Captain America: Civil War (2016)

I’ve been thinking about my reactions to this movie all day, and I still don’t know how I feel. To be honest, I’m not even sure how to start the review.

On the one hand, everything is really well done. The production design is great, the action is generally inspired, and a great deal of the characters are played with commitment. The problem is just that there’s so much, so very, terribly much packed into this one picture. Every single character is expected to have some sort of storyline, and each should have a shining moment of sorts, but then you realize that 15 characters need that moment over the course of 150 minutes. It’s just exhausting, and fun is barely enough to make up for it.

The only thing that feels fresh might be the new guys, although I’m already tired of Black Panther. I like Chadwick Boseman, but not his alter ego. I love Spider-Man, but I’m still not sold on Tom Holland. Paul Rudd is back, though. I always love Ant-Man. In fact, one of the only moments that I was actually thrilled to be watching the picture was when Ant-Man was fighting Spider-Man (spoilers?). It’s one of the film’s true novelties.

You can probably see the star rating in your periphery by now, and I mean it. There is no way this is a bad film, but I just can’t say I liked it. I’ve spent all this time trying to convince myself it was great. I had the same problem with Batman v. Superman, though Civil War can at least be fun. I’m just bothered by the fact that we’re reaching the bottom of the mountain, and doing that means having a really massive snowball.

In the film, there are truly bursts of genius, but then the filmmakers spend the rest of the time trying to tie those bits together. You wonder if it will end. Really, watching this film is like taking a final exam.



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