Refuge Reviews- Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War is a huge film that successfully manages the various characters and plot lines that would drag down a lesser film.
Civil War picks up after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: The Winter Soldier with Cap/Steve Rogers (again played by an impressive Chris Evans) leading the New Avengers on a mission to Africa to stop a terrorist attack. But after things don't end on a positive note, the US government steps in with a proposal that would regulate the Avengers. Iron Man/Tony Stark is in agreement on the accords but Cap definitely is not, paving the groundwork for a divide in the Avengers. The film does a great job of letting all the various heroes, villains and side characters have their moments in a film so full that under lesser directors, would fall over under its own weight. Luckily the Russo Brother's tight direction keeps the film moving from one set piece to the next, interspersed with character moments and the film never forgets that this is first and foremost a Captain America film. No matter how many characters step in with their own plot lines, it all revolves around Cap's relationships with his friends and how difficult it can be keep everyone safe from threats inside and out. There isn't a scene in this movie that seems out of place or that shouldn't have been included; which is impressive in a 2 1/2 hour film.
The performances are also all spot on from the returning cast to the new additions. Speaking of new additions...everyone's favorite wall-crawler, Spider-Man makes his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut along with African prince Black Panther! Spidey is absolutely superbly portrayed by Tom Holland, who brings youthful enthusiasm to the character as well as a healthy dose of witty, rapid-fire dialogue throughout his admittedly limited appearance. Having a larger and more impactful role in the story is Black Panther/T'Challa, who is a super-cool hero that is unlike any other. Chadwick Boseman brings pathos to Panther, who is reeling from a terrorist attack and looking for revenge on Cap's childhood friend, Bucky. The only new character that isn't successful is the villain, who is poorly defined and could literally not be in the movie and it would make little difference to the ultimate outcome.
My only other criticism is the third act, which comes after the high point of the film. The epic, superhero brawl at an airport between both sides of the Avengers, Team Cap and Team Iron Man. To say this scene is awesome is an understatement. In fact I will come out and say that it is the single best action scene in any superhero film, ever! Every hero is given their moment to shine and it is filmed with surprises that for once were not spoiled in the trailers. This scene is worth the price of admission alone! But after that scene, the final act, while having some good action ultimately feels like a step-down. In large part because the villain's plan is revealed and is so lackluster that you wonder why this was how things had to conclude. Luckily the final moments of the film bring the myriad storylines to a satisfying conclusion. Don't forget to stay through the end credits for some extra scenes!
Captain America: Civil War is a huge film, but one that juggles all the moving parts into a complete package. While there are some problems with the film's villain and the final act, ultimately the amazing action sequences and huge cast of superheroes makes this a successful popcorn film. If you like action films and/or superhero films go and see this movie in a theater with other fans and enjoy the ride!
This film is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem. Overall if your kids have seen a superhero film before then they will be fine with Civil War. There is practically no bad language except a couple of lighter expletives used for comedic effect. There is no sexual content whatsoever and the action is largely bloodless and only a couple scenes are bit too intense for younger kids. I would say 10+ would be age-appropriate for Captain America: Civil War