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The best film of 2016?

I have just seen Civil War and if I had to sum up my thoughts in just one word: WOW.

I went into this film with very high expectations but Captain America: Civil War just blew those expectations out of the water. The Russo Brothers had big shoes to fill, knowing they’d be taking over from Joss Whedon as the MCU’s big directors but they’ve truly delivered a film that was exceptional.

Somehow, even with such a large cast, they managed to give enough screen time to everyone to make them be interesting (or in Hawkeye’s case- as interesting as anyone can make Hawkeye!).

Much like my post on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I’m not going to do a review because quite frankly you can find a million of those online all better than I could write. So, I’m just going to give my thoughts on the film from a fan’s perspective.

Now be warned- there WILL be SPOILERS ahead:

  • Be prepared for your allegiance to one team to be tested throughout. I went into the film 100% #TeamIronMan, then changed to #TeamCap during the film, and back and forth during the movie. By the end I was just #TeamLetsAllStopFightingAndBeFriends.
  • It looks like they are building a romance between Vision and Wanda Maximoff, much like in the comics, which I’m very happy with as they have excellent chemistry.
  • Actually, speaking of chemistry; the entire cast had a crazy amount of chemistry with each other. Tony/Steve, Tony/Peter Parker, Wanda/Vision, Cap/Bucky, Bucky/Falcon, Natasha/Clint, Falcon/Ant-Man, Natasha/T’Challa. It seems like everyone on set had a great connection with one another which really showed on screen.
  • There is a ‘bad guy’ in the film- Helmut Zemo (played by Daniel Bruhl) but at times even I was unsure just how bad he was. I mean, he had done some horrible things, but you can identify with his anger towards The Avengers after his entire family was killed in Sokovia.
  • There is a perfect ratio of action:verbal conflict. The film has a strong emotional undercurrent which makes it very difficult to decide who’s side you’re on because you completely understand the viewpoints of both.
  • Ant-Man became Giant Man which was brilliant. But even more brilliant was the David V Goliath symbolism when he was taken down by Spider-Man. But even more brilliant was that Spidey took him down by using his knowledge of Empire Strikes Back and how the AT-AT Walkers were knocked down.
  • Tom Holland is the perfect Spider-Man. He is the Spider-Man we deserve. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were good, but Tom is exceptional. He totally embodies what Spider-Man is supposed to be: dorky, loveable, annoyingly clever and with a heart of gold. All it took was about 40 minutes of screen time and he became my favourite character in a movie full of amazing characters. I am really, really excited for Spider-Man: Homecoming next year.
  • Marisa Tomei is the most attractive Aunt May we’ve ever had, by the way!
  • On the topic of new characters, T’Challa otherwise known as Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman was incredible. He was legitimately and believably bad ass, but also had his own internal struggle with the idea of vengeance after seeing his father get killed in an explosion set of by Zemo. Moreover, his Wakandan accent felt wholly authentic and natural.
  • Fans of Stucky (the ship of Cap and Bucky) will be pleased because they share some great moments together.
  • I almost died laughing when Cap kissed Sharon Carter and the camera panned to Bucky and Falcon looking on from a car with proud expressions.
  • Also, RIP Peggy Carter. You will be missed and you had a great TV show.
  • Spidey’s in-fight banter is amazing and funny, which I think other interpretations of Peter have struggled to get right in the past. Falcon even tells him that he talks way too much during a fight.
  • In the beginning moments, Black Widow gets a show-stealing action sequence when trying to track down a bad guy- fully proving that she’s the best combat fighter in the MCU.
  • Vision is swiftly becoming one of my favourite characters. He is always so level, he can so easily steal a scene just through his presence. Paul Bettany can play a synthetic character devoid of human traits with remarkably humanity.
  • Wanda Maximoff was played beautifully by Elizabeth Olsen. The expression on her face when her actions accidently led to the deaths of innocent citizens was heart-breaking.
  • There was also an epic scene where Cap was trying to stop a Hydra-infected Winter Soldier from escaping in a helicopter. Bucky is taking off but the chopper is caught by Steve who then grabs onto a nearby rail and uses all of his strength to stop Bucky from getting away. By golly, Captain America (and obviously Chris Evans) is quite the physical specimen.
  • The final showdown between Cap and Iron Man was epic. No more needs to be said about that.
  • Post-credits scene 1: Bucky decides to be cryogenically frozen again until scientists can find a cure to remove any traces of Hydra from his mind. He is in a Wakandan facility with Steve and T’Challa, and with the great minds of Wakanda working on it, I’m hoping it won’t be long until we see more of the Winter Soldier in action.
  • Post-credits scene 2: Peter Parker is playing with a device on his wrist when Aunt May comes in with an ice-pack for his wounded eye. When she asks who hit him, Peter responded with ‘Steve, from Brooklyn.’ Then May leaves and Peter turns on the device which shines a red light onto the roof, which is then shown to be the Spider-Man logo.

In conclusion; this film is absolutely fantastic and by far and away my favourite film of the year so far, and maybe even my favourite MCU movie so far. Would I recommend it? HELL YEAH.

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