Monday, January 30, 2017

Movie Review: Captain America - Civil War

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Great action
Cons: Too much left open at the end
The Bottom Line:
Split in Avengers
Gives us some great action scenes
With little wrap up

“This Doesn’t Have to End in a Fight.”  “It Always Ends in a Fight.”

By now, everyone knows about the vaulted Marvel Cinematic Universe.  As a result, I have been trying to follow the movies in the order of release.  I’ve just let myself get behind.  In my efforts to catch up, I just watched Captain America: Civil War.  It’s definitely not the best in the Marvel franchise.

The Avengers are finally having to face some consequences for their actions.  While many still consider them heroes, people who have been effected by their huge battles are putting out a cry for some kind of oversight.  An international organization has answered the call, but the camp is being split into two with Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), on one side and Tony Stark, aka Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), on the other.

While the rest of the superheroes are choosing sides, Steve’s friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) resurfaces, accused of committing a horrible crime.  Steve is quick to defend his friend, and these actions only further the rift between the two sides of the Avengers.  Is Bucky truly innocent?  Can Steve help him prove it with his old friends after him?

Really, to call this a Captain America film is a misnomer.  While we don’t see Thor or the Hulk, the rest of the Avengers are all present and have plenty of screen time.  Yes, there are a few things here that are carry over storylines from the previous two Captain America films, but this could have been another Avengers sequel without any real difference in the storyline.

In fact, I feel like it would have been better that way.  The Bucky Barnes storyline served a purpose in the divide, but anything else would have worked just as well.  And if it were an Avengers focused film, it might have better served the Civil War part of the plot.  As it is, we get some resolution to that, but it is obviously something they will be carrying over to further films.  While we’ve had threads left hanging in earlier movies, this is the first time I’ve really felt like we had a big, unspoken “To Be Continued” hanging at the end of the film.

Of course, if you are looking at this for action scenes, you’ll be greatly rewarded.  They are plentiful and fun.  There is a big fight that includes the newest superhero in the roster – Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man.  Meanwhile, we also get to meet the newest Spider-Man as Tom Holland steps into the roll ahead of his debut headlining a film later this year.

And my critique certainly is no reflection on the acting.  The cast all does a fantastic job with their various rolls.

I just wish that the story had been ironed out a bit more.  I just feel like we’ve been left with too little resolution for the two plus hour run time of the film.  Yes, the Captain America part is actually resolved, but there was so much more to this film than that, and to have to wait a year or longer for the next part is frustrating.

And yet their plan certainly worked.  I will be back for more Marvel films to find out what happens next to these characters.  It’s not that Captain America:Civil War is a bad film.  It’s just that it leaves too much open to be truly satisfying.

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