character to go on in his debut, since he was an android created with J.A.R.V.I.S’ artificial intelligence for the ‘Ultron’ incident.
In the movie, Vision of course sides with Tony Stark during the disagreement between the Avengers. But Vision is also torn between being loyal to Stark’s beliefs and the seeming love and affection he has for Wanda Maximoff in the film. It was so intriguing to see how that gets developed in the film. 🙂
When Vision fights with Tony’s group against Steve’s group in the movie, he’s clearly concerned for Wanda when she gets injured by War Machine during the battle. It’s probably why he got distracted and shot War Machine instead of Falcon. Or maybe it was unintentionally deliberate. Just a thought.
Elizabeth Olsen stars as Wanda Maximoff in the movie. At the start of the film, Wanda is one of the new Avengers led by Captain America along with Falcon and Black Widow. She suffers guilt and blames herself when she caused the destruction in the mission for Nigeria. It must be hard for her. 😐
She’s clearly taken by Vision who takes an interest in her, but she’s determined to prove everyone wrong that she’s not a threat to society. That’s probably why she decides to ally herself with Captain America when picked up by Hawkeye and she sends Vision down the bottom of the Earth to escape.
Wanda seems to have come a long way from being a threat in ‘Age of Ultron’ and she clearly has a compassionate heart. She deals with conflict from people around her, especially from Tony Stark who thought it best to keep her a prisoner at Avengers HQ, to which she gets angry with him over. 😐
The movie’s villain is Daniel Brühl as Helmut Zemo. He’s not a supervillain with superpowers. He’s a Sokovian colonel who’s a turned-terrorist and is obsessed with defeating the Avengers. A standard human. And dare I say it; I found his motivations as a villain quite peculiar when I saw this film again.
Oh, I can appreciate he was doing all of it to get revenge on the Avengers for the deaths of his family in Sokovia when it happened in ‘Age of Ultron’. But considering the short amount of time between that film and this one; how was he able to achieve all that and what prompted him to do it anyway?
I mean, we don’t get much of a backstory for him. He just did it when the Avengers caused the unintentional deaths of his family in Sokovia and that’s it. How was he able to plan all of his acts of terrorism within say, a whole year? He must’ve been a pretty fast worker to tear the Avengers apart!
There’s the debut of Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther. I didn’t know who Black Panther was as a comic book character when watching the film. I found Black Panther’s introduction in the movie very interesting, especially when he wanted revenge on Bucky Barnes over his father’s death.
At the time of seeing this movie at the cinema in 2016, I found it a very nice surprise to see Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man. This was the first time I’d seen Ant-Man in an ‘MCU’ movie before seeing his ‘Ant-Man’ movies. I found him really entertaining when watching him again for this movie.
For me, the highlight of this movie was seeing Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, who makes his debut in the ‘MCU’ movie series. Tom’s performance as Peter/Spidey is very good and I found him very enjoyable to watch. I wasn’t certain about the CGI eyes Spidey had, but I got used to them.
Emily VanCamp returns as Sharon Carter. She was in ‘The Winter Soldier’ where she was the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent under the codename Agent 13. Sharon turns out to be Peggy Carter’s niece. This is a surprise for Captain America in finding this out at Peggy Carter’s funeral. She’s still nice and lovely.
Frank Grillo returns as Brock Rumlow, who was in ‘The Winter Soldier’ and was the commander of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s counter-terrorism S.T.R.I.K.E. team. This time in ‘Civil War’ however, he’s become a masked terrorist called Crossbone. He’s only in the early Nigeria mission scenes of the movie though.
This film also features the return of William Hurt as ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, who was the army general in ‘The Incredible Hulk’ trying to catch the Hulk. He’s now the U.S. Secretary of State in this movie. It’s interesting how he comes back and he seems to be putting political pressure on the Avengers team.
There’s also John Slattery as Howard Stark, Tony’s father in flashback scenes and Kerry Condon as the voice of F.R.I.D.A.Y., Iron Man’s new A.I. And, would you believe it?! I was so surprised to see Martin Freeman (from ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy) as Everett K. Ross in this ‘Captain America’ movie! 😀
There’s also Marisa Tomei as May Parker, Peter/Spidey’s aunt; John Kani as T’Chaka, Black Panther’s father; and Hope Davis as Maria Stark, Tony’s mother. There’s also a funny cameo by Stan Lee as a FedEx deliveryman who calls Tony Stark ‘Tony Stank’ when he delivers something to him in the mail.
The action sequences are great and are well-directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. The fight scenes are intense and feel true to life as if you were in a political thriller. The film at least addresses the consequences of people’s actions with some getting killed unlike Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’ films.
It was a challenge to keep track of where you are in the world as the film jumps from so many places to another. The visual effects remain impressive and thankfully the action scenes don’t distract with you thinking that there’s too much CGI in one film, as it’s very often the case with many recent films.
The film’s climax is pretty intense and very sad to watch. Tony Stark learns who killed his parents, since it was Bucky Barnes. Steve Rogers knew as well and Tony goes out on a freaking rampage against Bucky with the intent of killing him. Steve Rogers stops Tony killing Bucky in this brutal fight.
Apparently, this is what Zemo wanted by having the Avengers destroy each other because of personal reasons. It effectively damages the friendship Steve and Tony had. Tony demands Steve to give the Captain America shield back to him, stating that he doesn’t deserve it. Steve gives it back. 😦
On the ‘Captain America: Civil War’ DVD, there’s a behind-the-scenes sneak preview of the film, featuring the car chase between Bucky Barnes, Captain America, Black Panther and Falcon.
The Blu-ray special features of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ are as follows. There’s ‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall – The Making of ‘Captain America: Civil War’, ‘Captain America: The Road to Civil War’, ‘Iron Man: The Road to Civil War’, ‘Open Your Mind: Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ – Exclusive Sneak Peak’; deleted and extended scenes; a gag reel and an audio commentary with directors Anthony and Joe Russo, writer Christopher Markus and writer Stephen McFeely.
‘Captain America: Civil War’ is a very entertaining and epic superhero film. You may find it baffling if you haven’t seen all of the previous ‘MCU’ movies set before this. But all in all, I found this is a very good action-packed adventure film that can be enjoyed by anyone who generally loves superheroes.
There’s a mid-credits scene where Bucky is granted asylum in Wakanda by T’Challa. Steve Rogers sees Bucky cryogenically frozen until a cure to his brainwashing can be found. In a post-credits scene, Peter Parker is visited by Aunt May in his bedroom before he examines his new web-shooters.
Spider-Man will return! What’s shocking is that I didn’t see the post-credits scene when watching the film at the cinema back in May 2016. And I’m a Spider-Man fan! How could I have missed that?! Ah well, no worries. I’ll see Spidey again in a few movies’ time in the ‘MCU’ film series.
‘Captain America: Civil War’ rating – 9/10
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