“That shield doesn't belong to you. You don't deserve it! My father made that shield!” - Tony Stark
It’s hard to believe that in mid May, we’re really barely into the summer blockbuster season, and yet two of the biggest, most highly anticipated films of the summer have already been released.
It’s even harder to process that we’re actually in an age when we can see our favourite superheroes battle head to head on the big screen in films that aren’t animated. But here we are, we’re seeing it. Batman battled Superman a few weeks ago and now the Marvel cinematic universe is split in a loose adaptation of the Civil War storyline that happened in the comics a few years ago.
Comparisions between the two are of course inevitable and I’ll be make some later on, but before we get into the meat of the matter, there are a couple of questions that I won’t be addressing here. So, if you’re one of those people who ask either:
a) Why are they fighting? Aren’t they all friends?
b) So is Marvel just copying DC or is it the other way around?
…..you’re in the wrong place, on the wrong website.
This film is packed to the brim. It has everything. It’s a payoff of all that we have been building up to for the past eight years. It doesn’t disappoint.
Yes – big words. BIIIG words, especially when I was waxing lyrically about DC’s Batman vs Superman a short couple of weeks ago.
Before I get in to specifics, I guess the question is now that I’ve seen both offerings, which did I prefer? As a diehard DC fan deep down in my heart, the answer surprised me. In the interests of total honesty, which is what I try and do in my reviews – Marvel wins this one.
I think in the final analysis, it comes down to our familiarity with the characters.
DC’s cinematic universe is still new – we’ve only had two films in their arc, and the characters, in their current incarnation, are new to us. We’re still getting to know Superman, this Batman definitely IS the best onscreen Batman ever – but he’s still an acquaintance and as for Wonder Woman – she was a fleeting glimpse of someone we barely know at all. But of course all this will be addressed as the series moves forward.
Now take the Marvel universe. We’ve known Tony Stark for eight years. We’ve seen trials and tribulations as he assumed the Iron Man identity seen its side effects almost kill him, and cost him the love of his life. We’ve seen Steve Rogers battle his alienation at being a man out of his time, we’ve come to know the back story to some of the most incredible characters in comic books over a span of years. We’ve seen them save the world time and time again.
BUT – as we saw in Batman v Superman, saving the world usually involves catastrophic loss of civilian life and property damage. The same goes for The Avengers. The Avengers are being held accountable for destroying New York, levitating a city, the massive damage done to Washington in Winter Soldier….
The government (represented by Secretary of Defence “Thunderbolt Ross – tireless hunter of The Hulk) want to control The Avengers and their superheroic kind, especially when a Nigerian mission goes wrong and more innocent lives are lost due to the eagerness of The Scarlet Witch to save Captain America’s life.
The government want to decide where and when The Avengers are called to action, and how they operate. It’s a cause for concern right now that they don’t know where either Hulk or Thor are.
Okay, it’s a departure from the comicbook Civil War, where a reality TV show went horribly wrong, but in a way it fits in better with the established Marvel movie universe. In fact, it sits in so well, that even though it’s Captain America: Civil War, it might as well be Iron Man or Avengers: Civil War. It ties everything together beautifully. And by tie together, I mean it blasts the whole universe apart. Captain America doesn’t want to be regulated, Tony Stark has a severe attack of conscience after a confrontation by a mother whose son was basically collateral damage in Age of Ultron. He’s all for government control. And so – sides are chosen, and battle ensues.
Every character has his moment, including Ant Man and Marvel’s returning hero, Spider-Man, finally in the movie universe fold. Before I go any further, let me announce this – Tom Holland is as much the definitive cinematic Spidey as Ben Affleck is Batman. Absolutely pitch perfect performance.
(Okay, one minor detail they got wrong, Marisa Tormei is way, waaaaaaaaaaaay too hot to be Aunt May, I mean we’re not supposed to want to hump poor old Aunt May, are we? )
An interesting new addition to the Marvel fold is Black Panther – soon to appear in his own film, and I’ll be there on opening day.
It’s a major step forward for everyone we’ve seen in these movies before, and it leads to some interesting and intriguing possibilities that can be explored in the next few films. The DC movie universe is just beginning – but the Marvel one is a runaway rollercoaster that seems unstoppable.
Okay – let’s get to some specific likes I had.
BEWARE THE SPOILER ZONE
You're in The Spoiler Zone!!!!
There’s so much about this film that I enjoyed the hell out of, I thought I’d bring some some of my main points.
I liked the return of William Hurt as Ross, and how the film footage of the damage the heroes have been part of over the years were a bit Hulk-centric. I also loved Stark’s casual dismissal of Ross.
I went in to the film firmly on the side of Iron Man, despite sympathising with Captain America in the comics. I then kind of changed my mind and saw Rogers’ side – until it was revealed that Rogers knew what the Winter Soldier had done all along.
It makes perfect sense that Stark would enhance Spider-Man’s webshooters and costume. I loved the scene between Stark and Parker. In fact, I loved everything about Spider-Man’s characterisation, especially the animated eyes.
Ant-Man became Giant-Man. AWESOME!!!!!!
Black Widow’s inner conflict. Once a double agent, always a double agent.
FINALLY we get to see what happened to Howard Stark and his wife.
Speculating to the future, so who will face Thanos now The Avengers have split up? The Secret Avengers led by a no longer Captain America Steve Rogers?
With Stark confirmed as appearing in Spider-Man Homecoming next year, will that lead to an Iron Man 4?
Will we at last get a Black Widow movie?
Late news – Mark Ruffalo is cast in Thor: Ragnarok. Hulk and Thor in the same film, presumably depicting the fall of Asgard. How will that play into the situation we’re left with at the end of Civil War, and then on to the Infinity War?
Questions, questions….feel free to debate them on Facebook.
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