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Oh Nataku, why you gotta be hatin’ on Genchu? You coulda been BROS!


I saw Captain America: Civil War a few days ago. You know, I think we can all appreciate a tight script that the writers clearly thought about and bounced off of each other, working in great foreshadowing and smart red herrings. I think we can all agree that if that same script can turn some overused tropes on their heads in the process, we can all get behind it as a solid film, even if not everything else works as well outside of that script. Luckily everything in Civil War works well!

Can I talk about the wonderfully subversive ending? We’ve been going through the film, and identified a clear external threat that our divided Avengers team can unite against, despite their different points of view. More super soldiers could be resurrected! Oh gosh gee no! Cap reconciles with Tony and they go to confront the evil badguy person. Then BAM the bad guy has already shot all the super soldiers before waking them up! Then DOUBLE BAM Bucky killed Tony’s parents! Then TRIPLE BAM Vader is Luke’s father and Boba Fett got away with the frozen Han Solo! WE ARE AT OUR LOWEST POINT, NICE!!

What I’m saying is that Civil War is actively trying to be the Marvel Movie Universe’s ESB, going so far as to reference Empire during the big centerpiece airport runway battle, and I think for the most part it succeeds. Although, if I had to pick out something that prevents this movie from really letting me love it to death, it is its rather bland cinematography. There’s very little this Civil War does to visually differentiate it from other Marvel films, or other action films in general. I mean I’m trying to think of any particular striking or well composed shot in the film off the top of my head and nothing comes to mind. Sure, I remember a lot of character moments and great dialog, but no iconic visuals fill the void.

That’s not to say the movie is poorly shot! In fact I greatly appreciate how clear and legible the fight scenes are, they don’t fall into the shaky cam trope. It’s just that, well, Empire Strikes Back is a strikingly gorgeous film. The artistry behind it is one of the reasons the movie endures as a classic. Civil War, on the other hand, is probably not going to stand the test of time. With all the end credits teasers and character crossovers, Marvel movies feel more like very expensive tv episodes than feature length films at this point. There’s so many of them and they’re produced so rapidly that it’s hard to keep them distinct in my mind. In comparison, I saw the Rogue One trailer for the first time in theaters before Civil War (granted I’ve seen that Rogue One trailer like a dozen times on youtube now), and that trailer is visually incredible! If the Marvel movies were tapping half of that visually creative energy, I might be a lot more excited about each film.

Civil War is a tightly written story with great characters to drive the plot forward, enjoyable, well composed action scenes, and an excellent twist at the end that’s a real emotional gut puncher! It’s also full of gray buildings and rather dull set pieces that drains the film of a visual identity. BUT IT’S STILL GOOD, GUYS! I wish I could have this same story in a prettier film, but that’s a minor complaint considering how all these Marvel films continue to be so much fun.

Other minor complaints:

Black Panther’s country of origin was kind of offhandedly explained. For some reason I got the impression that the African country where Scarlet Witch accidentally blew up a building was Black Panther’s country of origin, which made the whole ‘super suit and cool jet’ extra confusing. Luckily my friends were able to explain to me that Black Panther was from the highly advanced country/city we see in the jungle at the end of the credits stinger. Maybe that could’ve used more explanation in the movie, I dunno.

When Cap and Falcon figured out the one doctor was the real bad guy, they decide not to tell Tony because ‘he wouldn’t believe them’. Just tell him anyway, there’s nothing to lose! And maybe you’re wrong and he will believe you! Then you aren’t just blindsiding him with that info when he shows up with his team of supers to fight you.

I found out that they cancelled Agent Carter shortly after Civil War killed her off screen, AND revealed the gruesome fate of Howard Stark! This was a dark day for any Agent Carter fans like myself.

I loved the staircase fight with Cap and Bucky escaping the UN troops (the UN has soldiers at its command?). Reminded me of the super rad staircase fight in Daredevil Season 2 Episode 2. Staircases, what a great place to have a fight!

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  • Sunwu

    And the brothers never shared a cute sibling moment ever again

    • suburban_samurai

      Well, maybe one or two off screen.

  • IDPounder

    Eijiro was scarred for life at an early age by a surfeit of fraternal affection.

    • jwkovell

      In my head, Yori’s greeting, “Brudder!”, is in Liquid Snake’s voice.

      • IDPounder

        I had to look up the reference. In my way too broad gaming experience I’ve never played any of the Metal Gear games, guess I’ll have to add that to the “someday” pile.

        • Kid Chaos

          Check out this trailer, and jump forward to about 1:40. 😎

          • IDPounder

            That would make Eijiro a bit, well…evil, wouldn’t it?

          • Kid Chaos

            Just a bit. 👿

  • Astralfury

    Inb4 Nataku killed his wife and framed the Daisuke.

    • Kid Chaos

      You bastard! You beat me to it! 👹

    • Xinef

      Hmm… this conflicts with the kabuki. So your theory is wrong.

      Unless we assume Nataku somehow got Lady Daisuke to fall in love with Lord Wataro, which would make him the greatest matchmaker in Japanese history.

      • suburban_samurai

        The kabuki play isn’t about Hirotomo and his wife, it’s about the Daisuke and Wataro lords from 100 years ago, it’s a historical play! What we see in this flashback is Hirotomo and Genchu’s friendship ending the 100 year war.

        • Xinef

          But that conflicts with the time travelling theory! (which was proven wrong by the virtual simulation theory).

