First a word about spoilers. My TV reviews are full recaps, but movie reviews are limited to only things covered in the trailers and/ or movie posters. If you haven’t seen the Captain America: Civil War trailer and are afraid of spoilers, please don’t read this review.
Yesterday, I watched Captain America: Civil War and found that I don’t have much an opinion about it. It was good, it wasn’t great, and I’m on the fence on whether the fight scenes really warrant a special trip to the theater.
Ever since Tony Zhou made his video on Jackie Chan, I haven’t been able to watch fight scenes the same way. The jerking, lurching cam-style of the fight scenes are the norm here, though the aerial action sequences are better.
Captain America: Civil War isn’t really a civil war. It’s just the Avengers plus or minus a few odds and ends divided on the Sokovia Accords, which is an agreement that will put the private American-based Avengers under the oversight of a UN committee or panel or whatever. And just in case that’s too ideological/ philosophical for viewers, it’s actually about Bucky (Sebastian Stan), the Winter Soldier, who may or may not be responsible for a terrorist attack. Black Widow/ Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansson) advises Captain America to sit this one out, but Chris Evans believes he should be the one to bring in Bucky. And then, it’s Iron Man versus Captain America.
As always, the plot isn’t really the point here, though there are a number of villains with impressive acting chops. The real draw is the playful though unmemorable banter (I can’t remember a single punchline) and aggressive sizing up between a group of highly attractive and competitive people. There is manufactured tension, and a share of misunderstanding, poor communication skills, and a general trend of taking things to their logical extremes.
One of the issues is that despite the fact that there is a dozen characters, I don’t care about anyone of them. I mean, I like it when they’re buddies and all, but I don’t like them when they’re all mopey. Tony Stark is in a particularly emotionally vulnerable place, while Black Widow’s subplot on being broken or whatever is shelved for some future installment, if ever. My favorite parts of the movie was the introduction of new characters, including Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spiderman (Tom Holland).
I have mixed feelings about living in the Marvel Universe. On the pro-side there is a seemingly powerful and effective UN and a model of friendship that withstand numerous murder attempts, and the con-side is the collateral damage of superheroes.
I enjoyed Captain America: Civil War, and would be interested in renting Ant Man, but it wasn’t particularly resonant and often too dour to be fun.