Civil War Movie Review

Several things make the viewing of Civil War all the more chilling. Its matter-of-fact presentation and the reality of the current situation in the not-very United States of America add to the unease. As the power and money that runs that country becomes more and more centralised, it leaves an ever higher percentage of the population feeling disenfranchised and ready to latch onto almost anyone or anything that offers even a glimpse of change.

The film takes those real-world situations and lets them run to what some believe is a natural conclusion, Civil War. Through force, California and Texas have succeeded from the Union and become the dominant military power and have sent troops East to Washington DC to capture and execute the President. Into the fracas, we catch up with famous war photographer Lee (Kirsten Dunst) and Journalist Joel (Wagner Moura). The horrors Lee has witnessed are starting to catch up with her.



Their travels bring them into contact with budding photographer Jessie (Cailee Spaeny) and the developing story of the three gives the story its heart and soul. The presentation of war-torn America is shocking in its blandness and the unceremonious occupation by different factions of the battling military. There is not the usual presentation of a good side or a bad side and both sides are committing outrageous wartime atrocities.

As the self-proclaimed greatest country in the world seems to be teetering on the verge of demonstrative civil unrest and potential social collapse, the circumstances that make up Civil War seem less and less far-fetched. It’s this possible reality that gives the film such an uncomfortable edge. That it plays things straight and unvarnished only adds to the movie’s impact and appeal. This is buttressed by the believable human story at its core.

The film is currently screening at the Dendy Cinemas.
Rob Hudson