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SPOILER-FREE REVIEW | Captain America: Civil War

If you want to waste 2.5 hours watching a slow, uneventful, and generally pointless superhero movie, I’m pretty sure Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is still in theatres.

If, on the other hand, you want to watch a plot-heavy, action-heavy, and every emotion under the sun-heavy superhero movie where old and new faces come together in epic fashion, you don’t have much longer to wait for Captain America: Civil War to hit theatres.

And let me tell you, if you haven’t already purchased your opening-night tickets, do it.

Buy them now.

I was lucky enough to snag a seat at one of the pre-screenings of the latest Russo Brothers film and am still suffering from a slight ringing-of-the-ears due to the near constant cheers and applause that surrounded me whilst watching the third installment of Marvel’s Cap franchise. The whoops and hollers were as consistent as Chris Evans‘ baby blues and only got louder as the movie progressed. What was especially fun about this was the fact that, while most things surrounding the movie have been hush-hush the characters in it have all been revealed, meaning that all it took was a mention of a certain location, or a reference to another Marvel film, for the audience to realize what was coming next and promptly erupt into excited applause.

Having gone into Captain America: Civil War with admittedly high expectations, I prepared myself for disappointment as the theatre lights went down. I assumed that there was no way a movie could live up to the amount of hype that has surrounded Civil War since the enormous cast list was first leaked. But you know what they say about assuming things. (Something about making an ass out of you and me?)


As it turns out, Civil War lived up to, and even exceeded, my expectations. Largely because, while I was going into the film to see the old faces I’ve grown to love and cheer for, by the end of the 2.5 hours I was leaving the theatre completely stoked to see all of the new faces in their respective standalone films. (“Standalone,” being used in the loosest sense possible since, with Marvel, “It’s all connected.”)

I tend to be wary of films that have as many characters as Captain America: Civil War, too used to seeing cameos rather than fleshed out performances, and was ecstatic with how the film managed to do justice to each and every beloved hero that appeared on screen. Every single character had an awesome entrance, multiple shining moments, and one-liners that had the New York audience I was surrounded by guffawing and sniffling in quick succession. While obviously this is a Captain America film, and thus accordingly he took central focus, the ensemble was evenly divided and provided each character with the opportunity to be remembered. Even subsidiary characters from past films made a statement and left an impression, something that I appreciate considering the mentioned enormity of this cast.

None of the promised characters were only seen via an embarrassingly easy-to-hack encrypted file on a computer, none of them were seen solely in newspaper headlines, and none of them felt out of place or misused.

What the Russos excel at is balance and Civil War is a prime example of how you can take serious subject matter, approach it with an appropriate level of respect, but not lose sight of the fact that this is a superhero movie with room for levity and all of the great things that make people want to watch films in this genre. There’s a darkness and grittiness to Civil War that mirrors its Winter Soldier predecessor, but it doesn’t bog you down and leave you feeling oddly depressed and mostly disappointed (looking at you Dawn of Justice). Will you tear up at some parts? Perhaps if you’re a bit of a blubbering mess like myself. But those moments are countered with vicious fights, absolute hilarity, and an actual plot. Were there some moments that could have been left on the cutting room floor? Sure. But such is the case with nearly every movie, especially of the superhero variety, that I’ve seen.

Overall, the film was a smooth one that easily transitioned between plots and characters in a manner that will once again remind viewers that DC still has quite a bit of work to do to reach Marvel’s cinematic level.

Captain America: Civil War is just another confirmation that the addition of the Russo Brothers to the MCU was one of the more genius moves made by Marvel. The Winter Soldier has been my favorite of the Marvel films so it’s not all that surprising that Civil War may now be competing for the title. It’ll take a few more rewatches of each before I can determine which is #1 and which is #2 on my list, but Marvel fans can rest easy knowing that Civil War lives up to the hype.

And, perhaps most importantly, whether you go into the theatre as #TeamIronMan or #TeamCap, the film paints both sides as the right side, meaning your allegiances could change just as easily as SPOILER.

Have you seen Captain America: Civil War yet? Are you excited to see how this superhero juggernaut will play out? Let us know in the comments sections below or send us a Tweet!

About the author

Silje Falck-Pedersen