Sunday, September 11, 2016

Video review: "Captain America: Civil War"

If it’s possible to enjoy a movie while simultaneously being disappointed by it, then that’s my take on “Captain America: Civil War.” The third in the series with fresh-faced Chris Evans as the revived World War II warrior in the ostensible lead role, what it really is is the third Avengers movie -- the one in which they’ve finally gotten on each other’s nerves enough to trade blows instead of quips.

I kid, I kid. The motivation for the conflict is that the U.S. government has decided to start registering and controlling super-powered beings. People are very nervous and angry about the collateral damage the Avenges incurred while saving the world (twice). This leads to a McCarthyite atmosphere where the lauded heroes are now mocked and feared.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), who’s been very ambivalent about continuing in his super-suit anyway, quickly signs on. But Cap argues the patriotic route, saying the Avengers should be free to make their own choices about what is best for the common good. Sides quickly form up, leading to an inevitable showdown.

Because the two heaviest hitters, the Hulk and Thor, are inexplicably nowhere in sight, it’s incumbent upon the filmmakers to bring in some scabs … er, I mean, add-on heroes … to round out the squads.

Many of them we’ve seen before, like Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and the Vision (Paul Bettany). Spider-Man shows up, rebooted for a second time with Tom Holland in the role, and Chadwick Boseman is a muscular presence as Black Panther, an African prince with some animalistic super-duds.

“Captain America: Civil War” contains thrills aplenty, but is miserly when it comes to surprises. You go into it knowing what you’re going to get, but also that you won’t get anything else.

Bonus features are as good as we’ve come to expect from the Marvel Comics adaptations.

There’s a feature-length commentary track with directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely; deleted and extended scenes; gag reel; sneak peek at “Doctor Strange”; featurettes following the character development of Captain America and Iron Man leading up to civil war; and “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” a feature-length making-of documentary.



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