Captain America: Civil War (2016) Movie Review

The premise of Captain America: Civil War is exactly what it sounds like: a legislation called the Sokovia Accords will put restrictions on the power of superheroes, and it threatens to tear the Avengers in two. Divided, faction leaders Cap (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) face off in a heated battle for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).


Narratively, the film juggles many balls, but few of them get dropped. Sure, they are conventional balls, but still. Character arcs are more full than one might expect given the quantity of characters. Relationships are set up only for the purpose of them being broken later, but this comes with the territory.

Where the narrative controls a lot of moving parts, the camera controls even more. It jostles purposefully at times, which can be frustrating, but for the most part the camera handles all the intensified continuity fun with ease. The editing yields some intriguing graphic matches as well. Long story short, every action set piece is engaging in one way or another. Action choreography is electrifying, although it is notably augmented in many instances by CG effects work.

It is nice to see Downey Jr. take a step back from his character’s dry wit and play a more serious role in the MCU. His performance is comparatively strong to earlier incarnations.

More importantly, the performance of Chadwick Boseman as the MCUs newest member is one to take note of. His character is compelling on its own, but Boseman here is primed and ready for his stand alone venture, and I’m ready for it, too.

Tom Holland, for the role he plays, is also a refreshing addition. He and Boseman prove here that the MCU is nowhere near dead.

Shot for shot, Civil War is the most exciting addition to the MCU to date. For an action narrative, it is compelling. The set pieces are established and executed well. And the extravagant scene teased to death in the trailers does not disappoint.

As always, thanks for reading!

—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)

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