Captain America: Civil War…Too civil for a war

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The hype train went crazy for this one, so I had to watch it on opening weekend. Having read the Civil War comics several years ago, I vaguely recall it being one of the most engaging storyline in any superhero comics ever. With a theme closely linked to current actual human issues like immigration, data privacy, and politics, which most of us  can relate to and carry some form of opinion or preference, the comics immediately formed divisions between readers for #teamcap and #teamironman long before the movie trailers made the hashtags trend on social media. Brilliant move by the writers to make superhero fight over the same issues that we do, after all, not many new readers can relate to intergalactic immortal battles anymore.

So walking in to the theatre with high expectations, I can’t help but feel like I walked out without feeling as much ‘wow’ as I did watching the trailers. Don’t get me wrong, the movie was food, with plenty of action and they even managed to throw in some surprises even after you thought they’d shown everything in the trailers. Also leave it Marvel to finally get Spiderman right, their new version being a younger, fresher, more likeable take on the web slinger who’s on screen portrayals had long been abused by Sony Pictures.

My main gripe is that for a movie called Civil War, it was way too civil to be a war. In the comics, the Avengers literally fight to the DEATH (spoiler for non comic readers: Captain America dies). That’s how serious they got about fighting for their rights (or for control). And that’s what made the comics such a revolution in comic books, fans were emotionally involved in the fights between these superheroes because it related to real world issues they held strong onions about in real life.

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(No way they were killing Cap in the movies)

As opposed to the DC films where the
mood is dark and grim, Marvel continues to throw in comedy into their movies. The comedy is funny and great for the kids, but takes away a little something from the gravity of the situation these guys were supposedly in. For all the jokes and puns even during the main fight scenes, they may as well have written the dialogue for everyone to say “I’m going to punch you in the face now, but we’re still friend after right?”. Everything just felt like a friendly game of touch football between friends in a local park, everyone enjoyed it, but the tone was mostly relaxed and nobody really felt that anything was at stake or worth getting emotionally involved about.

By now we already know Marvel likes to keep these movies family friendly, what with their Disney controls and all. Nothing wrong with that, and they’ll still make tons of money from these movies. But DC’s late offering in Batman vs Superman does a better job of creating real tension in a clash between two superhero sides. Overall, Civil War is still a fun show, and doors its job to create an exciting start to phase 3 of the Marvel movies, expanding its roster with big names from the comics with Spidey and Zemo, who fans will be excited to see in more upcoming films.

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