Marvel’s thirteenth film in its cinematic universe is a mature and much-welcomed addition.
“Captain America: Civil War” follows along as political weight gives way for governments to consider initiating a system of responsibility when the actions of the Avengers lead to loss of human life and collateral damage. The government’s demand causes a riff between the Avengers team — particularly between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers.
The best thing about Civil War is its cohesiveness. The film is precise, slick and knows what it wants to accomplish. The story goes from beat to beat, with a smooth film pace. There is no choppiness in the editing or in the narration as the story unravels.
This film focuses on the character of Captain America. For those worried that this film would simply be Avengers 3, rest easy. The film focuses on Tony and the Cap’s conflict on this government implementation that would affect their team. But Cap is the main character, and the focus on him never falters.
While the film is cohesive and balanced, the third act fails to deliver a solid punch. After an amazing airport sequence, the rest of “Civil War” limps on, ending with more of a whimper and less of a bang. It’s enjoyable, and the third act is charged with emotional action, but it could have been more inspired.
Civil War gives way to a surprisingly mature performance from Robert Downey Jr.
Downey Jr. has become accustomed to playing the sarcastic superhero, and the 51-year-old actor is really playing himself instead of Tony Stark.
But in “Civil War,” Downey Jr. has moments of seriousness and a level of dramatic emotion. It revitalizes the character of Tony Stark and causes audiences to root for his actions.
Similarly, Chris Evans has a lot to work with in “Civil War”. Like Downey Jr., Evans is given emotional complexity to his character. Because the character of Steve Rogers is conflicted with the government’s idea to limit the Avengers, the audience is able to latch on to his concern and inner conflict.
Aside from Daniel Brühl, the rest of the cast delivers with what they are given. Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man is the comedic relief. Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther is a potentially fantastic new superhero, but the person that people will mostly be talking about is newcomer Tom Holland.
Tom Holland has the challenge of living up to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men. Thankfully, Holland manages to make the iconic superhero character his own. He is witty, charismatic and exudes excitement when he is swinging across the screen. While Holland is only shown briefly to introduce the character, that glimpse is promising. It will be interesting to see Holland lead his own solo film next year in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”.
Ultimately, while the third act is lackluster and the film’s villain is forgettable, “Captain America: Civil War” excels thanks to its mature subject matter and a cohesiveness that keeps the audience both engaged and entertained.