Captain America: Civil War full movie review - Marvel Stalemate Saga
Walt Disney Studios should have changed the title from "Captain America: Civil War" to "Captain America: Stalemate" since none of the heroes who square off against each other die.
Co-directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, who helmed "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," have the two rival divisions, led by Captain America and Iron Man, knocking the shenanigans out of each other in this contrived, drawn-out, 147 minute epic. Nevertheless, the worst thing that happens is War Machine loses control of his Iron Man style armored suit and makes a crash landing in a field. Although he suffers spinal damage, Lieutenant James Rhodes is back up and walking around with some difficulty before fade0ut. Mind you, "Captain America: Civil War" amounts to a letdown when nobody puts anybody down permanently. Ultimately, the two fractions emerge evenly matched. Nobody like S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson is around to die and make an impact like in "Marvel's "The Avengers" (2012). At least the recent DC Comics movie "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" pretended to kill off one of the two title characters. Of course, anybody with a grain of sense knows that the adversary that perished in "Batman v Superman" isn't dead. Furthermore, the DC Comics extravaganza at least staged a funeral and the characters engaged in a period of mourning. Although the premise that Captain America and Iron Man would clash is certainly attention-grabbing, the movie pulls its punches because the superheroes emerge with little more than either bruises on themselves or scratches on their respective outfits.
Despite several competently orchestrated physical confrontations, "Captain America: Civil War" rarely generates a modicum of suspense about its outcome. Basically, the Russo brothers stage one memorable fight at an evacuated airport, clear up the mystery behind the death of Tony Stark's parents, and introduce a new costume-clad character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Black Panther makes his debut, but he seems rather tame compared with the other Marvel champs. At one point, "Captain America: Civil War" seems more interested in rebooting the Spider-Man franchise than doing something with its protagonists that its PG-13 rating would condone. Sadly enough, the characters that stand out here aren't the title characters. Indeed, Spider-Man and Ant Man make a greater impression than any of the other Marvel titans, and Black Panther looks like Mardi Gras was his destination, and he paused to participate.
Approximately three characters die in "Captain America: Civil War." United at the outset, our heroes descend upon Lagos and tangle with former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Brock Rumlow, (Frank Grillo of "The Purge: Anarchy") a.k.a. Crossbones and his thugs who want to hijack a deadly biological weapon. Crossbones tries to kill Captain America with an explosion that obliterates his own life. Miraculously, the telekinetic Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen of "Godzilla") contains the blast and shifts it elsewhere to do its harm. Unfortunately, the blast shatters a nearby building, killing many unseen, innocent bystanders. The collateral damage fallout from the incident brings the Avengers under scrutiny. Afflicted with a guilty conscience about the death of an African-American lad in Logas, Tony Stark advocates the Sokovia Accords drawn up by the United Nations. Essentially, the Sokovia Accords establishes a panel to supervise the Avengers. Apparently, the indestructible Avengers may be responsible for killing more people than their own adversaries owing to the collateral damage that they have wrought during their escapades. Captain America (Chris Evans of "The Fantastic Four") abhors the idea, and he refuses to ink the pact. The death of Agent Peggy Carter solidifies his negative attitude toward the Sokovia Accords. A longtime Avengers adversary, U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt of "Dark City") now enjoys a position with more prestige than power over them. Ross, you may recall, has been the bane of the Hulk.
Matters grow even more serious. Steve Rogers' World War II pal Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan of Captain America: The Winter Soldier") is suspected of a igniting a deadly blast in Vienna where the Accords were being signed. Surveillance cameras show that Bucky was in town when the incident occurred. The blast kills King T'Chaka of Wakanda (John Kani of "The Wild Geese"), and his acrobatic son T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman of "42") dons a black bulletproof suit, a mask with cat ears, and gloves with retractable claws and embarks as The Black Panther to avenge his father's death. One of the many problems with "Captain America: Civil War" is that it bristles with far too many characters who do far too little to each other. Eventually, T'Challa will have his own stand alone movie, but he looks shoehorned into this film with nothing memorable to do. Worst of all, the chief villain is a family-guy-turned-vigilante, Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl of "Rush"), who is a rather dreary fellow compared with previous Marvel antagonists.
Anybody familiar with the Marvel Comics graphic novel will tell you "Captain America" scenarists Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely have taken liberties with the source material. In the Mark Millar graphic novel, lesser costume clad warriors destroyed an elementary school while a reality-TV crew photographed their endeavors. This wholesale destruction prompted the President of the United States to enact the Superhero Registration Act to make superheroes more accountable for their actions. Furthermore, the law required these costume-clad crusaders to divulge their true identities. Now, these heroes face the prospect of serving as Federal employees or facing arrest. Iron Man supports the act. "Becoming public employees makes perfect sense," he proclaims, "if it helps people sleep a little easier." Captain America opposes it, "Super heroes need to stay above that stuff or Washington starts telling us who the super-villains are." Later, Iron Man tricks Captain America and his Secret Avengers into responding to a fire at petrochemical plant where hundreds people could die. Ultimately, Captain America surrenders after Iron Man beats him into submission.
"Captain America: Civil War" isn't half as good as the previous two "Avengers" movies.