Action movies are routinely put down in the Hollywood critic world. Mostly because the critics have never picked up a comic book or had something we all had called a childhood. They use several upper echelon vocabulary words per sentence that we have to look up in the dictionary to comprehend and stare at the superhero movies with scorn because they aren’t Citizen Kane or The Godfather in terms of depth, hidden meaning, and tragedy (seriously, critics have penchants for almost unbelievably dark endings).
Meanwhile, the fans go to these movies because superheroes have always been cool, but now they are universally cool and on the big screen. Marvel has had three movies gross over a billion dollars (Iron Man 3 & both Avengers) and now, Civil War aims to do the same. Only it’s going to do it with the critics on its side and that confirms what I’ve suspected. That it’s the must-see movie of the year*.
* Check out INSCMagazine Founder and Publisher Robert D. Cobb’s brilliant op-ed here on why ‘Winter Solider’ lived up to the hype!
Civil War has been seen by critics and by the Eastern Hemisphere. So far, the film holds a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 99% audience approval*. Unlike Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Civil War hasn’t ticked anyone off even if some people felt there should’ve been more action or more of this/that. I personally felt it should’ve been an Avengers 3 movie and many people have said it basically is an Avengers movie since it involves a dozen superheroes including the premieres of Black Panther and Spiderman into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
* ‘Civil War’ has already opened at $200 million overseas, with the movie set to open here in the good ol’ US of A!)
Beyond critical and peer review, there are other reasons why all of us should go to Civil War (I got my ticket pre-ordered with my buddy Matt!).
1. Spiderman and Black Panther are in it!!!
Spiderman is the known beloved teenage smart-aleck superhero who has had five movies already (none in the MCU) and the world can’t get enough of him. The fact that he’s come home to MCU and Marvel already has confirmed that Robert Downey Jr will play in a 2017 Spiderman movie shows how excited Marvel is to have their boy wonder back. His debut in Captain America is supposed to be larger than a cameo to where it only builds excitement for next year.
What makes the Spiderman angle so relevant is how it was in the comic books. Because Spiderman, as shown in the trailer, is on Iron Man’s side, but after a deep conversation with Captain America, he actually switches sides in the comics. So could that happen? Possibly.
As for Black Panther, unlike the radical 60s group, this Black Panther is set to become a universal enjoyment. T’Challa, the Prince of Wakanda (the advanced African nation in the Marvel Universe), has been needed because like Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, the Black Panther is a badass waiting to be shown off.
In 2007, these four characters were just figments of our imagination because no live-action movie had been done with them (or in Cap’s case, the 1990 movie just sucked) and now the world of superheroes has grown to those who don’t read comics. Black Panther being added to it is only going to be a real treat.
Quick rundown of Black Panther. I spoke with Sal Velluto, who drew him for the most issues in comic history and we spoke at length about the character (he is the best kind of a guy). What Sal found as a challenge was how to draw the Black Panther and have his presence portray his personality. Because what we have here is a king. He is king of his own country (even if the movie portrays him as a prince).
So, Sal often had him standing, or portrayed as very large and in a position of strength.
You have to know that Black Panther, while he has his panther suit and vibranium claws as weapons, he also has an Olympian’s body. His athleticism is on par with the Captain’s, Bucky Barnes, Black Widow, and Spiderman’s. This is due to the comics having him special herbs meant only for Wakanda’s chief that made gave his already pristine body, superhero powers.
Another thing Sal did was he used depictions that once examined closely, you’d see that Panther often saw things coming ahead of time and was used as foreshadowing because Wakanda’s royal highness is also an incredibly intelligent individual. In fact, he possesses genius level intellect and is a first-class politician who can and will lead his people. I don’t think Civil War will go into the “magical” realm of Panther, but show him as a version of DC’s Batman where you have basically the perfect guy fighting.
After talking with Sal, I understand what we as fans are going to see is basically Richard the Lionhearted only he’s the Black Panther and what adds an extra dynamic is that because he’s a prince in the movie, his loyalty isn’t to the world, the American government, or the Avengers, but to his people.
He’s like Thor in a sense except Thor’s home of Asgard’s interests aren’t opposed to that of the Earth’s while Wakanda’s could be opposed to that of the United States or the United Nations if the writers choose to go with that angle.
Doesn’t that make you the least bit pumped for it?
2. Civil War plot is the most personal plot of any Marvel Movie ever.
The congressional Superhero Act that the plot is predicated around is the only the first page of a thick book of this plotline that the comics created. Mark Millar, the writer, is a genius because what he did was he managed to make the superheroes into their own enemies without using mind control.
He used the issue of secret identities (in the movie it’s about power limitation because MCU has no secret identities), which affects all superheroes, and used it to divide the whole group apart the way tariffs and stances on slavery tore the United States apart.
Beyond that, there is a reason this movie is called Civil War.
What’s not realized enough by students in classrooms is that the American Civil War, beyond the fact that the country could’ve been ripped in two, was that the war pitted families against each other. You had brothers in Virginia having to choose sides.
Either stay fight your country or fight the traitors who were often your brothers.
