Captain America: Civil War
Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Daniel Brühl, Frank Grillo, Marissa Tomei, William Hurt, Martin Freeman
The 13th film in the Marvel universe, they just keep feeding us the same stuff. Marvel movies are like dry pet food, your cat and dog will lap up the same stuff daily. But as humans, give us the same food three or four days in a row, and we want something different. Daniel Brühl, who plays a rare non-powered villain, said this movie’s budget was so huge that you could make 20 films from it. While the film is being praised by other critics (higher marks than both previous Avengers films) you don’t see much happening here that we haven’t already seen in the other 13 films. Anthony Mackie who plays Falcon described the film as “The Avengers: Part 2.5”. While “Civil War” is certainly a few steps above 2016 summer movie competitor and disappointment “Batman v. Superman”, their themes are one in the same. The current trend of superhero films has the mortal villains scheming to plot the heroes against each other (of course villains forget the heroes have multi-million dollar contracts and therefore cannot be killed).
Captain America’s (Evans) old pal Bucky Barnes (Stan) has been blames in a terrorist attack, sending the governments of the world, including the Avengers into a frenzy to apprehend the dangerous Winter Soldier first. More death and destruction, this time in South Africa prompts the United Nations to enact The Sokovia Accords or rules of engagement for Avengers. Half the Avengers disagree with becoming mandated by the government and only sanctioned into action when approved. Iron Man (Downey), Black Widow (Johansson), War Machine (Cheadle) and Vison (Bettany) agree that sanctions and rules of war are necessary as too many innocent people die when their powers are used. Captain America, Hawkeye (Renner), Scarlett Witch (Olsen) and AntMan (Rudd) refuse to obey and vow to protect Barnes who is now the worlds most wanted man.
Each installment is just one more fight sequence where everyone comes out fine in the end, ready to fight another day. Where is the suspense in that?
Similar to what “BvS” tried to do with “Dawn of Justice”, “Civil War” is nothing more than an extension of a previous movie setting up future films. While there is a viable narrative here about superheroes unlimited and unchecked power and the mounting civilian casualties. Mostly the film just wants to set up future “Black Panther”, “Spider-Man”, and “Avengers” films. The thing is, you either like “superhero” movies or you don’t, because in the end it’s all one big melting pot. None of these films have the guts or balls to kill one of the leading characters because that means a future spin off or Avengers movie will be missing someone’s favorite character. So each installment is just one more fight sequence where everyone comes out fine in the end, ready to fight another day. Where is the suspense in that?
“Civil War” is at its best when it’s quiet and the actors can actually act. There is an intense scene with Alfre Woodard and Tony Stark, arguably the best in the 2.5 hour film. The rest of the film is battle scenes, CGI and stunt doubles delivering the same stuff we see time and time again, making sure each of the 12 franchise characters have at least one big moment. 19-year-old Tom Holland (“The Impossible”) makes his debut as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the third reboot of that franchise. He does a really impressive impersonation of Andrew Garfield with his performance, it’s just too bad his British accent has been crafted to sound more like Justin Bieber. Parents always want to know if these summer comic book movies are appropriate for their kids. “Civil War” teaches that you should beat the hell out of your friends first, then when you are taken to jail all battered, you can talk things out verbally. There is also more cursing in “Civil War” thanks to the popularity of “Deadpool”. I’ll say this, one episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, any seasons weakest episode, is more notable, suspenseful and gripping than this predictable piece of store brand bowl of entertainment.
Offers more of the same from the Marvel universe.