Release date: April 12th 2016
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Let’s get one thing clear: this is Avengers 2.5 and don’t try to tell me otherwise. Between the ending of Age of Ultron and the sudden influx of new people in skintight costumes, the main title of “Captain America” is little more than a way to help us pass the time until the Next Big Thing. The Civil War storyline (as seen in the comics) was a very interesting idea, though somewhat derivative of what the X-Men had been doing for years, but has it translated well into movie format? Eh.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like the “Capsicle” jokes that Tony Stark used to make actually have a very sad reality behind them. Captain America is not a superhero fit for modern times. His true origin as a comic book character owes itself mainly to the Second World War, and the need that the people of the United States had for a heroic symbol to stand up to the threat of that one dickbag with the weird moustache. Captain America was as much propaganda as he was heroic, but he is very out of place in today’s world, where guerilla warfare and tactical drone strikes have pretty much wiped out any notion of classical heroic battles. His one strong point was holding the Avengers together, and in this latest installment his aforementioned role has begun to fail story-wise. The scene with the helicopter only serves to reinforce this: it brings out all the cool things about Cap, his heroism, strength, altruism and determination. Sadly, this happens so seldom that it’s hard to care about him. So what about the others?
Well, I’ve mentioned the ending of Avengers 2, and the characters seen there at the end come back as promised, along with a few others, such as Black Panther (I hope we see more of him, he’s so badass!), Ant-Man aaaaaaand… Spider-Man! Carrying on in this entomological fashion, we might see something like Colorado Potato Beetle Man next, who knows? But since we brought Spider-Man up, it’s worth mentioning that this movie takes what Spider-Man 3 did, flips it over and takes it to a whole other level. Instead of overwhelming us with three enemies in one movie, this one gives us about a dozen superheroes all at once (no joke, count them up). The end result is a hodgepodge of action and origin stories (at this point Spider-Man is giving Batman a run for his money when it comes to number of reboots), none of which really feel fulfilling.
While there are some moments that truly work well and really give the two main characters (Stark and Rogers) motivation, their overall conflict seems kind of badly built up. Tony Stark has lost some of his edge, and for those who say “well, he’s been through a lot”, I suggest you delve into the comics and see how even in the worst situation, Stark uses humor as a coping/defense mechanism. Having Ant-Man, Iron Man and Spider-Man in the same movie should have given us Deadpool levels of humor, but their interactions are severely shortened.
Through the idea behind the main characters’ beef with each other is great, we are still left with a movie concluding in one giant question mark. Are they friends? Will they fight again? Did any of them really achieve anything? What was the point of all of this? When is Avengers 3 coming out? Has anyone seen my phone?
It would seem like the movie has failed in being anything special, but despite all this it’s not bad. You’ll laugh, you’ll be entertained, you’ll be surprised by one or two revelations, and at the end you might walk out, like me, feeling like you won’t remember much of anything about the story a month from now, which is sadly par for the course with a Captain America movie. It serves well as a transition to the new generation of Avengers, but as a goodbye to our older and dearer superheroes it unfortunately comes off as bland and confused. Oh well, at least it’s not Batman V Superman.
Text: George Stoica