Civil War: A Review

First off, the film continues the recent trend of me seeing movies and wanting to buy half the wardrobe. Specifically, one of Cap’s jackets and a coat that T’Challa wears. (Not in that fabric, but style.) Clearly that’s a market that needs to be tapped – instead of ushers we need tailors standing outside cinemas asking patrons what clothing they wanted and their measurements. (For the record I’d also love Star Lord’s coat/jacket thing, all of Han Solo’s jackets and the red coat that Thor wears during the party scene in Ultron.) Now that we’re done with the hard hitting insightful criticism you were expecting, let’s look at the film itself!

captain-america-civil-war-art

In short: woah. Hell of a film. Probably the best they’ve done so far – overall I still prefer Iron Man and Avengers, but the idea of a romantic comedy starring the Vision we came up with on the ride home may top that. Tell me you don’t want to see the Vision take a cooking course!

Marvel managed to build on plot threads from Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron (Which I still feel should have been called Fortnight of Ultron), give all of the major characters enough spotlight time (Including the newbies, who were done wonderfully) and drop enough hints at future plot and Easter Eggs that I didn’t want the film to end. It also left plenty of future threads dangling (Though not quite as many unanswered questions as The Force Awakens left me with) – there was no ‘everything wrapped up neatly’ end and I really liked that. There’s the political and spy intrigue of Soldier, enough quipping to fill 3 more Iron Man films and enough kaboom to maybe keep Zack Snyder happy, but more than that, it’s fun. It’s the major advantage Marvel films have over DC (BvS:DoJ I’m looking at you…) and I continue to love it.

It’s not a strict adaption of the Civil War plot, but that’s a good thing – I’m not sure the MCU’s Tony Stark would clone Thor, for which we should be grateful, though the aftermath of that mess would be fun to watch. There’s no easy answers to the conlfict between characters either – both side’s make their case and both can be seen to be in the right, which is what I’d hoped for. Just having them fight for no good reason is dull, but people convinced of the rightness of their cause, that’s something else. Stark has his paranoia and guilt while Cap is well, Cap.

3779149-no+you+move+cap+says

While I’m of the opinion that this version of the MCU should wrap up after Infinity War Pt 2, and switch to smaller scale stuff for a while before a reboot – progects like the Thunderbolts, the Runaways or just more Netflix series etc, if the films keep being this good, I don’t want them to stop. (A Punisher spin-off got announced today, which I can’t say I’m thrilled by. Yeah, they did the character really well, but I’d vastly prefer The Further Adventures of Foggy and Stick.) Mind you, their response to accusations of whitewashing in Doctor Strange didn’t do so well, but that’s a rock and a hard place situation. Either you’re accused of perpetuating the ‘You’re Asian so must know Kung-Fu’ cliché or of casting white people as Asian characters. Still, claiming the Ancient One is Celtic was a pretty terrible move, though not as terrible as Zack Snyder’s glee at murdering Jimmy Olsen.

So, bring on Doctor Strange and hurry the hell up with Black Panther.

PS: And yes, I’m still miffed at Ultron not using the ‘Ultron, we would have words with thee’ exchange.

PPS: Also, there’s 2 post film scenes – at the start and end of the credits. Worth staying for.

Advertisements

Men in tights punch each other.

So, Batman vs Superman. There be spoilers, so turn away if you’ve not seen.

Not bad, but not fantastic. DC films seem to be slowly improving, so give it a few years and we might get a really good one. I’m hoping that’ll either be Wonder Woman (So we can have more female led super hero movies) or Aquaman (So someone can dub it over with Brave and the Bold Aquaman). Actually, can we put together a Kickstarter for that? I want to see/hear that almost as much as hearing Darth Vader saying “Hold my beer and watch this” or a children’s choir singing Slayer’s Angel of Death.

