Effectively the film is about four characters; Captain America (Steve Rogers), Ironman (Tony Stark), Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes), and Black Panther (T’Challa), driven by a misunderstanding, a Hydra experiment, the fear of power and differing views of safeguarding the world. The lead up to Civil War with the previous MCU films sets the stage for the fracture between Ironman and Captain America and why after being united for so long they are divided in their views of how their powers should be used. Not just an action blockbuster that satisfies with memorable fight sequences, Civil War raises the emotional stakes and compels the viewer with its treatment of the multiple characters featuring in the film. A definite worthwhile watch.
Beyond the four main ‘heroes’ featured, there is the main antagonist, Zemo. While not featured as a key character driving the events in the film, Zemo serves as a necessary reminder to the Avengers of the effects their actions have on the larger world, on the people they are meant to protect. Zemo’s inclusion in the story was a strikingly smart move by the writers, because not just does he represent a reflection of the Avengers mistakes, but he substantiates the events that occurred in the previous films, in particular Avengers: Age of Ultron. The subtle nature in which Zemo goes about trying to exact his revenge on those responsible for his pain sets him apart from the usual superhero villain we see. Zemo isn’t just forced into the role of being the antagonist, but is instead conveyed as a character whom has a genuine reason for committing the acts he has done. While Zemo’s actions may not be “right”, the audience comes to understand the rationale behind why and despite his lacking presence as a main antagonist, he is a completely memorable character in how he adds to the overall events in the film that focuses on the conflict and fracture between Captain America and Ironman.
Now, Civil War does stand as an Avenger 2.5 with the multiple Avengers characters featured, but after watching the film I get why Civil War is attached to Captain America. Captain America is the star of the film more so than any other character, he drives the events in the film and gets the most focus in trying to stop something really bad from happening. His actions compel other characters to react and the decisions he makes at the end of the film help set the stage for future Marvel Films.
In regards to some of the multiple characters featured in the film, I am so glad Ant-Man/Giant Man and Spider-Man were included in the cast. Those two characters add a much needed mellow and energetic feel to the tense events in the film, in particular the massive Leipzig/Halle Airport battle scene. The lighter tone their characters bring definitely balanced out the seriousness and complimented it at the same time. That airport battle scene could have been a mess, it could have failed completely and fallen flat on its head with the viewers being lost in the action, but thanks to way each of the characters were presented and handled by Marvel Studios, a bunch of personality is injected into the battle balancing out the chaos. Every single character featured in that battle was highlighted in some manner or form and not just through their fighting capabilities, but in how they react to the other characters they are facing off against. As a result, we as viewers are forced back into looking at the battle as not just an action sequence but an event which drives the story and means something to the characters involved.
One point which I cannot go further without mentioning, Bucky and T’Challa were phenomenal. While the film was about the story of Tony and Steve, Bucky and T’Challa featured just as much serving key roles in driving the story and setting the stage for future MCU films. Given the manner in how Civil War introduces T’Challa and the importance of his character, I cannot wait for the Black Panther film coming out in 2018. T’Challa was given room to develop as both a super hero and a King. The events in the film highlight both the strength and wisdom in T’Challa’s actions and choices; once he realised the darkness within himself he became aware of how consumed by it he had become. This allowed T’Challa to take a step back from his limitations and view the events unravelling around him in a much larger perspective.
As for Bucky, what an absolute badass. The struggle between being a Hydra weapon and a man he has forgotten allows his character to transition from being an antagonist in the previous Captain America film to a character seeking redemption. Bucky isn’t given much reason to believe in the good inside himself but thanks to the persistent efforts of Steve helping remind Bucky of the man he was and can still become, Bucky finds the motivation to want to be redeemed. While Bucky may not be able to return to being who he was in the past, he finds life in the relationship he has with Steve.
A short mention to the other characters, wonderful job Marvel has done highlighting Falcon and what he can do. Personally, I wasn’t much of a Falcon fan before but with Civil War, the way he is handled has certainly changed my impression of him being an actual Avenger. He was quite badass in this film. Black Widow may not have featured strongly in the film, but her action sequence at the start was fantastic and exhilarating. The brutal nature in how she disposed of her opponents was a spectacle. Also looking forward to seeing Wanda and Vision’s relationship furthering developing, especially with Vision now being compelled by his “love” for Wanda, a completely foreign emotion to him. Hawkeye may be a grossly underrated character, but he is exceptionally cool. War Machine was
Iron Patriot War Machine.
The way the writer’s handled all the featured characters stories and developed them fleshed out not only their larger role in the MCU but also the conflict between Iron man and Captain America. None of the characters fighting were wrong per se, they all fought for what they believed was right based on past experiences and events. Overall, Civil War completely impressed in story, action, emotion and superhero goodness. Which is why Civil War became the first film I have went out of my way to see again in the cinemas.
Enjoyment level: 9.5/10