starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Brühl
screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
by Walter Chaw The Russo brothers' Captain America: Civil War (hereafter Cap 3), better-titled "Captain America: Gosh, That's a Lot of Characters" or "Captain America: Spider-Man," is an hour of dull exposition, an hour of fanboy service, and an absolutely fantastic half-hour of Spider-Man (Tom Holland). It continues storylines of which I have no memory while giving more and better time to women characters after the kafuffle around sterilizing Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers 2: Gosh, That's a Lot of Characters, thus making her a "monster." Chief benefactor of that largesse is Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), "Wanda" to her friends (not only are there too many characters--most of them have two names), who struggles through a fetishist's idea of a Russian accent and carries the introspective weight of the 2010s on her shoulders. The film is about two things: Like Batman v Superman: 9/11 Has Made Us Monsters, it's about the casualties of superpowers waging war with one another over civilian populations; and it's about the role of Western determinism in our current state. It's like Skyfall in that way, positing that the West has a moral responsibility to police the rest of the world, whether the rest of the world would like to be policed or not. It's a theory that only works if the West holds fast to its evergreen ideals of truth and justice. This is different from the solipsistic, Byronic nihilism of BvS, because the character of Captain America (Chris Evans) is so explicitly child-like in his goodness that he becomes the manifestation of an idea every action in the film either runs in conjunction with or in tension against. Superman, too, should have represented that ideal, but alas, on Zack Snyder's watch he's just another emo Spidey.