For Reel

Captain America: Civil War (2016)
May 14, 2016, 12:12 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , ,

Director(s): Joe & Anthony Russo
2.5 Stars
Captain America Civil WarThe test of a good Marvel film has become how well it can balance the studio’s desire to sell the next two or three movies in the franchise. Whereas Avengers: Age of Ultron rushed new characters to the screen and pigeonholed references to the purple-faced big bad promised in Infinity War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier made significant plot advancements that seemed just as essential to the self-contained narrative of the film as they were to the franchise at large. If Captain America: Civil War undoubtedly has its moments, it shows Marvel at its weakest in striking this balance. As enjoyable as it is to see a well-realized Spider-Man on screen, little would change without his appearance—the same goes for Black Panther, whose subplot is introduced only to give audiences a taste of what to anticipate in his own standalone feature. The film positioned as The Empire Strikes Back of The Avengers series pits its darkest story threads against the need for marketing future stars—the two agendas are in conflict if only because everything outside of the Steve Rogers vs. Tony Stark conflict cheapens the tragedy of it. Losing the middle hour of the picture might have deprived audiences of the airport scene, but it would have made the drama tighter and ultimately more emotionally impactful. As it is, this is a lot of noise and gimmicks, and if the tangents keep it from the dreariness of the DC universe, the storytelling is becoming inept.

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