Wednesday 27 April 2016

Captain America: Civil War ... Battle stations

THE third Captain America instalment is uneven. It starts off with a big bang, similar to Avengers: Age
of Ultron, loses a lot of energy after that with a chatty part about following United Nations restrictions (always a sore point with Americans), explodes with a full-scale superhero battle pitting two sides against each other, and then ends with a more personal, intimate battle.
  The Civil War part refers to the American superheroes fighting each other at the risk of flouting UN rules. One faction wants to adhere to the rules that constrain them, and the other, represented by Captain America, who represents American views, wants to do as it wishes, free from the shackles of the global body.

   You could say that this film, directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, blames the splitting of the superheroes into two camps to the rigid following of UN rules.
   Viewers would have seen the trailer of Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) duking it out with Iron Man/Tony Stark. Although that particular fighting scene is related to another issue, their antagonism towards each other stems from each of them having different views of the UN accord.
Rogers/Captain America muscles in on the action.
   The Avengers's wanton destruction in their pursuit to rid the world of baddies doesn't go down well with the UN. The Americans may have kept baddies at bay but they also incur collateral damage, a theme that's also visited in Batman v Superman.
   A black woman accuses Stark: "There's a correlation between generosity and guilt ... You think you fight for us. You fight for yourself." She is referring to her son dying as a result of the Avengers's mammoth operation in Age of Ultron.
   A king of an African nation says:  "A victory at the expense of innocents is no victory at all."
   At an Avengers powwow with US Secretary of State Ross (William Hurt), Rogers says that the superheroes can't save everyone.
  Ross says the superheroes have to fight for the world, but that there are those who prefer to have regulations for the Avengers.
  "You have operated without supervision for four years," he tells them.
  Stark, wrecked with guilt heaped on him by the black woman, insists the team follow UN rules.
  Rogers is more cautious, saying the team would have to surrender its rights to others.
  Natasha/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) says the team needs to win back people's trust.
  Rogers's determination to stick to his guns is solidified when Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) tells him, at a funeral in a church: "It's your duty to plant yourself like a tree and say no. 'You move!'"
Table talk.
  The film is worth the admission ticket when the superheroes go at each other without pulling their punches. A couple of new superheroes appear in this prolonged battle scene, especially a garrulous teen who gets on people's nerves with his non-stop commentary.
   A  subtheme of this film is revenge, and how it consumes people. A flashback shows Stark thinking about the last moment he saw his parents alive before they died in a crash. That will come back to haunt him.
   Then, a man who has lost his father in a blast vows vengeance on those who did it.
   Age of Ultron continues to permeate this film when another man, Zelo, who had something bad happen to him as a result of the Avengers's adventures, ascribes his evil deeds to the superheroes.
   I believe viewers will enjoy the superhero battle and watching Captain America and Iron Man fighting each other, but that's about it.

2 1/2 out of 5

Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) keeps abreast of the situation.


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