Thursday, September 29, 2016

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War (2016; Anthony and Joe Russo) considers some of the same issues that Superman versus Batman: Justice Begins explored. The various superheroes we see in this film – too many of them to name – have been adventuring all over the world defeating villains and preventing disasters and doing what you’d expect. However, in the course of all their good deeds, they cause havoc and mayhem: buildings fall down fairly often. Explosions.  Big fires.  Lots of casualties and deaths. They’re fairly reckless. The result is that world leaders get together and decide to set up an organization that will review the actions of the superheroes and authorize their sorties out across the globe, rather than allowing them to make up their own minds. Some heroes are willing to accept supervision. Ironman is one. Others, notably Captain America, resist. There are legitimate arguments in support of each side. The disagreements among these super human people begin as mere differences of opinion but gradually deepen and become more serious until ultimately all the super fellows go to battle with each other. Thereby causing disasters and deaths. Building seem to fall down fairly often. Explosions.  Big fires.  Lots of casualties. Many reviewers and audience members saw this as one of the better Captain America films. I didn't. It was tedious. It seemed to go on forever, especially the Civil War battle sequence. What was the point? When it was over, I was gladdened.

The trouble with these films is one-upmanship.  Each film must be bigger and more epic than the previous one.  Each villain must be worse that the predecessor.  The mayhem and carnage has to be more stupendous and apocalyptic than ever.  Ultimately we reach a point of absurdity.  In this case, the super heroes turn on each other, which suggests that however super their powers might be, they’re not really very smart.

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