Captain America: Civil War REVIEW

When news got out that Civil War got greenlit due to Batman Vs Superman, a film that was as dull as it was messy, it wasn’t a surprise that many grew worried about the reality of this massive clash of clans. Not only is the film a sequel to the Marvel magnum opus Winter Soldier but it’s also a successor to the rather disappointing Age Of Ultron.

In addition to this, there’s also the film’s duty to introduce new characters as well as set things up for future installments in the MCU and somehow, whether it’s due to some infinity gem or the Russo brothers natural talent, Civil War manages to do all of this and more, managing to be just as enthralling as its predecessors and then some.

Having the Avengers fight amongst themselves isn’t anything new but it’s never been on this kind of scale. With The Avengers now being seen as dangerous whilst ungoverned, due to events in previous films as well as those in Civil War, the team is now split into two: Team Cap which feels that the Avengers should stay independent and Team Iron Man who supports the government oversight.

The story, for what it’s trying to achieve, isn’t overly complex and has a surprisingly good flow despite the 2hr 27 min run time, managing to establish the motivations of both teams superbly. Often you’ll find your allegiance fluctuating, despite tweeting how you were #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan religiously beforehand, making the film just as engaging as you’d have expected.

Civil War 1

Thankfully there’s no MacGuffin, an issue that I covered in my rant on the MCU, though the “villain” isn’t much of an improvement. While he has some well established motivation rather than just being evil, unlike Lex Luthor in BVS, it feels like the character of Zemo, one with a very interesting backstory, could have been best kept for a future installment due to his minimal involvement in the film.

Civil War is also full of emotion due to the conflict ignited by Bucky Barnes whose past is the catalyst for a lot of action which this film does perfectly. The big clash at an Airport Terminal is undoubtedly the best set piece ever conceived in the MCU which I refuse to spoil due to some pretty surprising elements. Just make sure to pick your jaw up from off the floor afterwards.

Civil War 2

The highlight of the film for me were the introduction of two major characters, the first being Black Panther. Having never made a big screen appearance before, he didn’t disappoint on his debut and left the audience desperate for his big solo venture in 2018. No doubt we’ll get some more info about his origins which may or may not differ from the comics but regardless, the Prince of Wakanda looked badass as fuck.

Then there’s the elephant or, rather, Spider in the room. Yes, the web slinger makes his MCU debut and oh my god. Never before has there been such a faithful adaptation of Spiderman before now as Tom Holland manages to manifest the awkward, teen charisma for his time as Peter Parker but then hits out with his quick witted jibes that had the whole cinema laughing out loud.

Civil War 2

Surprisingly he has a lot more screen time than I expected and may have even had more lines of dialogue than Superman in BVS! Marvel may have messed with beloved characters before but this iteration of Spiderman more than makes up for that.

While the film isn’t perfect by any means, the first half feels a bit sluggish from time to time, Civil War goes some way in combating the fatigue many face when it comes to superhero films. What we have here is a film that asks questions but doesn’t forget what should be the main focus of these films: having fun.

~

CONTACT ME 4 REVIEWS

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER

LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK

 

Advertisements

Thoughts On: Marvel Cinematic Universe

A new cinema powerhouse is fated to face the same demise as any empire: how can they stop it?

It was only a matter of time. When I was watching the latest Civil War trailer, I was happy with what I saw, everything that was happening confirming my excitement for the film’s release at the end of April: Iron Man and Captain America fighting? Check. Black Panther being added to the roster? Check. An inevitable divide within the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Check.

However, it wasn’t until the final seconds of the trailer that excitement levels for me went through the roof, leaving me in a similar state that I was left in back when the very first film for Marvel’s favourite web-slinger came out. I’m of course talking about Spiderman finally getting his big screen reveal.

“HOLY FUCKING SHIT” was my immediate response and the reaction I gave after watching the trailer repeatedly was pretty much identical. Finally we have Spiderman in the MCU, donning a suit that is beautiful fan service to anyone aware of the original style of Spidey’s look in the 60’s animated series as well as his original look in the comics.

