Captain America: Civil War (2016)
written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
based on the Captain America comic books by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
I have talked before about my love/hate relationship with superhero movies and TV shows, and the delicate balance they must achieve for me to suspend disbelief and get vested in the story. And regretfully, Marvel’s second sequel to 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger is kind of a letdown, specially in comparison to that film and to its superior and exciting follow-up, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
Why is it a letdown? I’m not exactly sure. All the pieces are certainly there, as Marvel continues to develop their cinematic universe with a story that has the Avengers fighting each other over whether or not the team should be overseen by the United Nations in light of all the destruction and collateral damage that inevitably follows them whenever they face a threat. On one side is Captain America (Chris Evans), not quite on board with the government after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And on the other is Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), still feeling guilty after unwittingly unleashing Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Their sparring is the meat of the movie, as other Avengers (Black Widow, Falcon, War Machine, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Winter Soldier, and Vision) pick who they wish to back while new recruits are brought into the fold (Ant-Man, Black Panther, Spider-Man) and a new foe (Helmut Zemo, played by Daniel Brühl) plots to destroy them all. That’s too many characters and a lot of ground to cover, even with my girlfriend Scarlett Johansson kicking ass again as Black Widow (I think it’s time she gets her own Netflix series, don’t you?).
Who knows, maybe I’m just a little fatigued by all these superhero extravaganzas – halfway through I was already checking my watch, hoping for the type of banter Joss Whedon had brought to The Avengers (2012) and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Or at least some of the intrigue and eye-popping sequences from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So my apologies, Marvel fans: Captain America: Civil War ain’t bad, but didn’t quite grab me.
I did like Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the new Spidey (Tom Holland), so I’ll probably check out their upcoming stand-alone films. Maybe.
Carlos I. Cuevas