‘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 was the first 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!
I attended the ‘Stars of Time Film and Comic Con’ at the Helicopter Museum, Weston-super-Mare the weekend before I saw the movie in May 2016. 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 later that year after it was shown at the cinemas. 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 am pretty thankful for. 😀
‘Captain America: Civil War’ stars Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. The film was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who had previously directed ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’.
The film also stars 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/Scarlet Witch and Daniel Brühl as Zemo. There are plenty more characters in the cast list with new heroes getting introduced.
At the time of seeing this movie at the cinema in May 2016, I hadn’t seen all of the ‘MCU’ movies that started with ‘Iron Man’ back in 2008. I’ve made up for it over the years with watching all of the ‘MCU’ movies featured in the first two phases and gain a clearer idea of the overall ‘MCU’ story arc.
It’s amazing to think ‘Captain America: Civil War’ was the first ‘MCU’ movie I reviewed on my ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog in its early days in 2016. I found the movie to be a thoroughly entertaining to watch at the time and if you’re a Marvel superhero fan like me, then you are bound to enjoy this.
‘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, it still made this Marvel superhero film really entertaining and enjoyable to watch on my birthday.
With that said, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ can be a very confusing movie to watch if you haven’t seen all the previous ‘MCU’ movies in the series. This movie continues on from where it left off in previous ‘MCU’ movies such as ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldiers’ and ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’.
This is the third ‘Captain America’ movie incidentally with the first two being ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ and ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ of course. I had seen ‘The First Avenger’ at the cinema and 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 one led by Tony Stark.
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 pressure being put on them and someone trying to tear the Avengers apart, ‘civil war’ ensues and you have to choose who’s right and 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 do what’s right to keep on saving people whilst Iron Man is on the opposite side of that. 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 this movie. It’s interesting to see from his viewpoint how he’s opposed to the Sokovia Accords, as he believes the Avengers will required for something important when the world needs them in future. How tragically true that is in the future.
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 against his own free will. He’s butting heads with Tony Stark in this movie, but he does it in a way that is 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 Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Bucky Barnes and Ant-Man for 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 this movie focuses a lot on Tony Stark, especially with his opinion of 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 and very often Tony doesn’t listen to reason, especially when Steve tries to tell him something about Bucky Barnes’ innocence and being framed. Tony also faces personal issues regarding the deaths of his mother and his father.
Scarlett Johansson stars as the Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in this. I enjoyed 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 airport during the movie’s second half. But when Natasha chooses between helping Steve and Bucky escape in an aircraft or not, she chooses to help them escape and stop Black Panther getting them. Very defining.
Sebastian Stan stars as Bucky Barnes the Winter Soldier in this movie. At the end of ‘Ant-Man’, there was a post-credits scene where Captain America and Falcon found Bucky. That was actually a scene taking place during ‘Captain America: Civil War’ itself. Trust me; I’ve checked the scene to be certain.
Bucky becomes a wanted man here, especially 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 gets 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 again with Steve Rogers. 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 it had to be waited for in the third.
Jeremy Renner stars as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in the movie. Hawkeye sides with Captain America in this 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 between the Avengers, especially when he had his wife and children to consider and had claimed to have gone into retirement. Jeremy Renner stated that ‘Cap was the first guy who called.’ That is reasonable. 😀
It was fun to see Clint/Hawkeye getting back into action and use his bow and arrows in the fight at the airport between two Avenger factions. Clint and Natasha still share a bitter of camaraderie when fighting each other and it was funny how Clint introduced himself to the Black Panther during a fight.
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 this through in 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 and arrested them saying “Congratulations, Captain! You’re a criminal!” It was also good 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 by Vision who was meant to be shooting Falcon in pursuit of Captain America and Bucky Barnes in an aircraft. Rhodey does get paralysed and I liked it when he shared his feelings to Tony about the Sokovia Accord towards the film’s conclusion.
Anthony Mackie stars as Sam Wilson/Falcon in the movie. It was interesting to see how Falcon started being a new Avenger along with Captain America, Scarlet Witch and Black Widow during a mission in Nigeria at the film’s beginning. He of course sides with Captain America for the ‘civil war’.
Sam and Steve had a huge respect for another especially in terms of their relationship when dealing with the Sokovia Accords and protecting Bucky Barnes. I get the impression Sam’s not keen on looking after Bucky as his friend, but he does so in order to support Captain America throughout this.
The movie also highlights Sam’s resourcefulness especially when he uses a robotic drone called Redwing to help during missions; fights and car chases. The soldier aspects of Sam Wilson as Falcon come through and it indicates why he is so loyal to Captain America on his side during the ‘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 that ‘Ultron’ incident.
In this 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/Scarlet Witch here. It was so intriguing to see how that gets developed in this movie.
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/Scarlet Witch in the movie. At the start of the film, Wanda is a new Avenger led by Captain America along with Falcon and Black Widow. She suffers guilt and blames herself when she’s caused destruction during the mission in Nigeria. It must be hard for her.
Clearly she’s taken to 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 was best to keep her prisoner at Avengers HQ to which she gets angry with him over.
The villain of the movie is Daniel Brühl as Helmut Zemo. He’s not a super-villain with super powers. He’s a Sokovian colonel-turned-terrorist who 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 it he was doing 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 back-story 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 his acts of terrorist 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 of course seeing Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man who makes his debut in the ‘MCU’ movie series. I found Tom’s performance as Peter/Spidey to be great and 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 in the film. She was in ‘The Winter Soldier’ where she was the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent under the code-name Agent 13. Sharon turns out to be Peggy Carter’s niece. This is a surprise for Captain America when he found 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 US 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.
The film also features 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 Starky, Tony’s mother. There’s also a funny cameo by Stan Lee as a FedEx deliveryman who called Tony Stark ‘Tony Stank’ when delivering something to him in the mail.
The action sequences as ever are great and 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. But at least the film addresses the consequences of people’s actions with those getting killed unlike Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’ films.
It was a challenge to keep track of where you are in the world with jumping 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 is so often the case with many latest movies.
The film’s climax was pretty intense and sad to watch. Tony Stark learns who killed his parents and that 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.
This apparently was what Zemo wanted by having the Avengers destroy each other because of personal reasons. It effectively damages the friendship Steve and Tony had for each other. Tony demands Steve to give the Captain America shield back, saying he doesn’t deserve it. Steve gives it back.
On the ‘Captain America: Civil War’ DVD, there is a behind-the-scenes sneak peak on the movie 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 and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
‘Captain America: Civil War’ is a very entertaining, epic superhero movie. 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 loves superheroes generally.
There’s a mid credits scene where Bucky is granted asylum in Wakanda by the Black Panther. Steve Rogers watches Bucky get 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 the web-shooters given to him by Tony Stark.
‘SPIDER-MAN WILL RETURN!’ What’s shocking is that I didn’t see that post-credits scene when I watched the movie at the cinema back in May 2016. And I’m a Spider-Man fan! How could I’ve missed that?! Ah well, no worries. I’ll see Spidey again in a few movies’ time during the ‘MCU’ film series. 😀
‘Captain America: Civil War’ rating – 9/10
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