Civil War really can be a two, even three part movie to be honest because depending how many different characters you have (and in the Comics they had the X-men, the Fantastic Four, and many others to boot), it can go on for ages because each character’s feelings, emotions, points of view, and stances can be elaborated into screen time.
Let’s make something perfectly clear that the movie trailers haven’t exactly gone into detail about. Bucky Barnes, whether he was under Hydra control or not, murdered Tony Stark’s parents. That alone is a reason for Steve and Tony to fight each other beyond the Superhero Act. The movie could easily (and very well may) have a monologue showing the distant callous Stark further showing his humanity because this man killed his family.
How can he not want to kill Barnes himself even if Bucky didn’t do it consensually?
Steve Rogers vs. Tony Stark is what makes this more of a Captain America movie (supposedly according to the Russo brothers), but their fight is just the main event to a large number of issues and conflicts.
For instance, we’ve got brother and sister (figuratively since his kids call her Auntie Nat) in Natasha Romanov and Clint Barton going against each other now.
There’s Antman, who has a daughter who could be a target since he’s rolling with Steve Rogers. In the comics, Vision and Wanda eventually get married, but here they are on opposite sides and there’s questions as to where Vision and Wanda stand relationship wise (I’m sorry but Paul Bettany is 18 years older than Elizabeth Olsen!)
So there’s all those angles to explore as well and one reason I feel I’m going to be disappointed in the movie is because since it doesn’t have all the characters and three movies to go along with it, I believe I’ll feel like it was gutted or incomplete because there is so much more to the comic book story that could (and a lot of it should) be in the movie.
3. Captain America gets a feminist’s role model for a girlfriend!
I’m one of the few people who actually cares about this (call me a romantic), but I’ve been psyched about whether or not Marvel was going to dispel this ridiculous following with the fans of Captain America belonging with Natasha Romanov. Because they shared a “strategic kiss” and because Chris Evans and Scarlett Johannsen have on-screen chemistry from working together for so long, many fans have this absurd notion that they are boyfriend and girlfriend.
No….they’re not….They never have been and never will be! This phenomenon astounds me because it’s the ultimate ignorance by the fans. Not ignorance in that they don’t know, but ignorance in that they completely disregard what the movies showed them.
It’d be one thing if the MCU actually hinted at a relationship between the two heroes, but they didn’t. The MCU had HER trying to SET HIM UP! That was a humorous tagline in beginning of The Winter Soldier before it went all dark and government conspiracy and she even asks him to “call that nurse” at the end.
I’m convinced that’s why Joss Whedon got creative and paired Natasha with Bruce Banner in Avengers 2 (something never done before in the comics or any other form of Marvel sanctioned material) and he did it to tell the fans that she doesn’t like Captain America that way so they can set up Civil War properly.
So, who is Steve Rogers’s girlfriend? It’s the blonde nurse/actually his security detail from The Winter Soldier. Her name isn’t Kate, but Sharon. Sharon Carter.
What makes her a fantastic addition is because many feminists have looked down on superhero movies with great reason. The heroes are mostly men and the women are stereotypes of models who fight in skin tight outfits or barely any clothing. Many women have been seen as dependent on the men etc and Marvel is delaying the Captain Marvel movie which would be their first live-action movie based around a female Avenger.
However, feminists will delight in her character because she’s Peggy Carter’s grand-niece who idolized the British bombshell and emulated her in many ways. That’s why she’s so accurate with a gun for starters but there’s a bit more to it. As the first Captain America movie showed, Peggy Carter wasn’t just a romantic possibility for Steve Rogers. Peggy was tough.
She was in a position of authority even if she wasn’t completely in charge. She wasn’t some damsel in distress, but an independent woman who fell in love with Rogers and chose to pursue him; not the other way around. Sharon’s the exact same as a CIA agent who has the same taste in tall dirty blond soldiers who stand up for what’s right like her grand-aunt did.
There is definitely an attraction between the two since they flirted in their very brief screen time and the movie supposedly will advance their relationship but it’ll be hard for audiences to care about it since Marvel hasn’t given them nearly enough screen time. But hey, the first Avenger is getting a girlfriend finally! HOORAY!
4. Because the ending is going to be unpredictable yet amazing
In the comic ending of Civil War, Team Captain has to give up, Steve goes to jail, and then is eventually assassinated. That will 99% not happen in this movie. Actually, no I know it won’t happen because Evans has an additional movie on his contract.
But seriously, how do you end such an epic movie? How is the whole fight over Bucky going to be resolved? Bucky’s not going to just die (has 5-6 movies on his contract minimum still), and the law is going to have to be resolved with either the government winning out or Captain America pulling off a miracle.
Could the Captain be arrested? America’s greatest Patriot a criminal?
Are Avenger members going to die like Hawkeye or Iron Patriot? Does all of this somehow tie to the Infinity Stones in a bizarre twist? Or is it connected to Thor 3: Ragnarok where the Hulk and Thor will be in Asgard? Make no mistake, this is basically an Avengers movie, so it should be connecting to a lot of new material.
However, what their ending will be is going to be interesting because the comic series was criticized for the abrupt out of the blue ending which is a testament to the greatness of the plot. Great plots have to have great endings and this movie has one considering the reviews it has gotten.
So what are you waiting for? Reserve tickets now!