Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Captain America: Civil War Film Review
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, Chadwick Boseman, Scarlett Johansson
Series: Marvel Cinematic Universe
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Length: 147 Minutes
Wait... This Again?!
"Didn't I already go through this shit?!"
Much to my annoyance, this is becoming somewhat of a tagline for the past few months of my life. I'd hoped going to the theater to see Captain America: Civil War would change things, even if only for a little while, and I'd get to see what Rotten Tomatoes assured me was the smash hit superhero film of the century.
It's just not good. We're not talking Batman v Superman levels of nonsense, or Vampire Academy levels of vapidity, but for all this film was made out to be, in the end, it's really not worth the hype.
So the plot boils down to this:
Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) are at odds because of a new mandate from the UN that will force The Avengers, and any other superhuman team or individual, to stop their basically uninhibited operations around the globe, and only use their power if and when the UN decides it's necessary. Cap says no to the bill, Iron Man is for it. Meanwhile, the surprise reappearance of Bucky Barnes a.k.a. The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) forces Cap to go rouge with a small team of sympathizers, in order to protect his childhood friend from the US Government as well as a mysterious warrior with a personal vendetta against Bucky, known as the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). In the midst of all this chaos, Avengers members, both new and old, must decide where their loyalties lie before things come to a breaking point.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Well they fucked it up! You fucked it up, Walter! You fucked it up!
On paper, what sounds to be the darkest and most powerful entry in the MCU, becomes simply more of the same. Many criticisms of Star Wars: The Force Awakens were focused on how the story ultimately becomes A New Hope on steroids, and it felt like the film was afraid to take risks. Well if you felt that way at all about that film, this one will likely piss you off to no end. They build up this huge fight between these incredible forces and when it happens, it's the most hackneyed, impotent, tensionless drivel I've seen in a superhero film. The heroes on the field literally point out how the friend they're locked in a death battle with is pulling their punches, and it's all made out to be funny and endearing. THE MOVIE IS CALLED CIVIL WAR. It's should not be your standard Marvel summer fun fest, and from what I understand of the comics, this was an allegiance shattering, deadly conflict that ripped heroes of all walks apart. I never once thought that any of the heroes were in real danger of dying, and SPOILER ALERT: Nobody dies.
Granted it IS fun to watch, what with Spider-Man (who is quite cool, save for his inexplicably absent Spidey-Sense) and Ant-Man flexing their muscles and providing most of the spectacle in the battle. Much of the action was pretty fun to watch, but you never really feel invested, like a distant fireworks show you can only see above silhouetted rooftops.
And truly, it's not like this movie is garbage. The acting is great. There's not one bad performance in the film. Even Elizabeth Olsen, who delivered a performance so supremely awful in the new Godzilla film that I still have nightmares, seems to be settling into her role as Scarlet Witch and spending more time with her accent coach. I wanted to like this movie, I really did. However, it gave me simply too many reasons to roll my eyes and fart loudly in the movie theater.
Like I said before, the script is too tame and afraid to take risks, and because of this the character's motivations are pure dog shit. Tony Stark is the Superman in this version of shitty superhero smack down of the week, falling for the most obvious ploys by the film's wholly forgettable and laughable villain, and in general, being a reactionary twat. There's even a freakishly ill conceived twist in the end of the film, which in fundamentally the same place in the story of BvS, resolved the conflict between the heroes and helped them join forces, that reignites the conflict between Iron Man and Captain America and gives us another excuse for a fight scene.
Not helping the already jumbled script, is a series of obvious reshoots centered around adding Spider-Man to the roster of participating heroes. While Spider-Man's scenes are tons of fun, well acted, and feature the hottest Aunt May ever (Yow! Marissa Tomei! Looking good!), the ultimately contribute little to the overall narrative outside of establishing Spider-Man's existence in the MCU, giving us a hint at the standalone Spider-Man film to come from Sony, and being the ONLY SCENE in the film in which Iron Man actually feels like Iron Man and not like Dime-Store, Mopey, Dopey Superman.
Dammit! Didn't I just review this film a few weeks ago? I remember hating it a lot more the first time I saw it, but it's still not as impressive as everyone said it was. It's better than the Avengers 2 thing, or am I thinking of Man of Steel? No... Wait... It's better than Batman v Stoopidhead and Cannibal Holocaust, but worse than The Godfather. Does that make any sense? No?
Well neither does releasing two superhero fight movies in the same fucking month!
Goddammit Hollywood. You malignant ass cyst.