“That shield doesn’t belong to you. You don’t deserve it! My father made that shield!”
‘Captain America: Civil War’, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo in 2016, is the third in a trilogy of superhero films, and another entry in the complex Marvel sequence of movies. In this instalment, Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, faces a moral dilemma: following a number of catastrophic incidents, the United Nations are keen to control the team of enhanced humans known as the Avengers. Rogers is wary of this after, in the previous movie, he fought a conspiracy at the top of the US government, however his fellow Avenger, Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr, is keen on the idea. This conflict leads to a series of increasingly vicious encounters between two factions of the once united team, and also exposes revelations from the past. It’s a fun movie, pacey and, importantly, witty. The two main characters are charismatic: Stark is cynical and sarcastic whilst Rogers’ idealistic and old fashioned sense of morality acts as an ideal foil. The control the directors wield over the complex action sequences, meaning that you rarely lose track of who is fighting who, is also impressive. Where this movie doesn’t work comes from a lack of identity, both in the increasingly fine line between this and the Avengers series, and in the lack of a genre hook. The first two Captain America films, for me, were successful because they combined the superhero genre with another previously established Hollywood genre: the war movie with the first, and the conspiracy thriller with the second. With ‘Captain America: Civil War’, this seems to have been abandoned making this a more monolithic superhero film. For all this, however, it efficiently and effectively feeds the viewer with spectacle and strikingly emotional character moments, without losing the comedy that makes the Marvel movies so much fun.
Would I recommend it? Again – most people will have probably seen it. The Captain America triple bill is an obvious one, but if you have the stamina then start with ‘Iron Man’ and work your way through the canon of Marvel films.