In a movie titled Captain America: Civil War it’s kind of odd that Captain America has to split the lead with three other characters, all of whom get upstaged by bit characters dressed as insects. Oh well, at least it’s a really fun movie to watch. Just don’t think about it too much.
Captain America is a retelling of the classic Batman v Superman story– wait, that can’t be right… It is similar enough to warrant the thought. Regardless, the super heroes are at it again, blowing stuff up, killing bad guys, etc. But this time they’ve decided that maybe blowing up every city they fight in is a bad thing. I’m mean, blowing stuff up is fun and all, but is it worth the human lives? Let’s go to an abandoned airport to find out.
There are plenty of great reviews for Captain America: Civil War, as there should be. It’s a really enjoyable movie full of stunning action and memorable characters. Singing its praises would be overkill. And frankly, it’d be unfair to the DC movie that preceded it by about a month.
Batman v Superman had plenty of faults, but it also had a ton of great parts that I happened to like very much. But for one reason or another, reviews for Batman v Superman focused mightily on the negatives. So out of respect, I am going to nitpick the crap out Captain America: Civil War.
It bears repeating: I like Civil War. Scroll down to the bottom. I scored it higher that Batman v Superman. Get off my jock. Also, I’m about to spoil the crap out of the movie.
Marvel’s Villain Problem
Okay. Let’s start with the villain, AKA Marvel’s kryptonite. Captain America: Civil War features the villain Zemo. He’s well acted but kinda generic and kinda boring. You don’t know anything about him the entire movie and then suddenly at the end he reveals that he was the mastermind behind getting Iron Man and Captain America to fight.
His plan work to perfection! But what was his plan? How did he even have the resources to make it happen? If you think Civil War is perfect, boy, don’t think too hard about Zemo’s plotline.
First off all, how did Zemo get footage of the Winter Soldier killing the Starks? Why is there even footage of the Starks to begin with? It’s 1991 and their on some country road. Okay, maybe it’s CCTV for the Stark estate. If that’s so, why did Bucky walk directly into the camera’s view to shoot it? If his plan was to destroy the footage, why is there footage for Zemo to find? How did Zemo find it? How did Zemo even know it existed?
Zemo was a Sakovian soldier. His only reason for hating the Avengers because his city got blown to dust. How did he all of a sudden get connected with Hydra to gain knowledge of the Winter Soldiers assassination plots? Because he can decrypt military grade files? Oh, okay.
How did he even Winter Soldier was involved and could be activated? He interrogates some guy in Cleveland but the guy doesn’t tell him anything before dying. Luckily, Zemo knew to punch out a wall and find the book with Bucky’s activation code. Well, that’s convenient.
And talk about convenient, Zemo’s master plan is to bait Captain America to Siberia by making it look like he’s activating more Winter Soldiers, something Captain America didn’t even know existed. The other part of that plan is to bait Iron Man to Siberia by making him think that Captain is going off the rails until Iron Man realizes that may Captain is onto something and then getting Falcon to tell him Cap’s plan and then deciding to call a truce and help Captain?
Dang. Zemo is one hell of a planner because somehow it all works to perfection! Good thing Zemo knew that Bucky would tell Captain America about the other Winter Soldiers and Falcon would tell Iron Man about Captain knowing about the Winter Soldiers. Otherwise that immaculate plan would have crumbled.
But really, Zemo’s just in this movie to get Captain America and Iron Man to fight. The incredible conveniences are necessary to give the impression that the major conflict was created organically. Fine. At least he doesn’t finally explain the master plan at the very end and detail his backstory with an exposition-filled monologue and showcase the plot twist with a video… oh never mind.
Giant Excuses for Amazing Action
Let’s talk about that airport fight sequence. It was spectacular! Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Black Panther and the old crew all slugging it out. It was a modern masterpiece.
But wait, why is Spider-Man there? Why did Tony Stark invite a teenage boy to fight full-grown super heroes? Doesn’t this fly in the face of the accords he’s fighting for? Why did Peter Parker agree to fight? He doesn’t know any of these people? Why is he agreeing to fight with Tony? Because Tony made him a suit? How did Tony make him a suit that fast? How did Tony even know Spider-Man was Peter Parker? And most importantly, why is Aunt May so damn hot?
And what about Hawkeye? Why did he randomly show up to break out Wanda? How did he get Ant-Man? How did they get to the airport unnoticed? Well, I guess because nobody was at the airport. Where was everybody? The parking lot was empty. The tarmac was empty. The terminals were empty.
I know there’s a line of dialogue that makes mention of the airport being evacuated, but you want to make me believe they can completely evacuate an international airport that quickly without one single person staying behind to see what’s up with the giant man crushing airplanes? No news helicopters want to hover around getting footage of that gladiator match? And what’s up with all the obvious green screen? Is Marvel trying to save money by cutting back on the special effects budget?
But look! Spider-Man is roping Ant-Man up like a AT-AT… Black Panther flipping… Giant… What was I talking about?
What’s up with Captain America’s shield completely ignoring the laws of physics? Even the movie calls him out for it. The shield isn’t sentient. It isn’t rubber. It isn’t a boomerang. It’s a metal disc. Sure, I get it that he can call it back via a magnet. But that explains maybe 5% of that shields motion.
What’s up with everybody being invincible. Captain America, Winter Soldier and Spider-Man are juiced, so they’re cool. But Falcon, Black Widow, Iron Man, War Machine and Hawkeye? They’re just humans. They can’t be punched in the face by Bucky’s arm and just pop right back up. They can’t be blown up in an explosion and be fine. They can’t free fall from thousands of feet in a metal suit and survive. Know your limitations guys!
What’s up with the musical scores in Marvel movies? Would it kill them to use a composer capable of making anything memorable or are they contractually obligated to only produce the most generic music possible. One composer, one time, made that pretty good Avenger’s theme and Marvel’s beaten it into the ground ever since. The best you got for Black Panther is a tribal flute stab whenever he does something cool? Come on.
I could do this all day, but I won’t. Nitpicking is fun and all, but after a while it diminishes your ability to enjoy what you have, as opposed to what you wish you had. Captain America: Civil War is the movie Marvel made and it’s fun. Sure there are some slow, forgettable parts in the first act. But there are also some amazing kick-ass fight sequences. The spectacle is more than enough to distract you from the flaws and Captain America is able to keep it from falling apart.