The last time two prominent superheroes locked horns, it was met with a rather unfavourable critical response. Though while DC maintain a certain po-faced, dourness about their ‘dark’ endeavours, Marvel productions are thriving off the opposite notion, revelling primarily in the art of pure entertainment – and the latest to have come from this prosperous universe, Captain America: Civil War, is no different.
Following on from the several civilian casualties during a mission in Nigeria, the ethics of the Avengers is put into question, and they’re posed with the idea of being Government run, to cut down on the collateral. While Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is a fervent champion of this idea, Captain America (Chris Evans) remains stringently against it. Partly why Steve Rogers is so reluctant to compromise, is because he believes there to be an outside threat tearing them apart, adamant that his old friend Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is innocent of the crimes charged against him – but he has trouble convincing the camp of his suspicions.
The political indifferences amongst the collective split them down the middle, and though predictably War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Vision (Paul Bettany) side with the former, and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) the latter, it’s surprising to see Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) also take the side of Tony Stark. Though as tensions mount enforcements need to be made, and Iron Man recruits the vengeful Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the teenage Spider-Man (Tom Holland), while Captain America relies on the assistance of Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).
Yet again Anthony and Joe Russo have given the fans exactly what they want without contrivance, managing to be crowd-pleasers while maintaining their artistic integrity. They have this remarkable ability to combine frivolity with severity, and when the two conflicting sides face up in an epic battle, they allow room for the comedically inclined one-liners, and yet ensure you remain compelled, and invested – aware of the potentially devastating implications. On a more negative note, the film is designed and crafted in such a way that you take one side, with a certain perspective more prominently presented than the other, while the fact we’re dealing with an ensemble feature does mean there’s a lack of emotionality attached, as with so many characters to explore, we drift between them without ever feeling as though we’ve truly got to the bottom of their respective character developments.
Two of the main reasons to see this film are both newly implemented, for the Black Panther and Spider-Man bring so much energy to this title, and their time spent on screen is never wasted – as we now anticipate their own standalone productions. Many have commented on the over-saturated market for superhero movies, so you wouldn’t have been blamed for thinking you didn’t want more. But let’s face it, we do want more – and lots of it.