However, the more and more tweets I saw about Spiderman, claiming that his look was awful and that he sounded too young, I started to realise how askewed some fans priorities are. Exile me if you want but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is far from perfect and the empire that it has become won’t collapse because of how cheap Spiderman’s costume looks: it’ll be our resistance to criticising these films.

Before I start listing all the issues I have, it’s important to point out that I do enjoy superhero film and Marvel’s are no different. Guardians Of The Galaxy was hilarious and engaging with a soundtrack that is undeniably perfect for the film and Captain America: Winter Soldier is one of the few films from the MCU that I could recommend to anyone, even those who detest superhero films.

However, if we want to see these films improve then we must realise that they’re not perfect. Nothing is and to live by the opinion that something is perfect sets up the very thing you love to become the very opposite of it and my biggest gripe with the MCU has to be the villains.

A problem that has been ever present in these films since Day 1, villains are seen as a total afterthought in the grand scheme of things. Ask someone to name a nemesis from a MCU film that isn’t Loki and they’ll be struggling, not because of their own bad memory but because of how poorly developed these villains are.

What makes this even more bittersweet is the fact that these villains are played by wonderful actors. Mickey Rourke, Guy Pearce, Tom Hiddleston, it’s a total injustice that Marvel and Disney waste the potential they have. Marvel can make great screen adaptations of villains as shown by Spiderman 2 and Daredevil which has not only irritated myself and many others but even George R.R Martin, author of a little fantasy series you may know that started off with Game Of Thrones, threw his hat into the ring:

“I am tired of this Marvel movie trope where the bad guy has the same powers as the hero. The Hulk fought the Abomination, who is just a bad Hulk. Spider-Man fights Venom, who is just a bad Spider-Man. Iron Man fights Ironmonger, a bad Iron Man. Yawn. I want more films where the hero and the villain have wildly different powers. That makes the action much more interesting.”

How good your villain and hero are is irrelevant however when the plot itself is severely lacking and this is another pitfall that Marvel have yet to address properly.

If you don’t know what a Macguffin then it’s time for a little lesson. A Macguffin is defined as being “a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation”. A Macguffin goes by many names in the MCU, most typically the Tesseract or an infinity gem, and it has resulted in the predictable, formulaic stories we see more in these type of movies.

“Superhero x fights supervillain y to get object z to save the planet/universe” could sum a vast majority of Marvel films and while there has been some tweaks to the formula, Ant Man managed to make it more of a heist film than all out battle, that feeling of Deja Vu never seems to go away.

Speaking of Deja Vu, it seems like oversaturation is a word Disney and Marvel can’t seem to find in their dictionary. Although not all of these films are theirs, the amount of superhero films present no doubt spawns from their actions. Ten Marvel, eleven DC as well as other Fox owned properties are set to be released in the next four years alone with many others still to be announced.

All of this wouldn’t be a problem if directors were allowed to make the film they wished to but the fact of the matter is that isn’t the case. Edgar Wright, director of Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, left halfway through Ant Man due to creative differences, no doubt down to how every Marvel film intertwines, something that is undoubtedly cool as it makes the movies feel like they’re important in the grand scheme of things.

2016-03-13 (1)

I’m not alone in what I’ve said and I’m not trying to take some hipster approach as I’ve said before that I thoroughly enjoy superhero films but I am aware of their faults. While there is leeway for things like scientific inaccuracies in a world where a man can turn into a huge, green monster, there is no excuse for poor villains, plot and planning.

It’s not too late for Marvel to deal with these problems as all they have to do is focus more on what the director feels is right rather than the producers who seem more concerned on quantity rather than quality. Phase 3 of the MCU is set to kick off with Civil War and it has been teased that this will change the future of these films.

I can only pray that this is the case.

—–

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/blinkclyro?lang=e…

LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/blinkclyro/?…

Captain America: Civil War trailer reaction 

 

It’s been four months since the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 2 ended with an ironic big bang as Ant-Man managed to make the ridiculously named superhero somehow cool, in no small part to Paul Rudd playing the titular character. We’ve had plenty time since then to reminisce about how all the movies in this act played out with some greats (Guardians Of The Galaxy), some meh’s (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) and some that we’d much rather forget, or probably already have in the case of Thor 2.

