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!Published on by Alex Kolesar