I have never experienced as much joy as I experienced watching Captain America: Civil War as I had when I found out that McFly and Busted were making a supergroup. Or even the time I found out that every single one of my favourite 80s action stars were going to be in the same film. These two cases though, although done in earnest, turned out to be trash. McBusted sounds like Fall Out Boy if Fall Out Boy was comprised of 12 year olds and the Expendables was a garbage fire of boring action, bad writing and general poor direction.
With that in mind, how is it that Marvel Studios have again and again managed to hit it out of the park every time they bring all their superheroes together? Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron (to a lesser extent) and now Captain America: Civil War. How is it that I can sit down and watch a film with characters that each have their own films (3 Iron Man films, 2 Captain America films, Antman and a separate TV series to boot) and I can still understand the motivations of every single character, why they’re there and what they believe in. It seems baffling that so many different characters with different stories can come together and make the film work so seamlessly.
And that isn’t to mention the, not one, but two new characters they introduce: Spiderman and Black Panther. After wrangling the character away from the filthy hands of Sony, Marvel were finally able to team the arachnid superhero into their Cinematic Universe. A welcome change after the catastrophic disaster of The Amazing Spiderman (and its sequel that I’d rather not talk about). Compared to Sam Raimi’s Spiderman played by Tobey Maguire who really ramped up the NERD part of his personality, and Andrew Garfield’s version as a slick and cool embodiment of sickening nerd chic, the Russo Brothers have managed to find a middleground for the Spiderman character that fits in sublimely with the dynamic of the rest of the Avengers. His character seems to be an embodiment of the audience watching the film: sheer wonder at everything happening and believing he’d be able to cope much better than he does in the film.
The real surprise for me though was Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. If anything, Civil War was his film more than anyone else’s. Yes, Captain America and Iron Man are the protagonists of the piece, but Black Panther provides the most compelling and best fleshed out character arc. Introduced as a calm and composed statesman, a disaster in the film suddenly pushes him on a path of revenge that he pursues with mad ferocity. Eventually seeing the error in his ways, Boseman’s performance might even bring prickles of tears to your eyes (a bit, I guess, if you’re me and you are a big softie).
To sum up, Captain America: Civil War is a triumph. The story, the characters and the action all come together in a way that will leave you satisfied but eager for more. With the Russo Brothers set to direct the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, I for one cannot wait to see what the Marvel Cinematic Universe delivers next.