Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


Packed with enough dramatic urgency and knockout action sequences, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR ranks as one of the best Marvel movies ever made.

Every year, there are always two movies with similar themes going head-to-head against each other. This year, viewers get to see two big-budget blockbusters involving two opposing superheroes fighting among themselves. This year, viewers get to see two big-budget blockbusters involving two opposing superheroes fighting among themselves. The first movie out of the gate is BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, which currently playing in cinemas everywhere since last month in March. This month, however, belongs to CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR which pitted between Captain America and Iron Man. Already premiered in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and more recently, Singapore, to a huge fanfare, the positive buzz surrounding CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR proves to be true after all.


Following a series of mass destruction from the battle of New York in THE AVENGERS (2012) to the collateral damage in Sokovia in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015) as well as the latest catastrophe in Lagos, governments from around the world urges the Avengers to sign the Sokovia Accords. The accord, which is actually a form of superhero legislation, will put the Avengers under the jurisdiction of the United Nations. While Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) along with Lt. James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Vision (Paul Bettany) backed the solution by signing the accord, Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) disagrees with the new legislation. Soon, the lines are drawn and the Avengers is now split into two groups where the team members must choose sides between joining Iron Man or Captain America.


From the tense opening fight scene in the crowded streets of Lagos, Nigeria to the bloody showdown between Captain America, Iron Man and Bucky in Siberia, Anthony and Joe Russo (2014's CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER) has again proved themselves adept at handling action sequences like seasoned pros.

Despite the epic runtime of 146 minutes (which also makes it the longest Marvel movie ever made thus far), the movie hardly feels laboured or overlong. In fact, the Russo brothers successfully juggle Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely's multiple story arcs without leaving them feeling cluttered. Even though the above synopsis addresses several dark themes along the way, Markus and McFeely's screenplay manages to maintain a fine balance between seriousness and playful moments without going overboard. Thanks to the Russo brothers' past TV sitcom experiences such as Community and Arrested Development, they sure know how to deliver a series of well-timed humour from the screenplay.

While the third CAPTAIN AMERICA solo movie mashes into a team-up superhero saga, the Russo brothers ensure that the star-spangled avenger himself remains front and centre. That being said, Chris Evans delivers a robust performance as the emotionally conflicted Steve Rogers/Captain America who is torn between loyalty, friendship and justice.

The rest of the all-star ensemble cast, ranging from the supporting roles to the cameo apperances, is each given enough moments to shine. As usual, Robert Downey Jr. exudes confidence and snarky mannerism to his iconic role as Tony Stark/Iron Man. On top of that, he also shows a subtle yet emotional side of his character during his subsequent professional and personal conflict with Captain America. Sebastian Stan, whose Bucky/Winter Soldier role is sadly underwritten in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, finally manages to show some solid acting credibility this time around. Other recurring characters including Anthony Mackie's Falcon, Paul Bettany's Vision, Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch, Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow and Don Cheadle's War Machine are equally worthwhile. Even the cameo appearance of Paul Rudd/Ant-Man delivers a few worthy comic relief as well as some of his memorable moments during the fight sequence on an airport runway.

As for the newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Chadwick Boseman certainly owns the role as T'Challa/Black Panther. Then there's the highly-anticipated first appearance of Spider-Man in the MCU for the first time ever. Following the footsteps of Tobey Maguire in the Sam Raimi's trilogy and Andrew Garfield in the two AMAZING SPIDER-MAN movies directed by Marc Webb, 19-year-old Tom Holland (2012's THE IMPOSSIBLE) may have been the youngest actor ever to carry the role but rest assured, he nails the Peter Parker/Spider-Man character very well. The young British actor also sounds convincingly in a New York accent and he certainly looks amazing (no pun intended) during his web-slinging fight sequence on an airport runway. Finally, Daniel Bruhl is perfectly typecast as a manipulative and cold-hearted villain with mysterious agenda Zemo.


The Russo brothers have certainly pulled all the stops to deliver one of the best action set-pieces ever seen in a Marvel movie during the epic battle sequence between Team Captain America and Team Iron Man on an airport runway.


During the press screening, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is presented in the IMAX 3D cinema hall. Although there are scenes worthy enough to be witnessed in a larger format such as the airport runway-set epic showdown, certain scenes that shot in a jittery handheld style are difficult to enjoy the action choreography in 3D version.


After their first successful Marvel stints in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER two years ago, the Russo brothers continue to prove their worth as the current MCU's finest directors around. They did it again in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR and I'm glad to know that the upcoming AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR - PART I and II (due 2018 and 2019) are in the good hands. Likewise, don't leave the seat as soon as the end credit rolls since there are mid-credit and post-credit scenes.

* This review is written courtesy from Walt Disney Malaysia IMAX 3D press screening *

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