CIVIL WAR: MCU’S OPENING STATEMENT OF 2016 (SPOILER FREE!) by Michael Blanton

Grab your muskets and bayonets, it’s time for Civil War! ……. Give me back the computer, you’ve lost your privileges… Sorry about that everyone! Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days, you know that Captain America: Civil War was released.  Now it’s time for the full on frontal exposure of all things Marvel of the day.

For starters, let’s look at the lead up to Civil War. Marvel is riding high on its multiyear plan with the success of The Avengers films and the standalone story arcs. While Civil War is technically a standalone Captain America movie, it feels more like a continuation of an Avengers saga. That being said, it is a fun film from start to finish. It provides a myriad of action mixed with just the right amount of plot and character development to keep the viewer hooked. However, if you are walking into this movie to see a shot for shot remake of the comic book, then you may be slightly disappointed, but more on that later.

If you are venturing into this film looking for action, you have come to the right place. Starting off the viewer is thrown into the grasp of Captain America’s grip and held like the Stars and Stripes on his vibranium shield. While I won’t go into too much details of the opening scene, let’s just say that the true believers out there will be happy to see some familiar faces. Speaking of which, there are many returning characters that we see in this film, with actors like Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Paul Bettany, and Jeremy Renner all returning as their respective heroes, there is no lack of super powered stardom to go along with the superheroes in this film. That being said, there are some new faces that are thrown into the fold as well.

Anyone with a television that can pick up basic channels has probably seen a Civil War trailer with Black Panther in it. Let’s just say, this is a great thing. While not an origin story of the Black Panther, it does provide a good deal of why he becomes the hero in the first place. While Chadwick Boseman is a relatively unknown actor, with only a handful of major films under his belt, it is safe to say that he does not disappoint. His emotional portrayal of T’Challa as a grief stricken prince rivals that of Chris Evans or RDJ. He brings life to a character that is often left in the dark when major Marvel characters come into play. And while he does shine throughout the film, he does not outshine any of his fellow cast members, but rather encourages their respective struggles throughout the movie. His character adds to the overall plot and makes the viewer really feel like they are a part of Cap and Iron Man’s dispute in a way that would not be present without him.

Now to the part everyone is going to hate me and fight me over, the plot. Let me start by saying, yes I am a comic book fan. Yes, I have read Civil War and yes, I am well aware that there are some major pieces of the story that are altered and or left out. That being said, I learned a long time ago to stop going to comic book movies to see a shot for shot remake of the comic, because if I hadn’t, I would never be happy with a superhero movie. A few have come close, I’m looking at you Watchmen, but more often than not, they fail to live up to the source material. This is not because of a writer or director’s oversight or need to change things, but rather because it’s not always completely possible to translate from print to film. That being said, look at the film for what it is, an interpretation, and in this case a damn fine one. We see the general theme, especially in the trailers, as Captain America’s team versus Iron Man’s team. The question is though, what are they fighting over? Well, if you’ve ever read the comics, or spent five minutes on a Wikipedia page, then you know exactly what they are fighting over. If you haven’t, well *SPOILER* it’s over the registration of superheroes or enhanced individuals.

The staple of this story arc is basically the idea that a house divided will not stand of its own accord. If you’ve seen the movie or the trailer, then you know there is a very strong divide in the house that Stark built. Each Avenger has to pick a side and really establish where they stand on the issue, lest they be faced with major consequences (I won’t tell you what they are, go see the movie!). This dispute eventually becomes a full on conflict that leads to a major split between party lines and creates the division we’re teased to in the Avenger camp. However, while the focus is on Captain America’s side of the story, the viewer is treated to some major side plot story with both Iron Man and Winter Soldier. I won’t give away the ending, but let’s just say it’s smashing! These side stories tie into Cap’s own story and create the largest rift in the whole movie. If you are looking for a story that builds and climaxes, then you have come to the right place. If you are looking for something a little more action oriented, but still has a good plot, you’re also in the right place. If you’re looking like the topographical map of Utah… Well, you might want to hit up your local R rated superhero to get your fix there.

Overall, Captain America: Civil War is an enjoyable movie for both the casual goer and True Believer alike. If you have some free time in the foreseeable future and want to burn a bit of money, I highly recommend this film. It provides you with the fix to hold onto until the next superhero film and provides a unique look into one of Marvel’s biggest story arcs. While it may not be one hundred percent true to the comic, it does bring the feel of its source material to the big screen and drags those feelings out of the viewer. So, whether you’re a True Believer or not, get ready for a nonstop thrill ride into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain America: Civil War gets a solid 4/5 scars from us here at Stiff Magazine.

 

Michael Blanton is an aspiring writer from upstate South Carolina. He has a degree in Psychology from Winthrop University with a focus in human behavior and cultural patterns. He is also an avid fan of horror movies and comic books.

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