Film review – Captain America Civil War

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CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR

Marvel action caper that sees The Avengers move into more mature territory following on from the raucous fun of Deadpool and Ant Man. Starring Robert Downey Jr and co.

Batman Vs Superman may have been boring, CGI-heavy and ridiculously overblown, but while it undoubtedly stunk the place out it looks to have achieved one thing, namely to make the Marvel Universe that little bit more believable, a touch darker and a lot more serious than usual .. and that can’t be a bad thing, can it ?
After countless movies and more reboots than Imelda Marcos, the whole comic-book-movie thing has been creaking for a while now .. or is it just me ? Given that Marvel are hell-bent on releasing three or four movies a year for the next two decades, I know they’re popular but there’s more to life than watching a real life cartoon, isn’t there ?
I’ve gone on record before in stating that I prefer Batman’s broken man-child reality to any number of mutations and super-powers and that includes the gloomier, grimey world of Gotham compared to the shiny, spangly Stark Towers – or whatever that glorified heli-pad is called …

But Civil War has reigned in my cynicism.
This is actually a decent movie that held my attention from start to finish. There’s a proper plot, a detailed storyline, plenty of character arcs, real development not only of individuals and their backgrounds, but also a genuine growth of the group dynamic.
Or should I say groups dynamics, given there’s a civil war about to break loose ?

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If you’ve seen the trailer you’ll know there’s an epic face-off at some point, and yet an hour into the movie and I’d kind of forgotten all about it, I was so engrossed with the sci-tech stuff about there being more than one winter soldier out there. Those weird pouches of blue blood, the Hydra graphics all over the place, the Iron Curtain subterfuge .. it’s all very cold war .. literally.

Another baffling bit in the trailer was the appearance of Spiderboy. Well, he’s in the outfit and he looks about twelve so that’s who it must be, right ?
I don’t know how many TV show, cartoons and films there have been in Spidey’s illustrious on-screen career so far, but there’s been at least four proper reworkings of the original comics as far as I can remember. And yet here he is, being introduced to the rest of the gang as a completely new character seemingly scouted by Tony Stark himself – the old scoundrel flirting with Aunt May as he waits for the arachno-kid to come home from school.

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This is my problem with the Marvel universe : there’s more versions of it than Trigger’s broom.
I know, I know .. money.
You don’t have to think too hard to work out why they keep a-comin’ ..
Plus Stan Lee is obviously going for the record number of cameos in a movie franchise – though for once his line in this particular picture is an absolute killer and one of a handful of moments when you’ll laugh out loud, with Paul Rudd as Ant Man unsurprisingly providing most of the others.

Civil War ? Well, yes – there is a very definite rift in the group.
It all boils down to whether or not the members of The Avengers agree to sign a treaty effectively disbanding them unless called upon by the United Nations.
Half the gang feel it’s the right thing to do, given the nature and level of collateral damage they’ve caused in the past, while the other half are adamant they should be able to work free from any form of outside influence.
I was surprised at the way the decision fell and at the make-up of the two sides – it’s not as obvious as you might guess – and again the back-story development helped flesh things out and make the whole pitch that much more believable.

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There’s a really cool new cat in town, too – a fantastic addition to the group if he decides to stay – and some stirring, if fairly restrained, action sequences.
This really is an entirely different kind of film to Ultron or any of the other Avengers/Iron Man/Captain America movies we’ve seen so far and as far as I’m concerned it’s a massive step forward.
Just like Ant Man makes in the big fight scene.
Though you’ll just have to watch Civil War for yourselves to know what I mean when I say that ..

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