DIR: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo • WRI: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely • PRO: Kevin Feige • DOP: Trent Opaloch • ED: Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Schmidt • DES: Owen Paterson • MUS: Henry Jackman • CAST: Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans
Finally the beginning of Marvel’s Phase Three is upon us in the shape of Captain America: Civil War. The plot begins with a mysterious prologue of The Winter Soldier on a ‘routine’ mission’. Jump forward to now and we meet the Avengers, minus some members, on a mission to prevent terrorists from stealing germ-warfare nasties from a lab in Africa. Though they save the day, collateral damage causes the death of innocents, thanks to Scarlet Witch shifting an explosion that might have killed Cap.
All this results in a call for more government control on the Avengers thus starting a rift amongst the group regarding what their role is as a ‘super-fight-the-bad-guys’ group – Cap, wary of being told what to do by government higher-ups and Iron Man all for the initiative due to his own trauma at being responsible for the inadvertent death of a little boy. In the mix of this and the true catalyst for the later conflict is Bucky aka The Winter Soldier, whom Cap believes innocent but most everyone else deems a terrorist nasty. Skulking around in the background is a Machiavellian mystery man helping things along.
Enough plot details. The latest and already the greatest in the fan’s eyes, CA:CV moves along at a brisk pace, the effects are fantastic and the superhero line-up is the best we have seen since Avengers Assemble. Bottom line, CA:CV is an entertaining film with some great action sequences. The obvious stand-out being the super hero mash-up that already has people citing the old ‘ticket-price-alone’ cliche. The introduction of Spider-Man and Ant-Man so that they can take part in this melee is a mix of forced and lazy plot contrivances but who cares it’s Spider-Man and Ant-Man. For all its ‘serious’ world political nods, this is about super good guys beating each other up. If that’s your bag, this is indeed the greatest film ever made.
One interesting thing about this movie to my mind is that it redefines the term sequel. On the surface, it’s a sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier but it’s also a sort of sequel to Avengers: Age of Ultron, at least from the perspective of Vision and Scarlet Witch. A side movie for Ant-Man, an intro movie for the Black Panther, not to mention a reboot nod for Spider-Man. You could even say it’s a sequel to Iron Man 3 given that it has strong continuity references to that film. My head hurts.
So is it the Marvel masterpiece as we have been hearing? Should the word “masterpiece” even be used when describing a film where super-powered individuals, some in disguises, knock two tons of tar out of each other as they learn to re-evaluate their values over the course of a two-hour plus movie? I think I’ll leave that one to the academics.
12A (See IFCO for details)
Captain America: Civil War is released 29th April 2016