Review: Captain America: Civil War (dir. Russo & Russo, 2016)
Better than Batman versus Superman Dawn of Justice… but that isn’t saying much. A looong film filled to the brim with action and fight sequences. Despite this there are moments of real humour and pathos, and it touches on some important and interesting themes. All in all a good action movie in the Marvel franchise.
One of my biggest complaints about the Marvel, and now the DC, movies is that they spend a lot of time setting up the next film in the franchise, rather than focusing on the film in front of them. Basically, they are so obsessed with the big picture that they lose sight of the current story at hand. While there was a little bit of that in this film (ok more than a little bit), it thankfully felt a lot more focussed on the story being told and wasn’t just adding elements to foreground the next step. What was even better was that because the characters had been introduced and explored in previous films much of the story focussed on what was happening, rather than trying to shoehorn in more backstory and character history. It did feel a lot like an Avenger’s film rather than a Captain America story, with the majority of the film falling on Chris Evan’s and Robert Downey Jr.’s shoulders. But I have to admit that they handled the large ensemble cast pretty well, and although it was stuffed to the gills with characters and fights, there was a real story hiding in there behind the heavy-handed moral lessons, the biased narrative focus, and the occasional plot hole.