CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR [2016]

captain-america-civil-war-181827Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Written by Christopher Markus (screenplay), Stephen McFeely (screenplay)

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Daniel Brühl, Tom Holland, Martin Freeman


This happened back in 2014. Guardians of the Galaxy had just come out, and everyone was raving about it; even people who I knew weren’t major fans of super-hero/comic-book movies. So I waited for the DVD and tried to watch it. Three times. On the third attempt I finally got through the entire film, right up to the insanely sappy finale that had me speechless in all the wrong ways.

Let’s all hold hands and magic will happen!

Then this year we had Deadpool, which claimed to be different. But for all its self-awareness and ‘dirty’ jokes that just seemed immature to me, I again couldn’t find anything to like about the film apart from the amusing credits and Ryan Reynolds’ awesome performance. Which at least is something, I guess

And now I find myself in the same position. In fact, I’m even more out of the loop considering many people are lauding this as the best film Marvel has released.

After being browbeaten for about an hour that this film is about collateral damage, my butt started to hurt. Not a sign that I was immersed in the film. Then the Avengers choose sides regarding UN oversight, and Cap goes rogue.

If they had have been a little more subtle about the problem of collateral damage, they could have added to that very real problem (in the word of superheroes at least) the fact that an ‘agent’ has gone rogue. This could have actually applied to the real world, and the film could have made some interesting social commentary, apart from screaming at the top of its lungs that collateral damage is the issue here.

Rather than diving into anything interesting regarding one of the Avengers going rogue, they simply turn it into a ‘choose your team’ scenario, which not only reeks of lazy film-making but it turns the second half of the film into what feels like an advertisement campaign for as many goddamn Avengers as possible. To their credit, they handled the massive array of characters well, which is probably the best aspect of the movie.

Apparently the movie was marketed by asking fans to choose a side. I have seen previous Avenger/Cap films, so I knew the characters well. But I didn’t feel invested in the proceedings or characters at all, and I sure as shit didn’t feel like I was on either side. Again, I know these characters well. But the big showdown had zero emotional impact on me. It was kinda cool to watch, sure, if you like the Hollywood approach to action – that is, to use as many different shots as possible to obscure the action, because of course, most of this stuff couldn’t be choreographed properly so it could be shot well. I mean, what other reason is there to use so many different shots for a single fight scene, often making it hard to tell what is happening?

Surprisingly, to me at least, I freaking LOVED Spiderman. Or Spiderboy. He was the only character that brought a smile to my face, the only one I wanted to see more of. The only one whose lines I laughed at. And this was his introduction to the new universe, unlike the others, who I already knew. During the big showdown I loved every scene he was in. Once his cameo was over, the movie was essentially over for me as the lack of being immersed in the film had my butt-cheeks now really sore. Which is kinda funny: I didn’t particularly like The Revenant or The Hateful Eight, and they were even longer than this , yet I didn’t feel that pain during those two.

Spider-Man-3-1200x632

Of course I realise I am in the vast, vast minority here. There seems to be something wrong with me on a psychological level – I just cannot get into these movies. The in-offensive, PC-friendly humour drew very few chuckles from the audience attending the session I was, and the spectacle of super-people fighting other-super-people just doesn’t make for entertaining viewing for me. Additionally, The Avengers are all friends really, so we never get to a high level of fisticuffs. No one is going to die, and we all know that from the start. To me, this renders the film’s title as hyperbole, and knowing no one will die drastically takes away any power the action scenes could have had.

As if all this wasn’t enough, we have yet another irritating ending that doesn’t end the movie at all – of course it is paving the way for the next movie to come along to make another shit-ton of money. Which it most certainly will. Perhaps that is what bothers me on a subconscious level, knowing that these franchises are money-generating machines over art. I’m sure I’m quite alone in those thoughts though.

Oh well, whatever floats your boat, as they say. But this particular boat, with me as a passenger, was without a paddle. I am however anticipating the new Spiderman movie, which is something I thought I would never say. So at least I got something positive from the movie! As for these sorta movies in the future though, I think its best if I steer clear for the most part.

 

32 Comments on “CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR [2016]

  1. So….you didn’t like it then? Haha! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you psychologically if you don’t enjoy these kinds of films…we all have different taste. I liked reading your take on it anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you on Guardians of the Galaxy and (really) most Marvel films. I have to say that I was immensely entertained by Civil War though. When it comes to collateral damage, I don’t think it had anything interesting to say (even Batman v. Superman handled this better) but overall for once I had no trouble sitting through a movie that was about the Avengers for once.

    Like

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it Matt! Most people seem to be with you on that one hehe. And yeah I don’t think this had anything interesting to say about collateral damage (Eye In The Sky was perfect for that), it just repeatedly mentioned that it was the reason the Avengers divide.

