Captain America: Civil War

Year: 2016
Production Co: Marvel Studios
Studio: Disney
Director: Anthony Russo/Joe Russo
Producer: Kevin Fiege
Writer: Christopher Markus/Stephen McFeely/Mark Millar/Joe Simon
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Tom Holland, Paul Rudd, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Chadwick Boseman, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Daniel Brühl, William Hurt, martin Freeman, Marisa Tomei, Hope Davis, John Slattery, Alfre Woodward, Stan Lee

Hang on a minute, haven't we already had a movie about superheroes fighting each other for no good reason this year, one where they all make friends again for the flimsiest of reasons?

Even stranger, why do we live in a world where – when comic book geeks fall over themselves to argue about the number of great villains that brilliantly represent the fears, hopes and the human condition of our times – the biggest superhero movies so far pit them against each other instead of mining this supposedly deep well of villains?

Questionable set-up aside, Warner Bros and Zack Snyder must have been smarting as this movie blazed its way to a billion dollars kind of effortlessly. Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice seemed to scrape its way to profitability. It received a resounding drubbing by critics and barely a pass from fans and Captain America: Civil War stands at 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. And on top of all that they essentially told the same story first.

Despite the deafening of ker-chinging cash registers and critical plaudits, the problem with CA:CW is the same one that plagues/elevates (depending on your point of view) every movie not just in Marvel's stable but under Disney in general lately.

It all just has the unmistakable air of a product, carefully stage managed by the one man marketing committee of Kevin Feige with a very specific corporate agenda and a Bible of Marvel movie rules and strictures (laughs-to-action scene ratio, CGI budget, etc).

For all its faults, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice felt like the work of a filmmaker who wanted to tell a story. Like everything else Marvel does, this feels like the work of a series of meetings with toy manufacturers – no matter how well written or structured.

In any case, it's Avengers 3 in everything but name as the supersquad face increasing pressure from the international community about how their actions – no matter how heroic – cause too much death and damage around the world for them not to be reigned in.

Tony (Robert Downey Jr) supports a forthcoming UN resolution to reign in the Avengers' powers and restrict them from acting unless they have international oversight. Rogers (Chris Evans) believes it will only lead to them being strangled by inaction or worse – misused.

The cast from what feels like about sixty seven Marvel movies (and they still find the room for a new Spider-man) all rally behind either Stark or Rogers, just like you've seen in the poster of the two sides squaring off.

The reason they actually start fighting over it doesn't stand out enough to be memorable later, but it's interesting that a debate about whether the Avengers are too destructive results in a punch-up that sees them lay waste to a whole airport (among other locations).

Wrapped up in it all is Rogers' friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) and his hidden side as a brain-washed assassin, Tony Stark's anguish over the death of his parents (wait, which superhero are we talking about again?) and enough other detail to fill more than two hours. Scarlet Witch's burgeoning romance with Vision (Paul Bettany, looking thoroughly ridiculous again) starts to feel creepy, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) shows up again in the nick of time, and the whole thing manages to deftly introduce a whole new series of movies to come in Peter Parker (Tom Holland) as yet another Spider-man.

Like a half hour TV sitcom, everything is reset just the way it was at the end and it might as well have never even happened. Everyone's friends again, nobody holds a grudge (except maybe the insurers of that airport) and they can all look forward to countless more adventures in the dozens of movies we already know they're in.

As always, the greatest power of the movie is in portraying characters dressed up looking like complete idiots in costumes designed in the middle of the 20th Century and have them somehow seem to belong in the modern, more international and more politically nuanced geopolitical world.

© 2011-2022 Filmism.net. Site design and programming by psipublishinganddesign.com | adambraimbridge.com | humaan.com.au