Another year, another onslaught of superhero movies. There are more now than ever, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe has consistently been my favourite. Now we're on movie 13 of the series, which is a lot for a franchise that started in 2008, but this one promised to shake things up. After the events of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, the Avengers find themselves under increasing scrutiny from governments worldwide, and find they may have to make compromises to be able to carry on functioning as a team. But with Captain America's old friend Bucky Barnes on the run, his loyalty gets in the way of diplomatic processes, and a rift forms between the Avengers who side with the Cap and those who believe in the more official stance, headed by Tony Stark. It's time for an inter-team showdown.
I don't think there's much use going into this if you haven't seen the other Marvel movies. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does require a lot of watching time to put in if you're a newcomer. The reason being is that this movie doesn't provide a whole lot of back story, it jumps straight into the action, and that is a very good thing. With all the constant new heroes and reboots in the cinema these days, movies tend to be a little too heavy on the origin story, but Civil War starts off kicking ass and continues to do so. There are many fight scenes, and with the massive ensemble of heroes on offer it makes for absolutely awesome viewing, they're wonderfully put together and still manage to introduce fresh elements despite already having so many fights in previous movies.
Not all the Marvel heroes are in this one, but there are a hell of a lot, it's pretty much like another Avengers movie a mere year after the last one. Each character's story is progressed nicely, and the appearance from newly added Ant-Man is wonderfully done. All the actors have settled into their roles incredibly well, and the rapport between the Avengers is as good as ever. Aside from the already introduced heroes, some fresh faces appear, and the way they're introduced is great, light on the back story, but still providing enough to keep them interesting, and definitely setting them up well for the standalone movies they'll be starring in over the next couple of years. A certain red-clad hero was actually one of my favourite characters in the movie, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Marvel have in store for him.
Characters aside, the story itself is actually pretty damn good. There's a pretty generic villain and some cliché twists and turns, but the main bulk of the narrative resides in the relationship between the Avengers themselves, and it's very well done, with the underlying plot helping to hold up the shifting dynamics. At the end of the day I don't think anyone would expect this to be more cerebral than your standard blockbuster, so all in all it's very well put together, and despite being pretty long, I was engaged until the very end.
I was expecting a bit of a lull in between main Avengers movies, while the individual characters got their own stories, but Civil War is pretty much like a third Avengers movie, it's action packed, full of great characters, and it's simply awesome. My faith in the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues.
My rating: 5/5