When it comes to superhero movies Marvel is the undisputed king so going into Civil War it was always going to be hard to try and top the track record the company have built for themselves. Civil War does a great job trying though with incredible visuals, a great plot and endearing characters but its held back by a few issues that prevent it from being one of the greatest superhero flicks of all time.
The story follows the familiar cast of characters, with the focus on Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans). After levelling cities and causing destruction worldwide, the authorities gather to decide that the superheroes now need to be governed to stop unwanted destruction. This means no more running off to stop the bad guys without consent from that country and ultimately a set of rules to prevent them from destroying the world. All in favour of these new measures is Iron Man who believes its time for the heroes to reign it in.
On the opposite side is Cap America who believes that the heroes need to remain free to be able to answer the call of duty as soon as possible and not be stopped by government rules. Its an interesting conflict for sure and one that can easily divide people on their beliefs as to which team to support. Its very cleverly written and its discussed so intensely by the characters that it fractures them into two distinct groups that ultimately battle it out over their beliefs.
Where Civil War thrives compared to previous action and comic book flicks is in its desire to explore these thought provocative themes and although it feels like the heroes are playing on the wrong side at times (Captain America being for the establishment working against them, Iron Man being anti-authority but suddenly now embracing the government) the motivations are both believable and realized in a way that makes sense which helps to ignore this niggling point.
The main draw of this film will be the action and its here that Civil War is almost flawless. There’s some incredibly exhilarating scenes and whether it be car chases, the skirmish at the start of the film or the ultimate fight between the superheroes in the airport, Captain America: Civil War is hands down one of the most impressive superhero spectacles so far. The fights are choreographed well and shot to perfection and this really helps to catapult the film to the forefront of the genre. With the third wave of Marvel films beginning and with all the characters returning to their familiar roles, it bodes very well indeed for the future of the franchise. Especially since we get our first look at Black Panther who joins the fray.
Marvel proves once again it is the king of the superhero genre with a story told with flair, intelligence and enough creativity to showcase thought provocative themes around following the rules and standing up for what you believe in. Its not the best superhero film of all time, nor does it do anything particularly innovative but for pure spectacle and in terms of action, Captain America: Civil War is one of the finest movies released this year.