[Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) may just be the best film Marvel have produced to date. It's a damn near perfect movie that manages to seamlessly blend spectacular action, a thought provoking story and the trademark humour of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It truly is a great all round package.
I'll admit that one of my biggest concerns regarding Civil War was how it was going to handle it's expansive cast. Would we see some of our heroes receive limited screen time as per Avengers: Age of Ultron? I needn't of worried, Civil War gives its fair share of screen time to each member of both Team Cap and Team Iron Man, leading to a seriously satisfying movie.
The question is, who's the best character? The movie's title has got Captain America's name in it, but is he the true star of his own movie? Here's how the characters of Civil War rank.
[WARNING - SPOILERS FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR BELOW]
17) Everett K. Ross
Sure to re-emerge in future films, Everett Ross' role is relatively small in Civil War. Martin Freeman is an interesting casting choice, personally I couldn't help but think of Sherlock when he turned up.
16) Agent 13
Aside from a brief fight with the Winter Soldier, Agent 13 doesn't have a lot to do. She's there, she's on Team Cap but when the real action starts she's nowhere to be seen.
15) General Thaddeus Ross
William Hurt reprises his role as General Thaddeus Ross having last been seen in 2008's The Incredible Hulk . Ross' most important contribution is to inform the Avengers that they will no longer be allowed to operate without supervision before presenting them with the Sokovia Accords.
We knew that Crossbones was likely to only appear briefly in Civil War, but not this briefly. Crossbones serves his purpose by sparking the incident that leads to the Sokovia Accords. Then he promptly blows himself up and is quickly forgotten as the movie unfolds.
13) War Machine
War Machine has struggled to compete with Iron Man ever since he was introduced to the MCU. Once again he cannot compete with Tony Stark. Though you certainly have to feel sorry for him when he's crippled, he's also the weakest of the movies heroes.
Ah Hawkeye, often mocked for his lack of any actual superpowers, there's no doubting his skills with a bow and arrow, but that's all he's got going for him really. He's back from the briefest of retirements and he's on Team Cap, for reasons unexplained. At least he doesn't fall victim to mind control this time.
The MCU has always struggled to get it's villains right and the latest one will likely split opinion. Zemo is not all that memorable but then again this movie is Team Cap v Team Iron Man not the Avengers v Zemo. His plans are ultimately crucial to the movie and he comes across as thoroughly sinister whenever he's on screen.
Vision returns after making his MCU debut in Age of Ultron and this time he's got...a shirt and jumper. Surprisingly Vision has some of the funniest scenes in the early stages of the movie. The hint of a relationship between him and Wanda felt rather forced though, it will be interesting to see if they build on that in future films. When it comes to the big face-off, Vision naturally has to be nerfed a little.
9) Black Widow
Age of Ultron saw her relegated to little more than a love interest for Bruce Banner, but this time Black Widow has a bigger role to play. Black Widow's split loyalties put her in a difficult position and although she's on Team Iron Man she understands Cap's position. This dilemma makes her character more interesting than it has been in the previous Avengers movies. Once again she proves she can more than handle herself in a fight and there is sure to be a clamour for a solo movie, which is certainly something Marvel could explore after Phase 3.
I wasn't a big fan of Falcon in the previous movie but he's certainly grown on me after watching Civil War. He handles himself well in the films opening sequence, his wings making up for his lack of powers, something Hawkeye should perhaps consider. His exchanges with Bucky are amongst the films funniest moments, I look forward to seeing more of him in the future.
I didn't really care much for Wanda in last year's Age of Ultron but in this movie she really makes an impression. Elizabeth Olsen is convincing as a young hero who doesn't yet have control of her own powers. It was easy to sympathise with Wanda after the destruction she inadvertently causes in the opening sequence.
6) Winter Soldier
Bucky is back to strengthen the divide between Cap and Iron Man. Civil War sees us get more of the Winter Soldier's back story from the outset. Though Bucky remembers Steve a series of trigger words is all it takes to put him back under HYDRA's control. Bucky is of course the films most crucial character and the movie wouldn't function without him. However the end of the movie leaves his future in the MCU up in the air. Will he return for Infinity War?
5) Captain America
Captain America only ranks fifth for me. Personally, I was never on his side as such. Granted, he wants to defend his friend but he has a tendency to come across as quite selfish. Of course his abilities more than make up for his general stubbornness, as he immediately takes on Iron Man during the airport clash. Cap also holds nothing back in the concluding fight with Iron Man. Yet, despite everything he writes a letter to Tony saying he and the new Avengers will be there whenever he needs them. He's almost too nice for his own good.
4) Black Panther
From the moment he first appears you can't help but like Black Panther. He slots into the plot with such ease that it's never a problem that we know little of his back story. It could easily have felt like Marvel were simply throwing characters in, but Black Panther joins the movie in seamless fashion and once he's in, it's difficult to imagine the movie without him. His motivations are made explicitly clear straight away meaning there's no confusion. I now look forward to his solo movie in 2018.
3) Iron Man
I rank Iron Man above Captain America because I found his character development to be more intriguing. The rebellious billionaire we met in 2008's Iron Man would never have sided with the government, oh how times have changed. It's testament to the character development we've witnessed in the three Iron Man movies and two Avengers flicks. It's not as if Stark has suddenly turned into a different person, this has been built up to.
After the events of Age of Ultron, Stark genuinely feels guilty and that comes across clearly. This was one of the reasons I found it easier to side with Iron Man. All round, Stark/Iron Man is more entertaining than Captain America. As is to be expected he delivers his fair share of wise-cracks during the movies run-time. Yet, this is also a much more serious portrayal of Stark than those we've seen from Robert Downey Jr. in the past.
Tom Holland becomes the third actor to play Spider-Man on the big screen after Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield starred as the wall-crawler in five films of varying quality. The latest incarnation of Spider-Man is only in the movie for 25 or so minutes, but he makes a big impression. Tom Holland captures Peter Parker in a way that his predecessors never could.
This younger, inexperienced Spider-Man comes across as vulnerable and afraid but he's more than capable of handling himself in a fight. The suit, provided by Tony Stark, is spot on, certainly the best we've seen on the big screen. True to the character Civil War's Spider-Man delivers an array of wise-cracks as he tries to calm himself down. It was refreshing to see that he wasn't bogged down by the origin story that we already know and there's certainly no need to go there with next year's Spider-Man Man: Homecoming which I eagerly await.
The smallest member of the MCU steals the show in Civil War. Last year's Ant-Man movie exceeded my expectations thanks largely to Paul Rudd's portrayal of the character. Ant-Man is on top form once again here. Like Spider-Man, he only appears for half an hour but for me he is involved in the films best moments.
Ant-Man's star-struck interactions with Captain America are simply hilarious, beginning with an awkwardly long hand shake between the two. He also proves to be effective in the Team Cap v Team Iron Man face-off, the moment when he rides on Hawkeye's arrow is so undeniably cool. In addition, he now has the ability to go giant which looks impressive and draws some comical reactions from his fellow superheroes. The Ant Man sequel may be horribly named but it cannot come soon enough.