Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War

It's been busy around the Shieldmaiden Homestead lately (as always, really), but I was happy to get the chance to have a few hours to myself on Mother's Day. Our babysitter came over, and I got to indulge in seeing a chick flick: Captain America: Civil War. Chick flick for this house, anyway. I suspect most readers here are of the same mind.

Chick flick of choice

I'm not really going to go into the intricacies of the plot, although of course there are spoilers below so stop reading if you don't want to find out what happens. Mostly I'm going to just sort of rant about my reaction to the movie. There are probably literally hundreds of thousands of reviews that tell what the plot is, and I'm so fashionably late to the party here that I assume most people who care about seeing the movie (and might be reading this) have already.

It's no secret that I am, and have been for a long time, a comic book fan. By extension, I'm a fan of comic book movies that aren't awful (fortunately this DOES fall in that category). I've been as avid as anyone else out there about the last decade's worth of comic book movies. All the Iron Mans, the Avengers, the Captain Americas, all of them...but I find myself ending up feeling a bit of ennui about the Avengers story line right about now. Hear me out.

I'll give you the secret recipe that keeps me coming back for more: 1 part action sequences with fantastic stuff, 1 part eye candy, 2 parts quippy remarks and smart one-liner jabs while competent superheroes handle stressful circumstances, 3 parts camaraderie and smooth teamwork to save the day/world. So the ration is 1:1:2:3. I felt like this movie came in more 3:1:1:-1. That is not the proper recipe for this viewer.

I'll break it down for you. I knew going into this I'd be Team Cap, because I'm an idealist for many of the mores of past times, and astute student of history. I also have a deep-seated mistrust of international government organizations that are prone to extreme corruption and mishandling of other people's interests and assets (I'm looking at you, UN), and do not believe that bureaucracies do much good beyond increasing the donut count at a meeting. I think Tony Stark is great too, and understand he's got issues, but I watched the movie and turns out, yep I am DEFINITELY Team Cap. Fortunately was Tony. So boom, still got it. But that whole "Civil War" thing was going to be ass-burn for me, and I knew it going in...because it's no fun to watch two of your coolest friends go through a divorce. Let alone when they set all their kids against each other. And that's how it felt.



But beyond that aspect of discomfort, here's what really bugged me about the movie. I'm sick of the newest Avengers plot-line, which seems to be "Insert character whose sister-aunt-dentist got killed by superheroes. Make them all mealy-mouthed about it for the rest of the movie. REPEAT." Look, I know there's been collateral damage in the other Avengers movies. But, there had to be, to save EVERYONE on the planet. I don't think I'd lose a ton of sleep over that choice. Save one person, or everyone else. Everyone wins, everytime. There's too much hand-wringing and soul-searching, not enough teamwork and taking care of business. And that's not what I go to these movies for. Parts of it reminded me of the senate scenes in the Star Wars I have to tell you how much that hurt me? A lot. It hurt me a LOT. I thought we'd learned that legalese deliberation via committee does not a good movie make. I hope they relearn the lesson. It seems as though the Batman habit of making every superhero conflicted (which works fantastically for that series, btw) has leached into my marvel universe. And I do not like that.

The scene I'd been looking for.


At least by the end, everyone else realized what I already know: All the corrupt governments in the world are not made equal, and shouldn't be given de facto reign to deliberate and take forever to make immediate decisions when humanity is on the line. (What, that's not what you took away? You're just not jaded enough.) I DID like the ensemble cast, although I sort of wish they just would have knocked off Spiderman. Antman was amazing, and the entire airport fight reminded me of why I love these stories in the first place. But I hope we can stop with the soul searching, and get on with the excitement from here on out. No wonder Thor and Loki sat out on it.