However, the stand out film of Phase 2 was Captain America: Winter Soldier. I will admit that Cap’s first entry all those years ago was a bit of a mixed bag but it was still an enjoyable flick and was still far from being bad whereas Winter Soldier just completely blew it out the park. Full of conspiracy, amazing characters such as the eponymously named Winter Soldier and some incredible action scenes, all backed up by arguably the best MCU story I’ve seen, the Russo brothers directed film sticks out in my mind as being the best Marvel film to date.

And just when I thought Marvel had out done themselves this year by providing two of the best TV shows I’ve witnessed in quite some time, they dropped this beauty.

Before you start shaking your head and stating the obvious, yes, I know we got told about Civil War more than a year ago but this is first time (second if you count the after credit scene from Ant Man) that we’ve seen actual footage of the film which, I hate to add to the already out of control hype train, will be the most important film in the MCU so far.

The first reason for this is unsurprising if you’ve seen the trailer, posters or have read the comic that it’s loosely based on: Captain America vs Iron Man. We’ve seen fights between heroes before like Thor and Iron Man at the start of The Avengers but nothing quite as big or as divisive as this. After a disaster caused by the newly led Avengers causes collateral damage to the city, politicians want a governing body to be made so that they can decide whether or not the Avengers will be called in. This divides the heroes of the MCU into two: one camp lead by good ol’ Cap America who believe there should be no government interference and another lead by Iron Man who want there to be governmental oversight. With how cataclysmic the fight in the comic was and if the beautiful wide shot scene we saw near the end of the trailer between Iron Man, Captain America and Bucky is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat.

Every Hint and Clue Hidden in the Captain America: Civil War Trailer

Secondly, we’ve got some exciting new characters getting involved with this phase 3 entry. There’s T’Challa, best known by his hero name Black Panther, who we saw kick ass in the trailer, more specifically Bucky’s meaning he’ll be on Tony Stark’s side for this. Not surprising seeing as he’s the ruler of an African nation who will no doubt want Bucky to pay for his crimes while he was brainwashed by Hydra meaning we’ll no doubt get some confrontation between Black Panther and Captain America as well which has got me feeling light headed.

Every Hint and Clue Hidden in the Captain America: Civil War Trailer

Although we never saw him in the trailer, Spider-man will also be making his arrival into the MCU with this entry though unfortunately we never got to see him at at all during the trailer. With a new actor playing him this time round, 19 year old Tom Holland, here’s hoping it’ll be third time lucky for Spidey fans since I know all I want is Holland to provide the naturally shy and geeky Peter Parker that we saw portrayed by Toby McGuire and the witty, sarcastic Spider-man that Andrew Garfield pulled off so perfectly.

The only gripe I have with Civil War at the moment is that it feels far smaller in scale in comparison to the source material which would obviously be the case due to Fox owning the rights to certain characters as well as the justifiable worry of a Spiderman 3 scenario happening where there’s too many characters all at once. Once I’ve seen the film for myself I’m sure that the smaller cast of characters will make up for it with some crucial character development as well as setting up what we can expect to see throughout the rest of Phase 3.

Every Hint and Clue Hidden in the Captain America: Civil War Trailer
“I’m sorry, Tony. You know I wouldn’t do this if I had another choice. But he’s my friend.” “So was I.” Them chills.

Civil War could very well fall under the pressure of the films it follows. It could be as underwhelming and predictable as Age of Ultron. It could get Phase 3 off to a horrendous start. The way I see it is that it won’t succumb to any of this. Civil War, and you can hold me to it, is going to be the biggest and best MCU film yet.

It might bring the question of choosing if you’re Team Captain America or Team Iron Man but at the end of it all, the winner will hopefully be the fans.

So what are your thoughts about the Civil War trailer? Excited? Dissapointed? What’s your favourite moment? 2016 is undoubtedly going to be the biggest year for comic books ever with Batman vs Superman, Suicide Squad, Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, Civil War and more so let me know what your favourite is down in the comments below and I’ll see you tomorrow for more fanboying goodness.

Big love, Liam x

Twitter | Facebook