Here we go again. 8 years after Iron Man kick started a blockbuster movie franchise that’s now 13 films in, Captain America: Civil War is less of an event movie than it is “a very special episode” of an ongoing serial or rather the cinematic equivalent of binge-watching a handsomely budgeted TV show in the span of 2.5 hours for all the positives and negatives that entails. After being thoroughly impressed with the last Captain America-centric movie helmed by Joe & Anthony Russo and penned by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (The Winter Soldier), this latest installment is less concerned with pushing these films forward the way that one did and more so with keeping things on brand. Despite a strong central concept and thesis, by focusing on “hitting its marks” with little fuss or any guts to do anything but color within the lines of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) playbook, Civil War isn’t necessarily a great Marvel movie so much as it is the “Platonic Ideal” of a Marvel movie. It’s the best of MCU and the worst all at once.
Director Bong-joon Ho’s (The Host) 2014 dystopian sci-fi fable Snowpiecer plays as the sort of socio-political manifesto that many genre films strive towards but rarely achieve. Like the angry sci-fi films of the 60s-70s counter-culture boom it is so very much rooted in the era it was conceived and produced. Perhaps in the future, viewers revisiting the film may look back and get a feel for the issues of our time and the attitude towards them. Beyond that the film also tells an exciting, action-packed story with confidence and deft polish.