[Film Review] Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain America  Civil War poster

Title: Captain America: Civil War
Year: 2016
Country: USA
Language: English, Russian, German, Romanian
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Anthony Russo
Joe Russo
Christopher Markus
Stephen McFeely
Mark Millar
Joe Simon
Jack Kirby
Music: Henry Jackman
Cinematography: Trent Opaloch
Chris Evans
Robert Downey Jr.
Sebastian Stan
Scarlett Johansson
Anthony Mackie
Chadwick Boseman
Daniel Brühl
Paul Bettany
Elizabeth Olsen
Tom Holland
Jeremy Renner
Don Cheadle
Emily VanCamp
Paul Rudd
William Hurt
Martin Freeman
Frank Grillo
Marisa Tomei
Alfre Woodard
John Slattery
Hope Davis
John Kani
Stan Lee
Florence Kasumba
Rating: 6.3/10

We are in an era when MCU (Marvel Comic Universe) productions become a tentpole staple one finds rather too big to ignore on the radar, once or twice a year, there is impending danger of being ad nauseam. Re-reading my extolling review of CAPTAIN AMERICAN: THE WINTER SOLIDER (2014), I am trying to figure out why the thrill has faded quite a lot this time.

There is no shame to admit that the action-packed superheroes scuffle set pieces are the highlight, as in two THE AVENGERS, in fact the movie should be renamed as THE AVENGERS 3, which could take a more impartial stand in the internecine war. Maybe one shouldn’t call it war, there is disagreement, but not so serious, which makes the two teams’ group fighting look more than a grandstanding drill, every and each one is too valuable to kill off (since they have an entire future universe to plan), even the sidekicks, War Machine is the closest one to be dispatched, right, Don Cheadle still needs the big cheque to finance his personal projects like MILES AHEAD (2015), his director debut biography about Miles Davis. This “play house” frivolity becomes the hot-bed for bathos (Vision is unfortunately underused for his puissance, in order not to cause casualties, he even has to accidentally undermine his own teammate), that’s why by comparison DC’s BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016), self-serious as it is, still eclipses this one in its narrative coherence and dialectics. If the script could reveal the key twist earlier, which would give a perfect personal excuse for a more substantial battle pathos (Bucky Barnes could be a ruthless killing machine, right?), which only fleetingly takes place in the small-scale finale, so, this is Marvel’s tenor, (notably antagonises DC Comic’s darkness and solemnity) – why so serious?

Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man and Tom Holland’s young Spidey are competent comic relief, the former’s low self-esteem can be perpetually milked to induce laughters and the latter’s garrulousness as a rookie superhero can only be matched by the rogue iconoclast DEADPOOL (2016). Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther is introduced to ensure a more politically correct leaning (the first one born in Africa), so what’s next? Asian or Latin American? Or an LGBT addition couldn’t be more exigent.

Action scenes are sleek, often in close-range which causes some hand-held ricketiness, the indelible ones are Bucky’s motorcycle hijacking stunt and Captain America’s bulging biceps when holding a helicopter single-handedly. The ordinary human background of Zemo (Brühl) gives his motivation a more visceral arc, but as most villains in the franchise, the chance to consummate their scheme is largely stacked with random happenings other than meticulous plotting (why on earth the script would allow an imposer of an interrogator infiltrates the faculty so easily, as if no one there has ever met the original interrogator?).

A lethargy has been officially reached after this chapter, for me, at least, one needs more time to overcome it, sadly there is no stopping of it, next instalment is THOR: RAGNAROK (2017), which might explain to us the reason of Thor and Hulk’s jarring absence in the fracas on earth, where is apparently too small and crowded for super-humans, deities and monsters, preparing for the next round!

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