As a lifelong Batman fan, I can see how recent superhero films have left you feeling burnt out on the genre. However, as someone who has never read a solo Captain America comic book (and never will) trust me when I say, it’s ok if you’re still feeling optimistic about Marvel’s next movie even if it looks pretty similar to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on paper.
Now I’m well aware that this movie might still stink once it’s out. I don’t think it will but I’m completely open to the idea that Marvel can put out a flawed film. However, I have reason to believe that it’s still safe to get excited for Captain America 3/ Avengers 2.5, in fact, I have five reasons.
Watching Your Favourite Heroes Fight Isn’t The Ultimate Goal
I’ve never been a fan of the theoretical situations where two heroes or teams of heroes I’m supposed to root for against villains decide to fight each other. Why can’t they just spend their time fighting the real bad guys and have that be fun? However, I’ll be on board with brother turning against brother in this movie because there is a real reason for the heroes in this movie to be at odds.
Even if you haven’t read the comic storyline from 2006, the trailers let you know that there is an actual ethical quandary at the heart of this movie. Should superheroes be policed? That is a legitimate question that deserves being unpacked. If done right, this movie could legitimize all the #teamcap #teamironman marketing that’s out right now. This movie could actually give you two sides to an argument and not vilify anyone who chooses one side over the other. That has to be more exciting than having one side of the fight be clearly at fault. It definitely has to be more worthwhile than just “who would win in a fight?”
It Can Be Serious Without Being Depressing
Because this movie will boil down to more than just action figures smashing up against each other, it’s safe to assume there will be a level of gravitas not found in some of Marvel’s more light-hearted outings. However, the addition of characters like Ant-Man and Spider-Man means that characters who are supposed to wear the weight of the world on their faces can do so and pockets of levity can exist with the help of the aforementioned characters.
One thing that dragged down Batman v Superman (a movie I swear I don’t hate) was that Superman seemed just as gloomy as Batman, if not more so. I’m not a Superman fan or expert, but I get the sense that if he’s being put up against someone as historically grim as Batman, he should stand out as the more hopeful character. Civil War has wisely injected hopeful characters into its storyline. They can become less hopeful over the course of the movie, but I’m confident that Scott Lang and Peter Parker will remain their usual quippy selves, even if Tony Stark doesn’t. This should give the audience a break from the darker more emotionally taxing material and hopefully make for more positive feelings towards this comic book movie.
Deaths Won’t Feel Gimmicky
Don’t worry, I can prove this point without bashing BvS! In fact, I can call out the MCU on this point. One of the main complaints about Marvel is that they have some trouble committing to killing off characters. Either a character dies on screen in a movie then spins-off onto their own unwatchable TV show or it’s Quicksilver, who fits in way better over at Fox anyway. It kind of gives off the sense that all the blasting, shooting, kicking, and punching in these movies never land with any consequence. However, if you know the comic run this movie took its name from, you’ll know Civil War is all about consequences and features some pretty meaningful deaths.
If this movie is borrowing more than just the title from the comics, which the trailers heavily hint at, then what we could get is a movie that shows a progression in the way the MCU tells stories that feels organic. It will incorporate elements from the comic book but still feel like it’s true to the events and characters we already have a history with as opposed to being a reaction to fan criticisms.
Everything Has Built Up To This
The big plus to a movie like Civil War is that it does not exist in a vacuum, but it doesn’t require people to have read multiple comics beforehand either. If you’ve kept up with movies that don’t have “Guardians”, or “Thor” in the title, there’s a good chance you have all the info you need going into this movie. If you haven’t been keeping up with the MCU maybe you just want to see this movie for Spider-Man? If so, you’re in luck; early reviews say he’s great.
However, the trailers for this movie seem like they’re playing off the idea that all the destruction and killing that’s been done in the name of avenging earth has caught up to Captain America and his friends. The world has taken notice and now people want to hold the Avengers accountable. It’s time for some self-reflection from the team and it looks like they’re not all on the same page. Now that is some organic conflict that seems logical and worth getting excited about.
They’ve Earned It
With the four preceding points combined, I’ve come to the conclusion that this movie has earned the hype. It’s even earned any radical shake-up it may cause in the universe. We’ve been with some of these characters for 8 years now and that’s enough time to make some paradigm shifts. It won’t feel like a stunt. If done properly, this will be a story that unfolds in an inevitable way based on what we know about the characters from the previous movies while exciting us with how the tensions flare up.