I’ll be really honest up front, I hated the Civil War comic book event. I mean really, really, really hated the whole idea of it. It was so bad, especially when they publically unmasked Peter Parker, that I dropped Marvel comics entirely for a couple of years. I have not, to this day, ever gone back and read the entire original Civil War and never will and I am not alone in my feelings. Marvel went back and effectively retconned the event because the fallout was so horrible for them. So keep this in mind when I review this movie. I went into it with a feeling of trepidation, knowing how awful the comic version was, but I’m trying not to let my feelings over the concept color how I review the movie. So now that the Bluray is out, let’s take a look at Captain America: Civil War.After the last couple of movies, the world community is upset that the Avengers are trashing the planet while fighting superpowered threats. To that end, they propose the Sokovia Accords, which place the Avengers under the control of the UN. Half of the team accepts this and half does not, and a war between the two sides begins. Meanwhile, The Winter Soldier re-appears and supposedly blows up the UN summit in Vienna, killing the king of Wakanda. His son, T’Challa, assumes the throne and the ceremonial position of Black Panther and sets about to kill Bucky Barnes. However, Captain America is convinced that Bucky didn’t do it and his side of the Avengers goes rogue to prove it. This sets up a three sided war, the pro-accord side led by Iron Man, the anti-accord side led by Captain America and the revenge-based side of Black Panther. Who will win?
As far as the movie is concerned, I think Spider-Man and Black Panther stole the show. Yes, I still like Tony Stark, but sorry, Robert Downey Jr. is getting old and it shows. Plus, he isn’t the same old wise-cracking jerk that we saw in the first Iron Man movie and that was most of his charm. And without Pepper Potts, who probably won’t be back because Gwyneth Paltrow’s contract expired with Iron Man 3, whose real job was to reign in and humanize Tony Stark, Stark was a bigger ass than usual in this film.
Plus, there was just too much to it. They tried to do far too much, which made the movie far too long. And then there was what I thought was the biggest problem with it, that this wasn’t really about Captain America. This was Avengers-lite. Other than Thor and Hulk, and let’s be honest, the only reason Hulk wasn’t around was because the CGI is prohibitively expensive, this was the whole team, plus some extras, and it really wasn’t about Cap, it just had him in it. It was far more about Tony Stark than Steve Rogers. This should have been a full Avengers movie, but it just doesn’t fit into the continuity that way.
There were just too many characters to keep straight. Not only do you have the 12 heroes, but all of the side characters and side stories going on and none of it meshed together particularly well. Yes, loved Spider-Man and loved Antman, but they really felt pasted on for no particular reason. Oh look, here’s Spider-Man, coming soon to a theater near you in his own movie!
And finally, I just can’t get past how much I detest the storyline, no matter how well done it might have been on screen. I will never forgive Marvel for making all of these superheroes fight over what is really a stupid idea. It was just a cash grab then, it is just a cash grab now. As flashy as the graphics might have been, the whole storyline just sucks. It wasn’t really about Cap, it didn’t really advance the Captain America storyline, Cap had very little to do and was constantly outshone in his own movie. What was supposed to finish out the Captain America trilogy ended up being an Avengers sideline. I really don’t like that. I feel this thing should have been better, but the first way to make it better is to never use the Civil War storyline. But Marvel isn’t known for common sense when it comes to their overblown epics, are they?