Monday, 20 June 2016

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

The Russo brothers return for the final movie in this Captain America trilogy that feels more like an Avengers trilogy (there, I said it). Taking concepts and ideas from the 2006 comicbook storyline of the same name, this movie introduces yet more superhero characters whilst continuing the saga with the more well known characters. That being said, bottom line, as the title suggests, its an internal civil war amongst the Avengers. One group against another over a set of ideals that can't be agreed upon, hmmm strangely apt for these modern times methinks. Anyway I dunno why I'm writing all this because surely everyone knows.

The plot...ugh! the plot, well I kinda summed it up just above really but in a nutshell. The UN wants to keep all superheroes in check because they are generally causing lots of damage and killing innocent people during their daring rescue missions to save the world. I mean yeah sure, losing innocent lives is a bummer n all but...if its between that or an entire country, or even the world, getting destroyed then surely collateral damage must be accepted...right??! Well apparently no, and on one side you have Captain America who thinks allowing the UN to control the Avengers is a dangerous move, whilst on the other Iron Man who agrees with the government and wants to be somewhat locked down. The bug being, if they can't agree on this and they don't allow the UN to run the show, they all have to retire. Pretty stupid really because how you gonna enforce that against super people?? Anyway, naturally both heroes have team members that agree with them and thus you have the two superhero factions, let the civil war commence! Oh and there's another uber villain in the mix again to throw spanners in the works at the same time, usual stuff.

So things kick off with a rather ropy action sequence that introduces us to the reason why the UN wants to lock down the Avengers and the flash in the pan showcasing of villain Crossbones. Just when you thought they couldn't possibly get away with showing you more of the same shit all over again, they do just that. In other words we have the Cap and Black Widow doing lots of martial arts type tomfoolery against faceless cannon fodder types, spiced up with the odd bloody obvious CGI move. Falcon swoops in and does pretty much all he can do which is fly around and kick people, you any fool could do with some training on those metal wings. There are lots of stunts that are clearly not the actors (usually shot from behind), Black Widow gets trapped in an armoured truck with a grenade and somehow manages not to get killed, and finally Crossbones is dispatched whilst unfortunately wiping out lots of innocents at the same time.

In general all the action is pretty much like this, for the comicbook fanboys and Marvel fanboys it will be a wet dream once again, for casual viewers like myself it may start to become rather repetitive. That's not to say its bad or anything, but there is only so much kicking, punching and general throwing of characters that one can handle before it all becomes a boring blur with added CGI shenanigans. There is of course an exception to the rule in this movie (well a couple at least), there are two action sequences which the Russo brothers have clearly tried to jazz things up a bit. Firstly the chase sequence where Black Panther is after Bucky Barnes because he thinks Bucky assassinated his father. Now initially this starts off pretty normally,as you'd expect with the usual fisticuffs, although its some good fisticuffs. Luckily things take a different route as the sequence quickly descends into the realms of parkour across some rooftops (to a degree), and then into a full pelt chase on foot. Now while I can't say this sequence matches up to the sheer grit of the infamous chase sequence in action flick 'Point Break', they have clearly tried to do the same sort of thing. Alas it still comes across as too flashy and full of CGI, for me. Again that's not to say its a bad sequence, far from it, its very good, very thrilling and most importantly, its fresh. Yes the super speed running alongside cars (or outrunning them) is very clearly fake looking and kinda cheesy, maybe they should of avoided doing that? possibly, it did look pretty shit.

The second decent action sequence was easily the now infamous airport battle where we finally see all these characters together kicking ass with their unique skills. This was never gonna fail lets be honest, how could it? All the Avengers together, split right down the middle, knocking the shit outta each other, wicked stuff. This was the highlight for me, what I've been waiting to see in all honesty and it didn't disappoint. Each character seemed to get a good amount of ass kicking time on screen, each character got to use their skills and in general it just looked cool, I loved seeing Ant-Man getting stuck in with his micro moves. Now I could nitpick it, I could be really honest and say the CGI was all too obvious again with certain martial arts moves, looking at Black Panther and his videogame-esque flying kicks. Then you have the fact that Vision could of wiped everyone out but kinda didn't, in fact he did f**k all, same with Scarlet Witch really. On the subject of Vision and Scarlet Witch, what the f**k did she do to him back in the apartment? I get she crippled him with her powers but then she knocked him down into the earth or something? like deep underground?
Then I could be a real bastard and mention how Falcon, Hawkeye and Black Widow are technically useless in this battle because they are essentially regular humans without any major weapons, strength or armour to protect them, but we all know that. Anyway lets not talk about the highly ironic fact that Stark and co wanna reign in the Cap and his team so they can all be under UN control to stop unnecessary damage, and go about that by destroying an airport, hmmm.

Once we get past these actions segments things tend to revert back to the usual spiel I have come to expect with these comicbook flicks, lots of exposition that usually involves secret projects and flashbacks. This time it all surrounds Baron Zemo trying to find other frozen super soldiers in Siberia so he can eventually lure in Bucky, Stark and the Cap to reveal a huge secret that would hopefully fracture the Avengers. Bold move because lets be honest here he has no idea that his little reveal will cause the chaos he hopes for, considering everyone knows that Bucky has been brainwashed all this time so anything wrong he may have done in the past is most probably due to that. Well you'd think that but apparently Stark didn't know this? really? after all this time he doesn't stop to think about it for a second? Maybe I missed something but I don't get how Stark doesn't realise this...even though what he finds out is deeply upsetting for him. Also, how in God's name did Stark not detect Black Panther's craft flying behind him on the way to Siberia??!! Surely his Iron Man suit would pick up that craft being so close. And why exactly does Zemo kill the other frozen super soldiers? what was the point of that? Overall I did feel that the entire plot of this film was rather limp frankly, bottom line its all about Zemo simply wanting to reveal a painful secret to Stark, everything is simply building up to that one reveal, and after all that, surely Stark must have realised Bucky was brainwashed at the time! surely!!

In general the effects ranged from being outstandingly slick with some great stunt work (the young Downy Jr. showcasing some excellent CGI), to being blatantly obvious CGI with obvious stuntmen. I don't really think there has been any major leaps in visuals since the last Cap or Avengers movies. I really enjoyed seeing all the characters (can't stress that enough), I thought Spider-Man fit in beautifully and came across perfectly, I enjoyed the team struggles, the strained friendships (something I'm sure many can actually relate to), and the seamless plot continuity. But I gotta be brutally honest here, I only really saw this simply to view all these superhero characters together in the same film, that was the hook for me, that alone, everything else I can take it or leave it. Whilst its by no means a bad movie, I am finding myself suffering from superhero fatigue now, simply because all these movies are blurring into one and I can't really tell them apart, but admittedly that is just me. Whilst I didn't absolutely love it, I didn't hate it either, its a perfectly enjoyable Marvel extravaganza that (to me) feels more like yet another (very similar) Avengers chapter. And for the record, I was on team Captain America.