The 2016 Marvel film that fans have clamoring for, Captain America: Civil War, has finally arrived and admittedly, it does deliver the goods, perhaps more so in terms of sheer quantity rather than anything new or earth shattering in the storytelling department. The film is basically yet another entry in the Avengers’ franchise so the decision to put ‘Captain America’ in the title is a bit of a head scratcher but I guess the powers at Disney didn’t want to glut the market with another Avengers film only one year after the last entry in the series. Whatever the case may be, the latest Captain America film is far superior to the aforementioned Avengers: Age of Ultron, although it does suffer from some of the same problems which bogged that film down, which I’ll get to in a bit.
One of my biggest criticisms of last year’s Avengers film was its decision to over stuff the film with characters for no other reason than to promote other upcoming films in the Marvel franchise. There simply wasn’t enough emphasis on good old fashioned storytelling and it felt as if the final product were directed by Disney execs as opposed to its credited director, Joss Whedon. Some of that problem persists in the new Captain America film, particularly with the inclusion of Ant Man and Spider Man during the film’s final act. Thankfully, that kind of thing has been turned down by a degree or two in favor of a fairly solid story that doesn’t require as much knowledge of previous entries in the Marvel universe as other films in the series have done.
The plot here turns on the superheroes pitted against each other due to a treaty that the United Nations has drafted for them to sign, a treaty that would make them solely responsible for the havoc they wreak during their skirmishes with the super villains with whom they tangle on a regular basis. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes they shouldn’t agree to such a thing while Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) believes it’s a good idea. Half of the gang lines up behind Iron Man and the other half behind Captain A and that’s when the big fight comes into play during the film’s final act. In the midst of all of this, Iron Man is bent on destroying Captain A’s friend, Bucky, who has been accused of committing terrorist acts and the republic will stand before the Captain will let that happen.
Winter Soldier is a solid entry, while offering nothing new, but it will be comforting for those who salivate for each and every one of these comic book event films. Unlike Batman V Superman, the film does have welcome doses of humor, which liven things up every now and again. As far as superhero films it’s a fairly enjoyable affair.
‘Captain’ opens Thursday in Hickory at the Carmike, in 2D & 3D.
Photo: Scene from Captain America: Civil War
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