With 2016 shaping up as the year that superheroes just cannot get along, this time around the Russo brothers return to direct Captain America: Civil War, which sees the Avengers torn apart from within.
Continuing from the Russo’s acclaimed Captain America: The Winter Soldier and set one year later from the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers must face up to the collateral damage of their constant battle against evil, as the United Nations propose an international governing body to supervise and police them. Wanting to be more accountable after creating Ultron, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) agrees, whereas Captain America (Chris Evans) is still distrustful of the government’s agenda and disagrees, believing the Avengers should be free to act when needed.
A brawl inevitably ensues as the remaining Avengers take sides, which include newcomers Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) who is seamlessly introduced and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) who thankfully swoops in without the obligatory origin story we’ve seen so many times. It seems to be third time lucky for the web-slinger as Holland is a perfect fit, bringing youth and an engaging, geeky manner which in turn provides a change of pace and a different perspective. With the character count in double figures, the Russo brothers impressively handle the balancing act, giving each character enough screen time to shine. Some unnecessary plot points lead to a bloated story in places, however, the film is well paced, never lingering on the less appealing plot points.
The tone of Civil War is that of a familiar one, with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely both returning to write the screenplay. Handling the more serious moments with care but with the zingy quips (most of which hit) you’d come to expect from an Avengers movie. Even though Marvel has more hits than misses, with Civil War being the thirteenth entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (most of which contain the Avengers in some capacity), the film can suffer from being more of the same, even if it is familiar fun.
Inevitably, Captain America: Civil War will be compared to this year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and it’s undeniable that the Russo brothers managed to succeed where Zack Snyder failed. It’s clear to see why the pair will be returning to direct Avengers: Infinity War.