Well, I watched Captain America: Civil War last saturday. So instead of blogging about whatever I was going to blog about, I am going to blog about that.
No spoilers. I promise
Mr. Devil’s Advocate: “I promise nothing.”
In which case, I had better keep this short.
The Elephant in the Room
Before I begin telling you how the crux of this movie’s success was its writing, perhaps we should take time to address that other comic book crossover that was released in the past twelve months.
Yeah, you wish.
No, I am naturally talking about Batman v Superman: Dawn of the Subtitle.
My thoughts about Man of Steel are no secret, and it was nice to finally get some vindication, as people began to realize the rottenness of that movie through its sequel. There are still many people who praise the former film while loathing the newer one, but the sequel is nothing more than the natural conclusion of Man of Steel. It is a concentrated version of what came before, and since it is now potent enough for viewers to actually taste what they are drinking, they understand how fowl and curdled it is. The stragglers who embrace the first film while decrying the second are contradicting themselves, saying, in essence, “Lemons are delicious, but lemon juice is the worst thing I’ve ever tasted.”
The Other Elephant in the Room (It’s a Big Room)
And we mustn’t forget that Captain America: Civil War is also a sequel. It, too, is the offspring of a controversial movie, which I am sure you all saw.
Age of Ultron is well-liked by most, but there is a highly-vocal minority that despises it. Interestingly enough, there are also some here that try to have it both ways: they hate Age of Ultron, but have nothing but praise for Civil War.
Once again, this is a contradiction. Captain America: Civil War is, in a powerful way, just Avengers: Age of Ultron, Part 2. It picks up right where the earlier movie left off, and the many character arcs contained therein are nothing more than continuations of what we saw in last summer’s movie. To hate one while loving the other is to lie to yourself.
Mr. DA: “And this is the part where you walk back that ridiculous comment.”
Not at all. In fact, I would say that the proof is overwhelming.
Mr. DA: “How could you say that?”
Well, how about we try an experiment? First, you tell me everything that was wrong with Age of Ultron.
Mr. DA: “That’s easy. It had way too many characters. Too many subplots. And Ultron, while an imposing presence, just didn’t do that much as a villain.”
Fair enough. Now tell me everything that Civil War got right.
Mr. DA: “Where do I even start? It had so many characters, each with their own arcs and subplots. The movie was all about them, really. The so-called ‘villain’ of the movie just stepped back and let us see what we came to see—namely, the interactions between all our favorite heroes.”
And that’s different than what Age of Ultron did because…?
Mr. DA: “Well, you also have to remember that Age of Ultron failed to be its own movie. It spent way too much time setting up future movies.”
How perceptive of you. So what would you say was your favorite part about Civil War?
Mr. DA: “Without a doubt, it had to be Spider Man and Black Panther. I love how they weren’t just tacked on. The filmmakers actually showed us parts of their origin stories. Heck, this movie practically was Black Panther’s origin story. It didn’t really add anything to the central plot, per se, but it got me so hyped for what’s to come.”
Civil War was a Great Movie.
In fact, I liked it almost as much as I liked Age of Ultron.
Without giving away any spoilers, I will say this:
We now have the best Spider Man that has ever graced the silver screen.
We now have the best trilogy (so far) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That trilogy being the Captain America movies.
I have a deeper respect for all these characters, and hope to see more of all of them.
I wish I could have created something so thoroughly enjoyable.
And I really can’t say anymore without gushing and going on for fifty pages and spoiling every last detail of the movie.
Also, Ant Man was amazing.
The moral of this story is simple. It’s the same moral I keep sharing over and over again, whether in my Zootopia commentary or my post about the Superman movies. It all comes down to this: great writing and storytelling are how you win the game. Celebrity actors are nice. Big promotional campaigns are effective. But the difference between life and death all comes down to the words on the page.
Batman v Superman poured all its effort into creating great storyboards.
Captain America: Civil War poured all its effort into creating a great story.
That’s why it had so much impact. That’s what made it so special.
I doubt there is any way for Warner Bros. to redeem themselves and reestablish the DC movie universe.
Ah, well this might get interesting after all.
[This week’s tagline: “Where people come…to pick a side.”]