It’s still early in the year and the comic book carnage continues apace after the ‘Batman v Superman’ gloomy, doomy destruction it’s Marvels turn and though this is a solemn affair it has its lighter moments and laughs too of which BvS was so woefully short.
It starts at breakneck speed with the superheroes working as a tight knit team in an action packed opening let down only by Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow clearly being a body double as they chase down a bunch of villains. But this is a physical precursor to the mental turmoil they are all about to be challenged by. So when the politicians decide to intervene , concerned at the body count from the climactic scene of ‘Avengers:Age of Ultron’ , it’s here that the cracks in the team of heroes begin to appear. Iron Man, happy to concede that they should be answerable to them, finds that Captain America is very much of the opposite point of view suggesting that political interference would jeopardise their independence. Throw into the mix the reappearance of the Winter Soldier, who instigates much of the initial action, but also the introduction of the Black Panther, the latest Marvel superhero to get their own on screen incarnation. Perhaps what is of most interest to Marvel fans though is Spiderman: mark 3 played by Tom Holland. With Sony having temporarily shied away from a third film with Andrew Garfield and ‘loaned’ out Spidey both studio and fans need not worry as, though he has only a handful of scenes, – a huge brawl between the opposing superheroes and one of the films funniest scenes with Robert Downey Jr – he brings a real joyful innocence to the role.
Whether you are Team Cap or Team Iron Man the plot really pivots on the dilemma each of the characters find themselves in which are further compounded by some emotional moments none more so than Downey’s Tony Stark in several moments throughout the film. As is so often the case with these films with all star casts it’s easy for some to not get a fair share of screen time and that’s true here but in fairness most get their moment to shine with Paul Rudd’s AntMan having his during an exhilarating fight. If anything its Paul Bettany who finally gets to finally step into the limelight having spent so many of the previous films as the voice only of Vision and here appears….. in -Vision (see what I did there?) painted head to toe in red paint but with Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther briefly hinting at his background it sets up what will inevitably be his own standalone film.
This is a Marvel film epic in scale with brilliantly thrilling action sequences balanced by a decent story making it an almost flawless comic book film. Fans can expect the usual staples, Stan Lee’s obligatory cameo and a mid credits scene though at the screening shown to the critics there was no credit scene at the very end (there is one rumoured to be in the film when released).
Despite the title ‘Captain America: Civil War’ this is in all but name either Iron Man 4 or Avengers 3 (less Hulk & Thor) and old Cap himself really shares the billing with Robert Downey Jr’s man of metal. Marvel fans will not be disappointed and at 147 minutes this is one of the longest films in the franchise but it has been so deftly dealt with by directors Joe and Anthony Russo that they’ve understandably been handed the directorial reins for the third two-parter Avengers film due out in 2018 & 2019 and based on this film alone it should be something special.