Apr 29, 2016

Marvel's Captain America: Civil War


Just saw Captain America: Civil War yesterday. There were many enjoyable moments, but it was a bit of a bumpy ride, I think. I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but I'm going to mention character names and that kind of thing, so if you haven't seen the movie, read at your own risk.

The basic set-up has to do with the collateral damage the Avengers leave behind when fighting the bad guys. When a brawl in Lagos results in the death of innocent bystanders, political pressure mounts to control the Avengers and hold them accountable for their actions. This takes the form of the Sokovia Accords (remember Sokovia, the small, Eastern European country destroyed in Age of Ultron?),  internationally ratified legal documents that would make the Avengers a task force operating under the jurisdiction of the UN. Stark, overwhelmed with guilt, is ready to sign, but Cap refuses, feeling that it would be giving up his freedom to choose what is right and when to intervene. When Bucky, aka the Winter Soldier, is implicated in a bombing, the two are forced further apart, until the other superheroes are forced to pick sides.

For me, the movie suffered from an over-convoluted plot, too many action sequences, and an overabundance of characters; the emotional moments got lost in all the action. One in particular, a moment that should have had Cap and the audience sniffling, was over in a few minutes and cheapened by just being there to build up Cap's conviction that he's doing the right thing. The Black Panther side plot felt quite generic, and if the screenwriters had cut that, we could have focused more on the character relationships that matter to the story. Yes, I get that they were trying to reinforce the theme of revenge consuming people, but is the side plot necessary to the story? Also, did we really need Hawkeye for his one? He doesn't actually have a whole lot to do. The Scarlet Witch felt a bit redundant, too. Couldn't the mistake she made have been made by Stark, for example? Wouldn't that have reinforced his motivation to sigh the accords? The movie rushes from locale to locale, giving us big and flashy action sequences all over the world, but even action scenes get boring if you repeat them long enough. At almost two and a half hours of movie, I feel we should have gotten more character moments. Sometimes less actually is more.

But there was good stuff, too. I enjoyed the banter between the superheroes, and the fight at the airport was pure fun. Ant-Man and Spidey got the best lines, and the dynamic between Iron Man and Spidey was fantastic; I just wish we had gotten to see more of it. I loved the film's version of Spider-Man. I also liked that the Captain America/Winter Soldier storyline got its conclusion, and I quite liked the ending.

So, not my favourite Marvel movie, but worth seeing, nonetheless.

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