May was a busy month for superhero fans, with both Captain America: Civil War and X-Men: Apocalypse hitting cinemas. I’ve already reviewed the latter, so here’s my verdict on the former.

In short, I liked it, but I didn’t love it.

Somehow Civil War manages to feel like it takes a while to get going, whilst also hitting you over the head with action from the word go. The fights are relentless, but not in a good way.

That’s not to say there isn’t a story, because there definitely is. The ‘reality’ of having super powers in the modern world and the fallout from all the missions and ‘rescues’are thoroughly explored by a very capable cast.

I bloody love Robert Downey Jr, and Tony Stark, and Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan  provide interesting adversaries. The cameos work well – I haven’t seen Ant Man, but I liked the character and he slotted into Civil War without any problem. Spider-boy is amusing and the Scarlet Witch and Vision’s interactions add another layer to the question of humanity in super-humans.

Black Panther is awesome! And Chadwick Boseman delivers a power performance, in and out of his bullet-proof suit.

I missed Thor and Loki, but had either been present they would have just bitch-slapped the stupidity and arrogance right out of Cap and Stark.

But too many elements are recycled. Spoiler alert! – Bucky killed Iron Man’s parents (under mind control, of course), Zemo is a villain by numbers – we’ve seen it all before.

The big battle is pretty epic, with a few surprises to keep a jaded audience on their toes.

I was never going to be able to ‘choose a side’ when the options were Iron Man and co Vs Cap and Bucky. Although it quickly becomes obvious that Stark’s arrogance and regret is blinding him to the truth. Cap has the courage of his convictions, but he’s also acting out of love.

Twitter has spawned the hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend and, to be fair, it wouldn’t be a stretch, as long as it’s Bucky.

Steve and Bucky clearly love each other, in whatever way you want to interpret that, and as long as it didn’t overshadow the ‘plot’ or the action, I really wouldn’t care.

It’s also a hell of a lot better than an awkward and frankly quite creepy pseudo-romance with Peggy Carter’s niece, which had me exclaiming ‘I am not on board with this!’ in the cinema. Seriously, kissing after Peggy’s funeral – WTF Cap?

Forcing a heterosexual ‘romance’ into a film which neither needed nor wanted one is another example of what I didn’t like about Civil War – it asks questions then pulls its punches, falling back on ‘tried and tested’ instead of going full throttle and trusting its audience. In my opinion it would have been a better film if they just went for it.

3 1/2 Stars



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