When aliens sift through the wreckage of our planet as it hurtles aimlessly through the endless gulf of Space, they will probably want to study each year forensically, perhaps even doing it year by year. What will become immediately clear to them is that 2016 was the year of Superheroes fighting each other for essentially spurious reasons in two of the films biggest blockbusters. However, once they delve deeper and begin to put the pieces back together they will discover that only one of these films fumbled the ball.
Whereas Batman v Superman was a total mess and tried to stuff a giant tent into a tiny bag, Captain America: Civil War has the benefit of a full universe stacked up behind it. It has earned its conflicts and character moments, and what is more, it has everything Batman v Superman lacked: clear character motivations, coherent plot, beautifully crafted set-pieces and breathless action.
The Russo Bros. have once again proved that they really know what they are doing. With The Winter Soldier they blew us away with a perfect Bond film containing some of the best action seen on screen in years, and now with Civil War they have combined all that and more – introducing new characters along the way that in no way slow the film down and in some cases (Black Panther and Spider-Man) pump it full of further adrenaline.There is a scene in Civil War set at an airport. I will say nothing about what happens, suffice to say that this will go down as the some of the best superhero movie moments for years to come, it is just a living, breathing comic book and transcends everything that has come before.
It’s very easy to see why the Russo Bros. have been handed the keys to the MCU, they have just nailed it, taken it into a wild hinterland of moments direct lifts from the pages of a comic book, combined with hard as nails action – all tied together with excellent pacing. It’s exciting, exhilarating, intriguing and seriously impressive.
Remember when your heart sank when a superhero film would announce multiple heroes or villains? Now within the MCU, the more is seriously merrier.