For the record, I don’t dislike superhero movies in general, but I’m not a particularly big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (so far, the only ones that really stood out to me that I really liked are Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and rarely would I call any of their offerings “bad” by any means. However, most of the time I find myself within a nonplussed state. As for more recent note, Captain America: Civil War leaves me with the same reaction which I carry towards the regular offering of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with that said, it’s a film recognizing its target audience and for those who like these films, I can’t fault one, but I really wish I could feel the love that I know many are picking out from these films because I feel like I’m being left out.
Admittedly I had some faith in Captain America: Civil War when I heard that the Russo brothers were returning to direct especially because for one who is continuously left out of the love for the typical MCU offering, I rather highly enjoyed The Winter Soldier, which stands out for myself as the best film to have come out from the MCU. So where did everything seem to go wrong? I guess for how much the Russo brothers were leaving me impressed with how they really seemed to make a film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that actually felt different for once, it seems as if one successful diversion must have them turning back to the very worst, conformity – something that’s always kept me at distance with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For a film that seems to say Captain America is the leading character because the title insists so, it seems more like Captain America himself is sidelined for I didn’t really see so much of a Captain America film, but more an Avengers film disguised as a film about Captain America. My biggest problems with the Avengers films come from how we have so many characters coming into play, and for those who come into one Avengers film without seeing any of the prior films with any of said characters in the leading roles, not so much will be picked up because the film expects us to know enough already about them prior so it’s their excuse not to flesh out more possibilities for what they really are, which just makes the experiences tiresome.
We’re set to receive a few great action sequences then and there, and while I wish I knew the characters within them a whole lot more, I can’t deny the fact that it was fun watching the action last as the Russo brothers, knowing what they managed to offer within The Winter Soldier have been able to provide all the energy that I very much would want to be seeing out of these films, and in that aspect alone, something admirable is indeed presented. It’s really such a shame that for a few incredible action sequences which provide the most interesting moments of the film (the airport scene was rather great), what else we’re left with is something that at its worst, is rather boring.
Going back to the main issue with characters not having enough time to be fleshed out, the introductions of Black Panther and Ant-Man into this story are indeed great, where the film seems to fall flat is how it wastes what could have been more stemming from Spider-Man and Helmut Zemo’s placements into the story. While I won’t deny that Tom Holland was indeed rather entertaining to watch as Spider-Man, there’s not so much of a purpose for him to even be within the story and his removal as I feel, would not impact what we’re left with in a significant manner. Helmut Zemo, for how much I love seeing Daniel Brühl creating a specific sense of dread as the villain, I wish I knew more about him just in order to make me truly fear him. It’s such a shame how much potential with all the incredible effort has been so badly wasted.
At its best, there’s a great action sequence to be found, but at its worst, it conforms to a formula that’s been tired away thanks to how many times the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been presenting it and with Captain America: Civil War, we’re only being set up for disappointment. Given what efforts the Russo brothers managed to present when they were directing The Winter Soldier, it’s such a shame that Civil War doesn’t diverge nearly as much as it could have, it’s a tedious exercise that exists for those who’ve conformed so much to what seems to be rather strict formulas for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, restricting possibilities for much more.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
Screenplay by Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, from the character by Jack Kirby, Joe Simon
Produced by Kevin Feige
Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Sebastian Stan, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Anthony Mackie, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, Daniel Brühl
Release Year: 2016
Running Time: 147 minutes