      I haven’t seen BvS, probably never will, but that is interesting that you say that movie handled the collateral damage angle better than this one

      Like

  3. Nice review Jordan. I actively despise the superhero genre, all of the movies are practically the same, with the lame sitcom banter, over large destructive mayhem, and bland predictability. I haven’t seen this but I’m glad someone else is tired of the genre as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PRAISE THE LORD!! I’m not alone!! Haha 😛

      and I agree with every point you made.

      Thing is, I’m not -tired- of the genre – I hated these films as soon as they spread over the world like a goddamn virus. The only one I recall enjoying was Watchmen, and that was a loooong time ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I enjoy a few superhero movies, but 99% of them are just bad. At best, the Marvel pictures are entertainingly forgettable and at worst they’re nauseatingly insufferable.

        By the way man, have you seen Green Room? Finally caught it last night and thought it was an amazing movie. It’s got a great representation of metal and hardcore, with Dead Kennedys, Slayer, Bad Brains, and Napalm Death sprinkled in the soundtrack.

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  4. There is nothing wrong with being in the minority of this. Some of your points gave me pause about how different and more interesting the film could have been but I do have to admit I loved the film. My wife did not and I do sense some inevitable franchise fatigue here. Even if you love this stuff you’re kind of starting to take it for granted. So by all means plant your flag and rally for something else to be made. I’ll be over here with my Avengers tin popcorn bucket. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehehe, thanks for reading Lloyd. I’m glad you enjoyed the movie, everyone seems to love it. I might try to watch it again, and try even harder to take off my serious cap and just…. escape into it. That is my problem I think, I take movies just a little too seriously!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. One. I don’t like the high-speed camera work during the fight scenes. It literally hurt my eyes as I couldn’t focus on anything. Two. It was terribly predictable and boring. Even for the adolescent in me.

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    • Yup, you summed up my rant quite succinctly Cindy! 🙂 That camera-work really is headache-inducing huh? Like I say, the only possible reason to make it look that bad is because they couldn’t choreograph all that stuff properly so that it could be filmed from a distance. And your second point is bang on, predictable, and again like I said, you knew that they were all friends. Nothing big was going to happen.

      What really does my head in is those endings that aren’t really endings

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Jordan! I’m glad you decided to review this man. I really think you didn’t care for the movie, and the action sequences, because you’re already predisposed to not liking it. I don’t think there is anything psychologically wrong w/ you at all man, I mean I’m not into horror movies at all so even those that people are raving about, I probably just not gonna get into it. I hear ya that most Marvel movies ‘feels like an advertisement campaign for as many goddamn Avengers as possible’ because that certainly is the case. But hey, at least there is something you do like, I thought Spidey was a hoot indeed. Believe it or not, despite me liking him & Black Panther, I’m actually pretty superhero-fatigue right now so I’m not even excited about any of them. I mean I probably will watch ’em when they come out (because I get free press screenings) but I’m not clamoring to see them, y’know what I mean? So it’s perfectly ok that you dislike this one man, in fact I’m sorry I was one of them who hyped the movie for ya, I probably should’ve told you to steer clear of it just like I did w/ Batman V Superman. Now if you can’t stand this one, I can’t imagine how enraged you’d be w/ that abomination.

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    • The thing is though, I went in really wanting to like it. I didn’t mind Winter Soldier, I think I gave it 7/10 at the time, but I saw that on a small screen. On the big screen, those action scenes, the way they were filmed, it gave me a headache. Sooo many different shots for one fight!

      I was kinda joking about there being something wrong with me haha, and I’m TOTALLY surprised that I loved Spiderman hey. I couldn’t get into any of the characters, even though I knew them from The Avengers and Winter Solider. But suddenly Spidey comes along and I thought he was a blast! I really wasn’t expecting that – in fact, the reason I finally decided to see this was cos I saw Spidey in a trailer and liked him. Unfortunately he didn’t really have many scenes – I’m totally on board for his inevitable movie. So no need to be sorry 😉

      I know what you mean about not clamouring to see them. You are so lucky to get passes, how did you manage to score that deal, you lucky devil! That is awesome, I sometimes get screeners from festivals that I review from home, but I never get passes for a movie like that. The only time I did was for the Adelaide Film Festival, I had at least 15 comp tickets haha

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      • Ahah, for some reason the action shot did not bother me. I actually think they didn’t blur the action too much as you can still see who’s punching who. But hey at least you still like Spidey, he truly was one of the highlights.

        As for press credential, you should contact a PR firm in your area. If there’s a company that gives out free film screenings, that’s the company that work w/ film studios. They can put you on a press list so you get invited for FREE press screenings every week. There are fortunately two companies I got the press pass from, as they each work with different studios.

