The second of the big ‘superheroes in conflict’ films has landed, hot on the heels of Batman vs Superman – is the MCU’s take on the controversial comic storyline a good film?
It’s certainly (in this meerkat’s humble opinion) the most serious installment so far. If you asked me to sum up Civil War in one word, I would say ‘consequences’. The film is all about consequences, in more ways than one, which is something the MCU hasn’t really explored until now. Everything that’s happened up to Civil War (certainly the major events, such as those in The Avengers, The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron – especially Age of Ultron) comes back to bite the Avengers, and we see what they’re really made of when forced to confront their mistakes.
Be warned, there may be spoilers ahead. I don’t plan on regurgitating the plot, but some details may emerge.
Still here? Let’s proceed. Firstly, I want to say I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It was a step up from Age of Ultron, which felt a bit flat and forced at times, whereas the conflict that develops in this film is more meaningful, as the human element is more pronounced, and because it forces the Avengers to examine themselves in ways they haven’t done before. Because it also pits our heroes against one another, it tugs at us as fans – who would we identify more with if we were in their shoes?
I mentioned consequences, and what we have is both consequences from previous films (especially Age of Ultron) and also within Civil War itself. The film deliberately leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and leaves the Avengers split, and hurt, in more ways than one come the end.
Another theme running through this film is revenge. From Zemo (whose long game has the most punishing consequences for Stark and Rodgers) to T’Challa (who wants Bucky Barnes’ head), everyone is looking to right a wrong done to them. The cost of this to the Avengers is high, and where the story will proceed next after all of what happens is quite intriguing.
I was quite impressed with how each character got on – it could have been easy to marginalise a few characters for the sake of the main ones, but everyone has something going on that affects them and leaves them with something to think about. I look forward to seeing what comes next.