          • suburban_samurai

            There’s likely a theorem to your theory but it’s all theoretical.

          • Xinef

            AFAIK it’s called the Tao theory.

  • Bladedwind

    Nataku seems….weirdly prudent in this page, as well as sensible and genuinely concerned. And not a D-Bag. Perhaps Hirotomo wasn’t the only one that underwent a major change during past events? Or perhaps Genchu was just better at hiding what a Grade A butthole he was. I’m dying to find out.

    • suburban_samurai

      Nataku’s admittedly a lot less creepy looking when he’s not scowl-smiling and brandishing a sword.

  • charles81

    Some assassins are your wife’s guard… But not trusty old Nataku, why, that’s worse than suggesting he’d condone the murder of a fellow Wataro general.

    I wonder if we’ll see Nataku’s character expanded upon to explain his motivations for war or if he’s just a shallow warmonger.

    • suburban_samurai

      Nataku’s a complex character.

      • IDPounder

        “Problem, meet sword.” –Nataku, probably

    • 627235

      This may be the first (or last) time anyone accused Nataku of this “caution”.

  • Turul

    Don’t be jealous, Nataku, I’m sure Hirotomo still likes you too.
    Anyhow, if his wife got killed soon after this, I can see why he’d believe every paranoid thing Nataku’s said ever since.
    (Little Yori is still so cute!)

    • suburban_samurai

      There may be more to Hirotomo’s change of heart than his wife’s death, but it may have been the nail in the coffin, so to speak.

  • Flaming Squirrel

    Dang. Nataku and the Doom Prophesying Walls should get together. They have a lot in common.

    • suburban_samurai


      • Flaming Squirrel

        The drums go BOOM BOOM, the walls say DOOM DOOM, Nataku looks at Mrs. Wataro and says, “SOON SOON.”

      • Kid Chaos

        That’s not DOOM! This is DOOM! 😎

  • Unhooked

    Don’t lie; I know the reason Yori doesn’t have any dialogue after the first panel is because he’s carefully instructing Eijiro in the fine art of turning people into horses.

    I believe they said the troops that came for Bucky were German cops, though some German military were probably also involved, given the high-value target.

    • suburban_samurai

      You’re right about the swat guys. Admittedly, the theater I saw it in had some volume problems where the SFX and music were very loud by the voice audio was a little quiet, so it was sometimes hard to catch all the dialog. It created a weird somber movie experience because the audience was too afraid to cheer/laugh/make noise lest we missed important dialog.

      • Unhooked

        So I guess the audience was being really… civil?

        … I’ll see myself to the door.

  • Yasmin Mazur

    regarding Civil Wars – the origin country that Black Panther comes from is not the one Scarlet witch blew up – the explosion killed a delegation from there, and then the other explosion killed the king.

    • suburban_samurai

      That was explained to me after we left the theater, but I didn’t understand that during the movie. Either it wasn’t very well explained or I just missed it because the audio in our theater was a little unbalanced (some of the dialog got drowned out by the SFX and music)

  • Carli Anderson

    You know what would be a great plot twist? If Genchu was Yori’s real father… >:3

    • suburban_samurai

      >_> … <_< … That would be kinda messed up, wouldn't it!

  • reynard61

    I loved the staircase fight with Cap and Bucky escaping the UN troops (the UN has soldiers at its command?).

    The U.N. can ask member nations for volunteers for Peacekeeping operations. (Recommend reading the “Process and structure” and “Formation” sections for details on the scope and limitations of the U.N.’s military capabilities.)

    • suburban_samurai

      I love the UN, nice organization. Bank Ki-Moon’s a cool dude.

      • reynard61

        Yours is not a universal sentiment. A lot of conservatives see it as a pro-communist (or at least anti-American) organization; and the fringe Right-wing sees it as one step away from a means for the Antichrist to take over the World, which will set us on the path to The Apocalypse. (i.e. the Left Behind series of books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.)

        • suburban_samurai

          Well, everyone and everything has its detractors, not to over simplify things. Do I come off as conservative? I draw a cartoon samurai comic on the internet!

          • reynard61

            Do I come off as conservative?

            Not at all! You strike me as being quite a reasonable guy. I just wanted to let you know that not everyone is as politically enlightened as you seem to be.

  • Frogsnack- LisaZ

    About Civil war- isn’t that because they didn’t have a comic in print first with lots of tasty dramatic backlighting?

    • Kid Chaos

      Actually, they did; there was a whole thing a few years ago. It was a lot more destructive than the movie. 😨

  • clogboy

    Saw the movie.
    This movie is pretty well grounded in realism, except probably for the gadgets and the submersible prison etc. The staircase fight scene was against German special forces, not UN soldiers (they can only unite soldiers from member states for peace missions). The camera work and legit martial arts moves complete the feel of realism, and even Vibranium isn’t like a total deflector in this thing (instead a shell blast could push Captain America back a couple of meters easily).
    I liked the movie a lot, if anything the explanation why Pepper isn’t in this (Gwyneth is taking a break from acting to focus on her own company) could’ve been done better or left out completely. I was thinking CW would be the last Marvel movie for me, but they actually got me interested for Avengers: IW.

  • animalia555

    If his wife tried to kill him and he had to kill her that could explain why he is so paranoid. That being said I Can’t figure out why she would wait so long if that was the case.

  • Insane Disciple

    Interesting choice of words, Nataku

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