Captain America: Civil War – Seriously? What an overlong mess this was. I don’t think I’ve looked at my watch so many times during a film.
Note: In this review, there may be what some might consider spoilers. I can’t really discuss my likes/dislikes without going into detail.
Even though Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) started off back in the same time period as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), here, the film starts in 1991 and the former has been programmed like a sleeper agent to commit something bad, the full ramifications of which will be felt later in what feels more like a rather lame Avengers movie than a ‘Captain America’ one, even though he’s the dominant character.
And that’s part of the problem because, with the Marvel series having story arcs that go throughout the films, you have to watch them all to catch up, and they’re starting to feel like the same film being told over and over. I loved the first Avengers film, for example, but after seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron and now this one, it feels like they’re just rehashing the same movie over and over, without adding anything. And the more they make the same film, the less they have to say.
In mid-fight (do they do anything else?), in the made-up place of Zirkova, the Avengers cause an inadvertent explosion which destroys a building along with all the unfortunates inside, just like Man of Steel did, leading into Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. This leads to the government finally getting fed up of their antics and decides to put them under control, which forms the Zirkova Accords agreement. The Avengers either have to sign it and act only under government approval when they go after bad guys (totally unworkable given how slow governments take to pass a motion on things, and such events REALLY need to be sorted out THAT DAY!), and if they don’t sign it, then they can’t do diddly. We’re told, surprisingly, that 117 countries have approved it.
Given that nearly 200 countries signed up to the money-making hogwash claim about ‘man-made global warming’ last December in Paris (and if it wasn’t hogwash, why would they, and their tens of thousands of delegates and press, all fly there??), you’d think more would put their names down, given what a mess the Avengers normally make.
With some of them going for it, with others abstaining on point of principle, there’s a bombing in Vienna where Bucky is the suspect, but we all know it’s not him. This is a basic misunderstanding, which is eventually sorted out after they’ve all had a – thus, pointless – scrap at Leipzig Airport in Germany, which includes buses and planes going South. And given that most of the team have agreed to reign in their power at Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross’ (William Hurt) request, why would they then just go ahead and smash the place up? It’s just total nonsense!
So, while going rogue, the Captain has to get across to those Avengers NOT on his side about what happened, which involves the Cap and Falcon wearing baseball caps and dark glasses in an attempt to go unseen, plus there’s lots of lots of talking (the film lasts two-and-a-half hours and really doesn’t need to), and Paul Bettany returns as Vision, now taking human-like form and ending up looking like a 6ft beetroot.
Go to page 2 for more good thoughts about this film…
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.