Monday, September 05, 2016

Captain America: Civil War

If I'm being honest, the moment they announced that the third Captain America movie would be "Civil War" I lost every shred of interest I had in it. Which is really sad because in the Marvel films, Captain America has been my favorite. Partially because of how amazing Peggy Carter was in the first movie, but also just because I really enjoyed the character and Chris Evans' portrayal of him. Which surprised me because in the comics, he's not my favorite.

But the Civil War storyline in general was one I found boring, and in the context of the Marvel movies it seemed even more boring. It also seemed to be playing into some fan-interpretation weirdness with the characters that I just didn't see in the movies. Ramping up to the release, absolutely nothing made me interested in it again. The trailers, the posters, the marketing hype, nothing drew me in. It still looked boring. I ended up going to see it because my husband wanted to and I figured well, it probably wasn't going to be BAD, just mostly uninteresting. Kind of like Age of Ultron (which I found kind of tedious despite some great moments).

Reading this you probably think I hate the Marvel movies but the thing is I really don't. I enjoy them quite a bit, and it's revitalized some stories that I'd gotten tired with in the comic books. There's a lot of great stuff in the MCU, and the casting is so pitch perfect that it lets a lot of other things slide.

Anyway, so Civil War the movie. The movie didn't really end up winning me over. The way I put it to people is that it's the second best Avengers movie, as Black Panther 0.5 it's wonderful. It's even got a few scenes that serve as a great Spider-Man reboot and made me want to finally get around to watching Ant Man. But it was not just the worst Captain America movie, it's very far below the quality of the first two to the point where I don't think it's worth considering it part of the same series.

It only just barely continues Steve's story, and it twists his character in ways that make no sense except when you think that the Marvel Execs said "we need X to happen" so well, they made X happen. Steve has plenty of faults, but lack of clear communication haven't been on that list until this movie (insubordination, sure, but he says what he means and elaborates on it well usually). Which is infuriating to me because his point of view isn't wrong. The Russo brothers have said that they didn't want either side to be right, which I think comes across actually as a cop-out, but the other thing is that in order to do that they basically had to make Steve have a good point of view and then support it with absolutely nonsensical actions. They've also been saddled with a storyline that has an enormous amount of historical context regarding the efficacy of peacekeeping forces/the UN and ignore that context so thoroughly you wonder if it doesn't exist in their timeline.

The whole thing comes across less as a "life is complicated and these people have complicated problems to figure out" and more "we wanted interpersonal conflict so everybody stopped talking to each other and acted like five year old's so we could make things go boom and have a cool poster."

There were amusing bits to be sure, and some great lines. The acting as always was great. But unless they go and put together a "Here, just watch Black Panther's scenes and let the rest fade from your mind" version of it, I probably won't bother watching it again.

Well, they can include Falcon being snarky to Bucky, that was fun too.