CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
Fight For Your Right To Parlay
As it hits the small screen, we look again at Marvel’s mega-movie.
released 5 september 2016 | 12 | blu-ray 3d/blu-ray/dVd/ download Directors anthony russo, Joe russo Cast Chris evans, robert downey Jr, scarlett Johansson, sebastian stan, anthony mackie, Chadwick boseman
How difficult must it be to orchestrate a massive superpowered rumble that has to service multiple characters, juggle (and move forward) several plotlines, introduce new people into the fray and still make a movie that doesn’t keel over from the sheer weight of expectation and story? Well, just pulling off Avengers: Age Of Ultron gave Joss Whedon the professional equivalent of night terrors, so imagine the pressure on the Russo brothers going into Civil War. Yet they pull it off with style, aplomb and charm.
That’s despite not having the fuse that set off the comic book version, as in the movies almost everyone’s identity is out in the open. In bringing the simmering tension between Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark and Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers to the boil, the idea that such staunch friends might disagree over how much government intervention the superheroes’ actions need works just as well.
Despite the presence of Cap’s name above the title, Civil War still offers Iron Man some worthy moments, allowing for the usually smug, arrogant Stark to dig deep and tap his inner angst like never before. The Star-Spangled Man isn’t short-changed, though; Steve scores plenty of wondering about his place in the world (especially following the death of his emotional anchor, Peggy Carter) and a burning drive to save his old pal Bucky, even if said chum is now the brain-twisted Winter Soldier.
Civil War works so well because it remembers what makes all the characters tick even as it plunges them into conflict – even Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang/Ant-Man, who (while he only shows up briefly) is at full comedic power, particularly in the scene where he first meets Cap and co and dissolves into a bit of a fan among his heroes.
Then there are the newcomers. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, only used sparingly, instantly becomes one of the best on-screen portrayals of the webslinger, freed from yet another ponderous exploration of his backstory. This Peter Parker is truly young, joyful, quippy and skilled, while still maintaining his grounding as a nerd somewhat out of his depth. Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa, meanwhile, the Wakandan warrior also known as Black Panther, is more of a coiled spring, intense and quietly fuming after his own tragedy, but more than willing to accept when he’s wrong. The Panther’s a great new addition to
This thing pulses with movement and life
the team, sparking a heartstopping car chase scene that’s edited like something out of a Paul Greengrass Bourne film.
Almost all the heroes receive useful arcs. One or two are short-changed, especially Paul Bettany’s Vision – but then you can understand why you wouldn’t want him in the fight too much given his power level, and even he has a great line in quiet humour (like his taste in sensible sweaters). Civil War occasionally feels overcrowded, but it doesn’t drag the story down: this thing pulses with movement and life.
And the directors (along with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) have pulled off an even neater trick: finding a way to end a Marvel movie that doesn’t require a massive FX overload (that setpiece is reserved for the airport fight). Instead it’s a personal struggle, one born not out of an alien invasion or rampaging robots, but of real people with very deeply-felt issues. Civil War may not be perfect, but it’s the best Marvel movie to date and shows that the team still has it. It had a lot to prove, and does so with ambition, passion and verve.
Extras A pretty decent selection, featuring a commentary by all four of the writers and directors; “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”, a Making Of in two parts; a pair of “The Road To Civil War” featurettes, looking at the evolution of the characters of Captain America and Iron Man; deleted and extended scenes; a gag reel; a sneak peek at the forthcoming, Benedict Cumberbatch-starring
The wait for the airport transfer bus continued.
Nerves were frayed on the Ski Sunday set.