The dust is settling after the smashing opening weekend of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest blockbuster, Captain America: Civil War. Before China and the USA – the two largest markets for Avengers: Age of Ultron – could see the film, the Star Spangled Man had already taken $224,300,000 in its limited worldwide launch; now that it’s opened to the wider world that figure is just shy of $675,000,000.
One Room With A View enjoyed Civil War immensely, calling the film “A-grade filmmaking, as confident as it is competent“. Now, in a first for our site, we’ve assembled our own reviewing Avengers to share their musings on the movie and take us beyond the review. In keeping with our review style there are no spoilers here, so if you haven’t seen Civil War yet it is still safe to read on.
Joni: Like one of Spidey’s webs, the plot of Civil War stretches itself pretty thin to hold everything together, but manages it with heart, humour, and a hefty dose of fun.
If there’s one thing Marvel is consistently pulling off, it’s keeping the connective tissue intact throughout their cinematic universe. Thirteen films in and it is still working; whether that’s in the recurring characters’ developments or in the wider plot of the series, these films share clear DNA with their comic book cousins in which stories have space to develop over time and repercussions can be keenly felt several episodes down the line.
Naomi: It’s not only politically-minded enough to keep our brains in gear, but it creates a tapestry of everything we’ve loved about the MCU for a decade while omitting any missteps.
Kambole: Unlike Mark Millar’s event comic, there’s a much bigger sense of fun in Civil War – the Russo brothers have created a far more sympathetic and compelling conflict. Black Panther rocks.
Civil War is, of course, inspired by the seminal seven-part “comic event” of the same name. As with its MCU brethren, this inspiration often results in direct lifts from the printed pages as well as sharing an overarching theme but crucially does not guarantee the same outcomes or details. You can’t blame the filmmakers: in an age of easy spoilers it must be tempting to actively subvert the expectations which come from the source material, while simultaneously managing to craft a narrative without needing to resort to retcon.
Andrew: I’m disappointed the Russos didn’t include more of the characters they hinted might be involved. Will 40+ new characters leave too much setup for Avengers: Infinity War to handle?
Phil: Tom Holland might be the most perfect version of Spider-Man ever put to film. Seeing him swing into action alongside the Avengers was enough to make me weep with joy.
For a Captain America film in which Iron Man features heavily in the marketing, a great deal of attention has been paid to a different pair of characters. Each side in the conflict was injected with new, energy-filled blood in the form of Spider-Man and Black Panther, making their Marvel debuts ahead of upcoming solo movies. This attention is well deserved – their introductions were far from the Hawkeye in Thor or Nick Fury in Iron Man moments audiences have come to expect, with a pair of fleshed-out characters (as distinct from backstories) and kick-ass action to boot.
Of course, we couldn’t hold any discussion on Marvel without invoking the gods of DC – particularly not when both of these titans have such conceptually similar movies out in the same season. Captain America v Iron Man: Sunset of Avengeance, anyone?
Please add your own reaction to Captain America: Civil War, and to our reviews of it, in the comments below. If you’ve enjoyed this feature and would like to see more like it in the future, which film should we have a ‘team talk’ on next?