aquamans_undercover_adventure_by_mk01

So, the film. Batman and Superman punch each other and occasionally scowl, Lex Luthor chews the scenery, a metric shit-ton of property is destroyed and they clumsily hint towards the Justice League, all while trying to cram in as many nods to The Death of Superman and The Dark Knight Returns as they can. Wonder Woman’s the best part of it, though Jeremy Iron’s as Alfred is a close second. The next most prominent cast member would have to be explosions which get more screen time than some cast in the opening credits, almost as if Snyder was screaming at the world “SEE MARVEL, WE CAN CAUSE MORE PROPERTY DAMAGE THAN YOU CAN WITH LESS CHARACTERS!” Lois Lane get’s little to do (I’m guessing there’s some deleted scenes that expand that), Perry White shouts and that’s about it. The cast do what they can with what little they have, though I’d forgotten that Lois and Clark were dating at the end of Man of Steel, which made him walking into her apartment while she’s in the bath more than a bit creepy at first. After that, it was just gratuitous and un-needed, much like most of Bruce Wayne’s flashbacks/nightmares. And yes, we saw the Wayne’s die. Again. It was well done and relatively short, though I might have been distracted by the cinema they were leaving having posters for The Mark of Zorro and Excalibur, a line from which could probably sum the film up quite well. “A dream to some… A NIGHTMARE TO OTHERS!”

3488325-209761958_f82cd819b0_o

I have no idea what comic this is from, but couldn’t resist using it.

Music’s great – the uplifting theme they have for Superman is fantastic and Wonder Woman’s theme is superb.It’s almost a shame that Hans Zimmer has said this will be his final superhero movie, as he did a really great job. The little hints foreshadowing the Justice League are shoe-horned in there and not well. They’re nice to see and all, but pretty damn lacking when compared to Marvel’s end credits teases. (And no, either there’s no post credit scene or it’s part way through and I missed it when I was in the loo)

I guess my main problem with it is the tone. I want my Batman to work at night and Superman during the day – it seems almost insulting to have the most sunlight in a Superman film to be at his funeral. Affleck makes for a good Batman, though at times I could have used subtitles – between the accent, the noise of the film and the voice modulation it’s hard to tell what he’s saying at times. He’s also a violent jerk who seems to have forgotten about the whole ‘no killing people’ thing, though to be fair that’s happened before. I’ve just had my fill of Frank Miller’s Batman, I want the next one to be more Brave and the Bold or Adam West. I’d happily settle for Michael Keaton, who I think did a really good job of showing just how bugfuck nuts Bruce Wayne is. It’s all moot though, as we have Kevin Conroy, praise be his Bat-Voice.

maxresdefault

My ideal Superman? Well, Cavill could probably do the job given a better script, so that’s still a mix of Christopher Reeves Superman and Brandon Routh’s Clark Kent.There’s rare moments that hint just how good he could be, but it’s been lost amid the brooding and explosions. *sigh* Running a bit low on things to say, so I’ll sum up. It’s about as well done as I was expecting given the trailers (Why blow the surprise of Doomsday?), though you could have cut 20 minutes of montages, explosions and brooding and made for a better movie. But really, if you’re going to pit Batman and Superman against each other, we already have this: .

What could top that?

Many Bothans died, to bring us this trailer.

So, the Rogue One trailer. Leaving aside my burning hatred for teasers for trailers, or two minute trailers with 25 seconds of that taken up by rating info and stuff for other videos on the channel, it looks pretty damn good.

HELL YES MON MOTHMA – SUCK IT MRA’S AND SUCK IT HARD.
A female lead with a good amount of non-white people in the main cast, nice to see.
It’ll be slightly odd to have a definitive story of how the Death Star plans were stolen, given how many different stories and versions of it in the old EU.
Very little spoilery material, even better. One of the things I enjoyed the most about The Force Awakens was how little I knew going into it, a refreshing feeling in this day and age of leaks and endless teaser clips.
Seeing Yavin Base and T-65B X-Wings again – *swoon*
I’m sure the 501st are already going nuts over Ben Mendlheson’s outfit, whic is fair as that’s a rocking cape. That cape rocks so much I’m pretty sure Lando is jealous.
No Bothans though. Boooo. Also, would a nod to Kyle Katarn kill you? (Yes, I know the Bothans helped steal the plans to the second Death Star, but still. Seeing one on screen would be nice, at some point. Damn human-centric movies.)
Could have done without the nostalgia piano at the end, but I understand that’s the hip thing at the moment. Damn kids.
Part of me does think it’s going a bit dark, or at least Star Wars dark, but we’ve had that and it worked out OK, so yeah. Besides, I’m cool with them experimenting

Roll on December.