Sunday, May 8, 2016

Captain America: Civil War

Movie Name: Captain America: Civil War
Year of Release: 2016
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Daniel Bruhl, Chadwick Boseman, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, William Hurt, Martin Freeman, John Kani, John Slattery, Hope Davis, Alfre Woodard, Gene Farber
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

After the astounding success of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and the equally successful "Captain America: Winter Soldier", the narrative of the Marvel lore of super powered beings continues. The film follows the events of both films mentioned earlier: in the pursuit of a previous foe, Captain America and his team inadvertently kill innocents that were in the vicinity. This in turn surfaces a lot of the concerns from governments worldwide, in terms of who is keeping the actions of the Avengers in check. This starts a discussion internally to the team, with one side trying to keep in line with what the United Nations wants, in terms of a supervised action, and another side who wants to keep that judgment internally to the team itself. Capitalizing on this friction, comes an unexpected villain, in the shape of a previous military individual who has is agenda on destroying the team as a personal vendetta against them and their actions. He leverages knowledge of past actions to drive a personal wedge between the iconic team with unexpected results.
As I have mentioned in previous considerations about Marvel's output, the level of sophistication that comes with each of their releases is quite considerable. Their films exhibit a level of professionalism and execution that is impeccable and quite impressive. The amount of talent, both in front and behind the scenes is unparalleled, and easily noticeable in the results (and far more coherent than what Zack Snyder as managed to do so far with his DC Comics versions). This film alone showcases stunning visual effects, editing, score, and even the actors in general feel at ease with their characters, giving them some extra gravitas and depth that can only be achieved when this becomes a long running endeavor. Where these films lose their spark is precisely the core of this well oiled piece of machinery: for all it's central dynamics and themes of redemption and guilt, there's really no heart or point of view to speak of. Is it entertaining? Yes, it has an entertainment value to it, but for all the heroics and noise that you see on screen, you can't help but wonder what is that it's a stake for this super powered individuals who seem to be impervious to everything. Comparing these action films with what James Cameron for instance brought forth with "Aliens" thirty years ago, the difference lies in one thing: Cameron captured the humanity and the bonds that are shaped in extreme circumstances. The Russo brothers capture the virtuosity of special effects and the barely there dynamics of paper thin characters. It's entertaining noise, but it's not enough to make a great film.