Friday, May 6, 2016


Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War official site The summer is fast approaching. You know what that means to the big screens in the multiplex—they will be jammed with more monsters, disasters, aliens, as well as those superheroes from Marvel Comics. Normally the bar for these summer blockbusters is set quite low despite their super expensive productions, and we expect more spectacles than compelling storytelling when going to one of these movies. Therefore, when one such movie gathers many familiar characters together and still tells a coherent story, it becomes both refreshing and exciting, as if you suddenly hear a complete sentence from a young toddler who usually just mumbles and smashes things. That's the pleasant surprise and satisfying feeling you might get when you watch "Captain America: Civil War" (USA 2016 | 146 min.) in 3-D on a gigantic IMAX screen. This star-packed entertaining film is directed by the brother team of Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, who have already started to work on their next superhero movies about the Avengers, a bunch superheroes who have special abilities that normal human beings don't posses.

The film's story begins in 1991 when the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), is woken up in a Russian (where else?) bunker and is sent into an operation. Meanwhile, like those US drones flying in foreign air space and dropping bombs, globe-trotting avengers are busy combating the bad guys to make the world a better place. But similar to those deadly drone attacks, many innocent people become collateral damage each time when avengers show off their incredibly powerful abilities.

The US Secretary of State (William Hurt) leads an effort to change the status quo and let the United Nation supervise the activities of avengers. While Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), aka the Iron Man, supports the notion, some others led by Captain America (Chris Evans) resent the idea. Once a unified and prestigious club suddenly is divided and begins to fight among themselves. A civil war breaks out.

The Iron Man side includes Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Vision (Paul Bettany), and later joined by the scene-stealing Spider-Man (Tom Holland). The Captain America side includes Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). A one-of-a-kind civil war rages on.

Captain America: Civil War Official Site

It's quite remarkable for the film to stay focused on the morality and responsibility behind these dazzling fights. That focus also sets this film apart from most recent superhero movies in which they fight for apparently no reason. But even though their fighting is fierce, it's still more like a wrestling match on a court compared to the current war zone in Syria. After all, we all know that this civil war is going to end and all these avengers will remain friends and colleagues. But before that, they surely put on an entertaining exhibition when they fight each other.

Perhaps you cannot keep track of all the superhero characters and what they are capable of, but you would still be entertained and kept engaged by the story in this film. That's not a trivial achievement for a superhero film, or have we set the bar too low?

"Captain America: Civil War," a Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures release, opens on Friday, May 6, 2016.

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