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  7. I’m with you Jordy! I have no interest in these comic book movies at all. The only ones I like are X-Men. Back in the day I didn’t mind the Batman movies or Toby Maguire Spiderman movies but not to watch any more than once!

    I haven’t watched Deadpool or ANY Iron Man movie or Avengers movie. Or Thor movie. Or Captain America movie. I really have no interest in them at all, I find them boring to be honest. So don’t worry at all. Better to be different anyway!

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM’KAY 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mmmm’kay! 😉 Glad I’m not alone. I don’t only find them boring, I think they are all the same. Including Deadpool. IMO this one is even worse cos there isn’t a proper villain, so the fights aren’t really all that intense when you know no one will die. Kinda takes away the tension.

      Thing is, I liked Captain America 2. Sorta. I thought I’d get on with this, I wanted to like it, but ultimately I was just kinda sitting there, head cocked and resting on my hand. None of it felt immersive at all, and I knew the characters!

      That’s what makes it bizarre that I liked Spiderman. He wasn’t an established character yet he was the only one I was rooting for!

      Like

  8. P.S I did really like Guardians of the Galaxy but mainly because of the friendship between the hapless characters and the soundtrack. And I only watched it because someone forced me to ha ha.

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    • Haha! yeah that one didn’t gel with me at all. And that ending! So cheesy! I also really dislike Pratt so that didn’t help

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  9. Great review! While I enjoyed this, I didn’t love it. I am not really a huge fan of most of the Marvel films (I liked them more when they were fresh and new), but I was disappointed when watching this. I am a big Captain America fan. It’s the only time I get amped up to go out and watch an MCU film. I was really let down to essentially get an Avengers movie.

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    • Yeah it certainly was an Avengers movie. And I liked Winter Solider too so I was expecting to enjoy this. But that headache inducing camera-work, and the fact that they are all friends, making the fights waaaay less dramatic, were the main reasons I didn’t like it. I doubt i’ll bother with a Marvel film again.

      I’m giving the genre one last shot 😛 Suicide Squad, I love The Joker from the Batman videogames, I love Leto…. I am looking forward to that. Oh and I’ll definitely catch the new Spidey movie! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi, thanks for your comment on my blog! I liked the film more than you did, but I understand your criticisms. The film was heavily flawed. I think my favorite part was the Winter Soldier. I just adore that character and wish they would do more with him.

    I completely agree w/ you on Deadpool. I just saw it for the first time last night and i didn’t really think it was as good as everyone had led me to believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah Deadpool is really similar to other similar movies, which is kinda odd cos the movie makes a point to try and be different. The only difference really was the sex-jokes, compared to the normal user-friendly, PC humour Marvel excels at.

      I like the Winter Soldier too – I liked the last Cap movie. But this just left me so damn under-whelmed!

      Like

  11. Great review 🙂 The occasional problem with superhero movies is that the writers and directors never do anything incendiary to them. One of the reasons the 87 version of Robocop was so great was because of its biting satire that served at the center of the film. Most (not all) superhero movies seem to just play it safe. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

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  12. Nice review man. I can definitely see where you’re coming from. I think very few superhero movies these days are anything above mediocre but this one,I happened to really like. But again, respect your opinion and you raise some very good points to support your arguement

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading mate, haha I went in really wanting to like it, having just seen Winter Solider, which I liked. But that was on a small screen, on the big screen it made my head hurt, that could be the epilepsy though.

      I was pleasantly surprised by Spiderman. I’ll probably see his standalone movie… I couldn’t even tell you why I liked him, I just thought he was great.

      My favourite bit, during the big fight, when Ant-Man goes big, Spidey starts talking about “you know that really old movie where they land on the space planet?!” and the mixed reactions from the others were great.

      Like

  13. Aw, I’m sorry you didn’t like this more, but I do agree with some of your points. I got a case of the ol’ shuffle butt at the length of this movie, although NOTHING will feel as long as The Revenant! You already read my rant about the collateral damage.
    I’m getting tired of superhero movies, and I go into every one with a feeling of ‘ugh’ but I have to say, Marvel movies always make me leave with a smile!
    Great post though!! 🙂
    – Allie

    Liked by 1 person

    • “the ol’ shuffle butt” – that cracked me up. Haha! And it was that bashing over my head with the collateral damage theme that caused it.

      That’s great that you could escape into this, I wish I could join everyone on the journey! It seems to leave a smile on everyone’s face!

      And I think I’m with you, The Revenant felt like an eternity. My mate actually went out for a smoke during the middle, and I had -nothing- to tell him when he got back cos he hadn’t missed anything!

      Like

  14. Pingback: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR IS MORE OF THE SAME WHICH IS AWESOMENESS « lloydmarken

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