As far as ambitious projects go, Marvel Studios are never too far from looking to push the boundaries and ensure that fans are treated to the most groundbreaking and expansive movies possible.
While the dust settles on a rather disappointing firing shot from DC in the form of the below-par Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Marvel's returning fire comes by the way of the utterly enthralling Captain America: Civil War. Providing the third leg of Captain America's singular outings, as well as reminding us that the Avengers are well and truly a commanding presence in the universe, this is the real deal in comic book adaptation.
Pitting Chris Evans' Cap against Robert Downey Jr's quick-witted Iron Man, this is a movie that has been many years in the making and by far the most exciting and anticipated movie so far in this ever-expanding realm of cinema.
While many may fear an over-exhaustion of the comic book universe, Civil War lays waste to any such doubts, instead bringing to us a truly immersive, dramatic and awe-inspiring movie that many are hailing as one of the greatest comic book movies of all time.
The reason for this? There are multiple reasons and it would be rude not to divulge. From the scintillating action set pieces, to new characters, to those faces who are all so familiar in this impressive world, Civil War has it all.
Check out the highlights that make this film inch-perfect and let us know if we've missed anything.
WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS
15 Avengers 2.5
While Civil War is officially a Captain America trilogy-concluder, it also proves itself as a perfect sub-sequel to Avengers: Age of Ultron.
While Ultron was officially the sequel to The Avengers, we kind of wish Civil War was labelled as such, proving to be a much more improved and weighted experience than that of the Ultron variety.
14 Cameo Hilarity
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has never been sluggish in bringing us some brilliant cameos through the years (Stan Lee obviously stealing much of the limelight) and Civil War is no different.
Fresh from bringing us a great Danny Pudi cameo in The Winter Soldier, this time around we're treated to a typical turnout from Community's very own Dean, Jim Pelton. It's a typically chaotic moment from Pelton as he plays a character very similar to his own Community character opposite Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark.
13 Friends Clashing
No matter what side you're veering towards heading into watching Civil War, one thing's guaranteed - there will be former friends colliding in what promises to be a sad state of affairs.
While the prospect of seeing Cap and Iron Man butt heads or Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye throw aside their best friend status, the film manages to address those relationships with great poise.
12 New Tech
If there's one guarantee with future Marvel movies, it's that they will always look to push forward in terms of bringing new additions to the arsenal of its heroes.
11 Bringing a Youthful Edge
As a new generation in Marvel's Cinematic Universe approaches, so do the changes and, more specifically, a whole new dimension to the Spider-Man story. Looking to instill a level of youth and vibrancy, Civil War not only introduces a younger Aunt May in Marisa Tomei (accompanied by a great joke from Tony Stark on her age), but also a much younger Peter Parker.
10 Easter Eggs
To avoid complete spoilers we won't list them but it's fair to say that Civil War is yet another Marvel movie packed to the rafters with easter eggs and comic book references (obviously).
From moments clearly harking back to the classic moments within the comics, to instances we will recognise from the animated shows, Civil War really doesn't hold back in its easter eggs.
9 Vision and Wanda
For a movie so bulked out with characters, Civil War seemlessly manages to give each and every one of its characters their own special moments within this relentless 150 minute experience.
Among them, the Russo Brothers find time to ignite that spark between Vision and Scarlet Witch even more, with their comic book romance spilling out onto the screen - or at least the first signs of it.
While he may not be the most exciting or innovative hero on the roster, the very fact that Paul Rudd embodies Ant-Man ticks every box possible.
Thankfully, the fact that this is a pure comedy genius in the red and black suit makes for this particular character stealing the show for one section of the movie. Introduced at the midpoint of the film, Rudd's awestruck Scott Lang drops plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, as well as becoming the biggest attraction in the greatest comic book action scene ever.
7 Universe Awareness
Civil War is just one part of a massive tapestry of Marvel stories continuing in this expansive world. While it may be the most pivotal of all so far, the very fact that there are other characters out there could have easily been overlooked.
6 The Winter Soldier
As this is essentially a Captain America trilogy-ender, it's only right that Civil War focuses heavily on the link between Cap and his friend Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier. And Civil War does just that, once again bringing us an enthralling background into the origins of the Winter Soldier.
5 Balancing the Tone
Having steered the ship to the safest of terrains for Captain America, the returning Russo Brothers, known for their incredible television foray with hit show Community, manage to up the ante for their return.
Part of the magic of this pairing is that they manage to create something rare in Civil War, a magnificent balance of tone throughout. While in one instance we are engaged in the most dramatic and weighted stories of all the Marvel movies, the next we are literally laughing out loud during a thrilling action sequence.
4 Black Panther
One of the most intriguing new additions to the universe without a doubt, T'Challa aka Black Panther was always going to be an interesting one to see how he fits into the MCU. Thankfully, with an exceptional level of depth and perfectly poised introduction, this is one character who excels in Civil War.
Arguably one of the best individuals involved in the whole film, Chadwick Boseman's agile and vengeance-driven T'Challa is as much a joy in his combat as he is when providing the more affecting and emotional moments
3 Cap and Tony
Once solid gold friends and now on opposite sides of the law, the relationship struggles between Tony Stark and Cap are for all to see in Civil War, and brought to life with great gusto by both Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.
Here are two men so accustomed to their characters that it would seem impossible to see anyone else portraying them - they are seriously that good. In fact, Civil War marks the best performances so far from both men, they're emotional angst clear for all to see, their beliefs so convincing and the difficulty in fighting one another evident.
Finally we get our best ever on-screen adaptation of Spider-Man, as the web-slinger returns home and free from the damaging clutches of Sony's full control.
1 Defining Action
Remember the first time you watched The Avengers and fist-clenched your way through that epic moment that felt like it had jumped out of the comic pages and onto the big screen? Well, Civil War beats that hands-down.
In fact, put together a few of your favourite action sequences from comic book movies, mix them into a blender and amplify them by 100 and you'll have the action in the Winter Soldier sequel.
With a massive roster going toe-to-toe for one epic fight scene, Civil War will have you pulling your jaw up from the ground and squealing for more. Majestic, unbelievable and bloody brilliant.
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