MUHBOMM - Civil War
So Captain America and Iron Man duke it out this week in the real grudge match of the year. Batman and Superman' battle royale became a grim, dark, mess. This movie though has all the charm we have come to expect from Marvel.
As a comic book fan who came to believe that the 2006 event Civil War is perhaps the greatest comic book story of all time. It was a thoughtful portrayal of a two sided issue. And gave weight to a struggle that effected everyone in the Marvel Universe. Tony Stark was right to support the Superhuman registration act. Both in the wake of tragedy that brought it about and as one who often needed to held accountable. Steve Rodgers was right to trust those heroes to act without a watchful eye on them at all times. The heroes that came down on each side had good reason and made sacrifices to defend their belief. It was a story with immense gravity and was inescapable in it's scope. Even the irreverent Deadpool dropped is sarcastic tone to give a deeply rooted reason why he chose his side. It was an event that redefined the Marvel universe and the people who lived there.
As the follow-up to Captain America The Winter Soldier, it is more of an Avengers movie than Age of Ultron. While the last Avengers movie was a fun film with a memorable villain it was a bit lacking in momentum. The state of thing at the end of Winter Solider seem more accurately portrayed here. While Age of Ultron's finale sets the event in motion, film felt it was taking the eye off the ball.
After a mission in Nigeria goes south for Cap and his team pressure builds. This leads to the UN decision to register the Avengers and take direct control of their actions. Setting the stage for the Civil War to come. Tony agrees that the team need oversight. Cap is more hesitant and wary of taking orders from a group that can influenced by politics. He trusts himself and his teammates more than and organization, even one as noble as the UN.
This spirals out of control when the presence of the Winter Soldier shows. Whether his actions are his own or murderous programing creates a clear battle line. Cap and his closest allies become fugitives as they try and track down Bucky. And the remaining Avengers go after them. It all winds up in a huge battle at an airport featuring the lion share of the established Marvel heroes.
Two of the newest editions are the stand out stars of the movie. Black Panther is personal favorite of mine and brought to the screen wonderfully. Driven by personal loss he hunts the Winter Soldier across the planet. His nobility, cunning, and amazing ability is well represented. Also he and the kingdom he hails from is set for the solo movie he'll be headlining down the road.
Speaking of establishing, Spider-man is ushering into the Marvel Cinematic Universe finally. It's good to see Marvel bring one of it's brightest stars home. He is a delight. The humor, youth, and intelligence of the character shines through. It comes with a lot of hand waving. A convent excuse of Tony Stark's leads to a high tech suit no kid from queens could build himself. Even the dynamic eyes he has on the suit have context in the story. Peter Parker's Spider Sense can overload requiring a shuttler to limit his senses. And he talks, a lot. He is curious, excitable, and comes off as the kid who grew up in the marvel universe he should be.
Both characters are a vanguard for the future of the film franchise. As Civil War does. I'm impressed at the lack of death in the movie. This is the personal battles of superpowerd people and the collateral is toned down. I can not expressed how excited I was that a villain finally survives the adventure. As Hollywood seems to need to kill any bad guy by the end. Also no major city blows up. So the overreach of destruction seems to have maybe peaked in the wake of Man of Steel.
It was great film. It has carries the flaws of the Marvel comics. The fear anything that happens can be undone or deemphasized by future entries. But still its a great ride full of character moments and weighty storytelling. Even cameos from heroes like Ant-Man are dripping with charm. THe future looks bright and I for one am glad we got back world building and characters. Because the spectacle needed reigned in. And Civil War brings it down to the boots on the ground while still holding on to the awe of super heroes brought to life.