Pointless Nonsense

Posted in movies by Bill on May 7, 2016

cap3Captain America: Civil War was very good on the scale of summer blockbuster action movies, but pretty ordinary as far as Marvel movies go. That speaks both to the quality of Marvel’s output and a reasonable amount to be disappointed with in the movie. Spoilers to follow:

All the actors are well-cast. The old ones, obviously, but Black Panther and Spider-Man shine in limited time, too. It’s closer to Winter Soldier in tone, so it’s not non-stop jokey, but they do pepper in some humor throughout, and it works. There are some quality action scenes (though a little too much of the shaky-cam early on). My complaints lie with the whole hero vs hero conceit in general, and with the villain’s plan.

Captain America, believed to be the paragon of goodness, the conscience of the team, he thinks “we need to be able to ignore the borders of any country on earth and kick the shit out of people there without any oversight.” Which is a patently stupid position. If Captain Russia were swinging by Chicago to beat up some Hydra guys, we’d be rightfully pissed at the collateral damage. So naturally he gets half the Avengers to sign on to his stupid idea. Meanwhile, Tony Stark’s rationale for being for oversight is to look at the mess in Sokovia and be like “this is our fault.” No Tony, this is your fault for making Ultron. You’re taking the right position for a stupid reason. Maybe all those other Avengers sign on to Cap’s side because they’re like “fuck you Tony, at least take responsibility for your shit.”

Meanwhile, the main villain is Baron Zemo, reimagined here is as a Sokovian Col. rather than a Baron. But still Zemo. He has Joker-level ability to predict unpredictable events, because his plan relies on first creating a war within the Avengers, then them reconciling enough that two people will be at a specific place at a specific time so that he can have the big reveal that I thought was obvious from the beginning but hopefully some people were surprised by it. But it took a million things going right at exactly the right time for his master plan to come to fruition. Moreso than most contrived movie villain plots.

But it was an enjoyable time at the movies. Just an Iron Man 2/Thor 1/Cap 1 level enjoyable time, rather than being up there with the better Marvel movies.


2 Responses

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  1. joseph jeong said, on May 17, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Oh, come on. Your points are noted, but if you want nuance, you need to go to the books (yes, yes I know, you don’t read…. except comic books. so hah!) or a three hour, Oscar-baiting, Merchant Ivory type production.

    Captain America’s position was poorly articulated, but if you step back and look at the bigger picture, the overarching position in the movie Marvel universe is that the government entities are just as flaky/unreliable (cf: Captain America: Winter Soldier -> release everything, not just the HYDRA files but the SHIELD files too). So overall, this is building up to the position that Captain America’s stance in Civil War.

    Anyway, I thought it was great. I still think Iron Man remains my favorite Marvel movie, but this one is close (maybe 1B?). Casting was great (Spiderman! How funny, it just one short cameo to show that Marvel knows how to cast Spiderman better than Sony Pictures), the action sequences were great, villain was not paper-thin (not the deepest character, but not paper thin either), story and pacing was above average; overall I enjoyed the movie a lot.

    • Bill said, on May 18, 2016 at 12:00 am

      It’s a very good movie. When calling it “ordinary” I’m just comparing it to the rest of the MCU, which is to hold it to a high standard. I’d put it clearly behind (in no order) Avengers, Iron Man, Winter Soldier, GotG. At best, 5th out of 12. Ordinary on that scale.

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