The dumb down of Captain America: Civil War

I watched Captain America: Civil War with my wife last night. These days I'm reading the entire civil war storyline comics as well. I don't expect Hollywood to be able to capture the magnitude of the event and the enormous number of characters involved in the story in a single movie, or even a trilogy. But to dumb it down so much? To turn it into a bad people vs good people movie? The complexities involved in registering or not registering a super hero are so nuanced in the comics.

You have heroes worrying about their families coming under fire. Comparisons to lawyers and police force who go to work knowing their families could be targets. You have the question of people living their normal lives and being super heroes at the same time. Wondering where their next paycheck is going to come from and wondering how to balance a professional super hero career with college. What of past criminals who now work the better life? How can they become role models for society? Will society be so forgiving?

For that matter where is society in all of the movie of civil war? A couple of interactions here and there but for the most part, they aren't even visible in it. Which is tragic. Public opinion, the public itself, has so much to do with the entire reasoning behind super humans needing to be registered. Even there, the public is divided. Some view the masked crusaders as villains for causing destruction wherever they go. Others view individuals like Iron Man as authoritarians seeking control over people who've done work that's been mostly good.

Hollywood's choice of how to portray Civil war is mostly a convoluted plot by an individual seeking revenge (the bad guy). The only factor attempting to hold that plot together is a series of poorly though out coincidences. At the end of the movie you wouldn't be faulted if you had forgotten the original idea behind "Civil War" that was the superhero registration act. In fact, the moment it became clear who was behind the bomb blast in the movie which was before the mid point, the entire theme went out of the movie. And even before that, you could tell from all the foreshadowing, that someone was setting up the "good ones". It was so brainless it hurt. From the point of "realisation" on, it was just trying to figure out what exactly this "bad man" wanted from the "good guys". Intelligent discourse be darned. Despite all proof from companies like Netflix and HBO who have shown that you don't have to spoon-feed and keep things to an easy binary option in order to be popular, Hollywood insisted on the safe and easy path. I watched Civil War and all I got was a silly candy stick with instructions on how to hold it and eat.

Posted on April 10 2017 by Adnan Issadeen