Welcome to our spoiler-filled discussion of the latest MCU film, Captain America: Civil War. There is your warning, only read on if you’ve seen it or don’t care about spoilers.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
Andres: It’s safe to say, we have our first truly great comic book movie of the year, right?
Jeffrey: Other than Deadpool, I haven’t seen any other comic book movies this year, but from all I’ve heard about Batman v. Superman, I think it’s at least fair to say this will be the most well received comic book movie of the year. If I sound a little reticent to call it great, it’s only ’cause I was left profoundly confused by the ending.
Andres: I don’t think, as of right now, that there’s any other comic book movies coming out this year that can compete with Civil War, except maybe Doctor Strange since it’s more original or unique in comparison to the rest. But what about the ending confused you?
Jeffrey: Admittedly, I may have been in the wrong state of mind for that ending. I was convinced that the movie was going to end with the assassination of Captain America. Instead, we get a reveal that shows he’s…totes OK with Tony now? I don’t know. Where was that prison? Was he about to release them?
Andres: Well, in the comic book storyline, he is assassinated by Crossbones (who dies/commits suicide at the end of that Jason Bourne-esque spy mission), so I sort of saw it coming that he would survive. Well, the thing is, they were still okay with each other, they were just on different sides of the Sokovia Accords. The RAFT, was a prison in the middle of the ocean, and yes, he was releasing them.
Jeffrey: Oh, it was just a strange reveal, especially since it seemed to me that they were prisoners of Black Panther. Anyways, weirdly muddled ending aside, this movie was incredible, and a lot of that was due to its being grounded in old-fashioned drama. The character conflicts were clear and tangible and brought to mind classic Greek theatre, as these truly are the modern myths. That’s where this movie truly succeeds, in getting us to believe in this Olympian disagreement.
Andres: I don’t think it was a strange reveal at all. The mid-credits scene takes place in Wakanda, but not the ending of the film. It was the same prison that Tony had been previously visited. With regards to the drama, that’s something that Feige (the mastermind behind every phase of the MCU) has done so well despite all the different filmmakers that have helmed his movies. All of the characters have a clear motivation through it all. We could go one by one and figure them all out.
Jeffrey: Fuck that noise, I have places to be. Feige definitely deserves credit for making the producer-lead system work. It hasn’t given us anything legitimately great, but the middle-ground for these films is incredibly high. I only hope he can flex his producer muscles when dealing with Sony on the next Spider-Man film. Because if this movie is any indication, the next Spidey flick we see may in fact be the best incarnation of the character yet. I love me some Tobey, but damn, that Holland kid knocks it out of the ballpark.
Andres: Only time will tell, but it appears that Feige has a good rapport with Sony, to the point where Spider-Man: Homecoming is actually a part of the MCU. About a year and a half ago, we didn’t even think Spider-Man would be able to appear in even one Marvel movie. We both saw Cop Car, and its director, Jon Watts, is behind Homecoming. I have a lot of faith in Holland, but I’m damn nervous to see what the writers behind the Vacation remake do with it.
Jeffrey: I’d take the dying spasms of a beached whale over the team that gave us the line about breaking promises to a dead guy. I gotta say though, despite how amazing (ugh, I’m sorry) Spider-Man was, I felt like the show was nearly stolen by Paul Rudd. His reaction after growing giant was priceless and the hardest I’ve laughed in any of these movies.
Andres: I had heard about the fact that Spider-Man was going to fight against Giant-Man, but I almost forgot until it happened. I was cheering along with the crowd throughout most of that ending fight. But, I think it’s a three way tie to who may have stolen the show ’cause I really did think that Black Panther had as well.
Jeffrey: Really? I felt like Black Panther kind of got shafted. He’s a total badass, but his arc was strange to me. His inciting incident provides clear motivation, but once he’s fighting Bucky, and Bucky cries out, “I didn’t kill your father!” to which he responds, “Then why did you run?”, it seems to me that his narrative steam piddled away into forced catharsis. Which brings me nicely to the one fault I did find with the film. The character work is incredible, but the plot hinges on many forced, expository scenes and deus ex machina. I hate to sound like the teenage idiot who just learned what those words mean and is dying to use them, but in this instance, that little idiot may have a point.
Andres: For Black Panther, his arc went from vowing to kill the man who killed his father, to stopping Zemo from killing himself. And yes, some of those instances are far too convenient, but there wasn’t anything too big that drew me out of it. My biggest complaint may simply be that Crossbones was wasted. I think that Frank Grillo, the actor who portrayed him, is great. I really liked him in The Purge: Anarchy (a case in which the sequel is far superior to the original film) and in The Winter Soldier.
The Russo brothers returned to direct, after helming The Winter Soldier, and they were damn excellent in their geography when making the movie. No matter how many characters there are, you have an idea of where they all were in relation to one another. Outside of the insane, wonderful fight, there’s a moment in which Steve kisses Carter. I immediately realized that his car was facing the back of the car he was at, so that both Sam and Bucky would have seen it. So when he turns around, and we see his oldest and newest friend sitting there, with the exact same smile, it’s genius. The film is built upon the relationships within the film, because as Rogers says near the end, the Avengers are a family. It’s what makes the movies so entertaining. It’s why the party scene from Age of Ultron is a standout (even if the film isn’t). So for me, when the film got to the airport fight, which was something I was extremely looking forward to, I almost didn’t want it to happen on some level because you didn’t want to watch them fight each other.
Jeffrey: Which brings it back to what I was saying about the impeccable drama. These conflicts work because they’re ethically based. Loyalties are ethereal. I found myself on Cap’s side for most of the film, but when it’s revealed that Bucky killed Tony’s mom, I was immediately with Stark. It’s not a question of morality anymore – that’s my mom.
Happy Mother’s Day, mom. I’d murder for you.