Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War; action / science-fiction, USA, 2015; D: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, S: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, William Hurt

During a routine assignment to apprehend bad guy Crossbones, the Avengers accidentally catapult his explosion away from themselves and into a building in Lagos, which leaves scores of people dead. In order to avoid this in the future, the US Secretary informs the Avengers that 117 countries assembled special accords that intend to put them under the supervision of the UN. While Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, signs the accords and insists such a control is welcomed, Captain America and others refuse to do so, because they don't want to wait to stop villain Zemo, who used a brainwashing technique to influence Bucky, aka Winter Soldier, to go on a killing spree. Iron Man and Captain America have a huge fight when it is discovered that Bucky was brainwashed into killing Tony's parents. It turns out Zemo did this out of revenge because his parents died in Sokovia when the Avengers where fighting there.

With each subsequent Iron Man film, it seems that Marvel's "The Avengers" are becoming less and less of a movie, and more and more of a pure product placement. Even though it was the highest grossing film in 2015, "Captain America: Civil War" is another standard big budget blockbuster where the superheroes are marred in endless fighting and punching, yet while some of their previous instalments at least had a few inspired moments here and there, this edition ended up strangely tiresome. A CGI overkill, equipped with too many superheroes that leaves the impression of a play with too many kids and not enough lines for them all, "Civil War" at least has some traces of thought provocative themes in the story where the superheroes are split on whether they should be placed under the control of the UN, which offers a few psychological rifts between them. Still, the logic in the plot is highly strained—why are the Avengers getting all the blame for the destruction when they were just stopping the alien creature Chitauri from invading Earth? The movie simply ignores the concept of mens rea. Had they not reacted, the whole world would have been doomed. Also, why couldn't Captain America simply wait for the UN to grant him permission to go after Zemo, instead of simply causing a rift among the Avengers? He could have at least *tried* to get the permission first. Some of the battle and action sequences are good, yet not enough to overcome the overall bland, grey, routine and mechanical feel of the movie, which is ultimately very forgettable. A few cameo appearances, such as Spider-Man who is brought in to help Tony Stark, do not manage to live it up a bit, since they are not given enough time for character development, whereas the jokes are mostly lame—when the best joke is only a pun on Tony Stark's name ("Tony Stank"), you know not much can be said about it. The addition of Ant-Man, who can shrink to the size of an ant and enter Iron Man's armour, decimates the strive for any kind of realism in the story — if that shrinking is possible, then they might as well could have summoned Leprechauns and Dumbledore to help them out, as well.


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