You might as well shoot your bow & arrow off at Godzilla than disparage a film that made a billion dollars in its first ten days, but here goes. Anyone, I guess, can make up an IMDb Trivia entry, but this one has the ring of truth:
"Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely's original idea for Captain America 3 was a vastly different and much smaller film without the other Avengers, but Kevin Feige suggested they adapt Civil War instead."
Shame on you, Kevin Feige. Markus and McFeeley, of course, are the writing duo who did such near-genius work on the first two Captain America films: "The First Avenger," with its rich period feeling, its great rationale for Steve Rogers donning his ridiculous name and suit, and its characterization of a superhero who ultimately, just wants to be a normal guy in a world where everyone gets a fair shake. "The Winter Soldier" took Captain America to a whole new level, in a modern day USA where the strongest, nicest, handsomest, most fair- minded guy in its dystopic Washington, DC, is fated to be a perennial outsider that the system will do its best to destroy. These are the two superhero movies to recommend to people who don't like superhero movies, and given the chance to make the kind of "vastly different and much smaller film" that Markus & McFeely could have done so well, it's a pity that Captain America: Civil War, instead of letting the writers do what they wanted, warps and inflates the narrative in order to repeat the worst mistakes of the latest Avenger movie.
Where the first Avengers film contrasted its characters with a world of normal humans, and put them head to head with an alien invasion exactly the sorts of things superheroes do best in Age of Ultron, everyone was a superhero. In the film, the Avengers' penultimate task was not to tackle some malign and hideous Other, but to evacuate a city, putting the Hulk and the God of Thunder to work making sure everyone fastened their seatbelts.
Civil War makes similar mistakes. With everyone a superhero, the differences between the characters become simply a matter of degree, and genuine conflict is submerged under an endless series of fanboy mixes-and-matches: golly, who's fighting who in the next scene? Certain episodes emphasize a legitimate central conflict now that he knows that the Winter Soldier is his long-lost best friend, Steve Rogers will do anything to protect him, while both Iron Man and the Black Panther want to take him out. In these segments, a worthwhile sequel to the first two films peeks out of a script overstuffed with superpowered and technically augmented humans.
A welcome addition is the return of Brock Rumlow, the corrupt Shield agent from The Winter Soldier: near death at the end of that last movie, he returns as the hydraulically augmented Crossbones. Thirsting for revenge against the good guys, Crossbones is a scary and highly motivated villain who - Spoiler Alert doesn't even make it through the first act, when played as ferociously as before by Frank Grillo - he could have sustained an entire film (admittedly, the character is under-used less egregiously than Paul Giamatti's Rhino in Amazing Spider-Man 2).
Similarly, the plot reveals that a coven of unbeatable bio-engineered super- villains has been waiting for decades to wreak havoc on the world, but when our heroes track them to their arctic retreat, instead of the fight of their lives, they find oh, that there's no menace after all, leaving the good guys only to battle each other. So, having engaged us with these characters in the first Iron Man, Captain America, and Avengers films, Marvel now buries them in a mass of superhero overproduction, with a dangling story line that we know won't be continued until the next Avengers movie. Markus and McFeely are writing that; if they're allowed to follow their instincts, maybe they'll be able to redeem themselves. But that's a good two years down the line. With the comic books, you only had to wait a month.