glitter_n_gore: (jean gray)
[personal profile] glitter_n_gore
Let's see if I can do this without spoilers.

SHORT VERSION: Good times! Fight scenes! Character development! Lots of characters--like, LOTS! Man, this franchise is getting crowded. Didn't feel as overstuffed as it could have though. Everyone has their role, and that's good. Oh, and for the record, I'm Team Captain America. Seeing the movie didn't change that.




LESS SHORT VERSION:

Like most of the pre-Infinity War movies in the MCU, this is a character study. There is an overarching plot dealing with the Infinity Stones and what Thanos is planning out there in the cosmos, but it's not important right now. What's important is that these characters have gone through a lot together. They've been through some trauma, caused some destruction, saved a lot of lives, but lost others. That takes a toll.

That's the big theme of Civil War: collateral damage. The loss of innocent lives in the process of saving the world. All our heroes are sitting down with the reality that, in the immortal words of Tony Stark, you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. War costs, and it's possible the cost for this one is getting too high. Keep in mind this is the situation before all the in-fighting starts.

A word of caution: The continuity lockout is strong in this movie. If you haven't seen The Winter Soldier and/or don't know Bucky Barnes and his history with Steve Rogers, you might be a little lost. If you didn't see Age of Ultron and/or don't know what Wanda Maximoff lost during the battle at Sokovia, you might be a little lost. If you didn't see Ant-Man and/or don't know who Scott Lang is, you might be wondering what Paul Rudd is even doing in this movie. The prerequisite viewing material is significant, is what I'm saying here. But it's worth it.

One of my biggest concerns in anticipation of this movie was wondering how we would get to the in-fighting without everyone being completely out of character. Apparently that was a problem in the comic book arc that inspired this story. I haven't read the comics (we don't need to talk about why), so I'm getting that from net-chatter and other types of speculation--mostly this Mini-Canon episode by the Nostalgia Chick. We've spent a lot of time getting these characters to work together successfully, which includes overcoming their differences in the first place. Tony Stark and Steve Rogers have always butted heads at least a little, but they pull together when it counts.

That concern was put to rest, I'm happy to say. One of the things this movie does remarkably well is never delineating a clear "right" side. Oh, I'm Team Cap all the way--don't mistake this observation for neutrality. But that's because I sympathize with Steve's point of view more than I do Tony's. The movie does its best to present both sides as reasonable, intelligent, compassionate, and most importantly, in perfect harmony with these characters' backgrounds. There is a central conflict here, by the way, which I won't spoil, but it's easy to see why both Captain America and Iron Man make the choices they do. I'm on Steve's side, but I can't really blame Tony for going in a different direction.

It leaves the conclusion feeling strangely inevitable. It's a bit uncomfortable to watch, actually, since the big stand-off fight scene had me cheering when my faves pulled off their coolest signature moves, but chomping my nails when my other faves got beaten down. And it's all happening at the same time. Plus, you know these characters don't actually want to hurt each other. With the exception of the newest recruits, these guys are supposed to be on the same team, and in a way, they still are. They're being forced to pick a side based on circumstances beyond their control--again, said circumstances don't dictate their choices, but given their backgrounds, you can see why they chose the sides they did. This is the case for all of them--not just Tony and Steve.

The character I was most worried about was Black Widow, because she is, after all, my favorite Avenger. And while I will say I was relieved and VERY impressed with how the writers and the illustrious Scarlett Johansson handled her in this episode, I can't really talk about it because that would be veering into spoiler territory. At least . . . not today. I'm planning to get into a more in-depth character study for all my favorites in the MCU (probably after I finish this YA adaptation thing--I'll get back to it, I promise). THEN we'll talk more about Agent Romanov.

Lastly, I wound up liking Spiderman a lot more than I expected to. Look: I don't need another Spiderman movie in my life. I don't resent it as a possibility, but I don't need one. So I was very, "Meh," on learning he was going to be in this episode. (I don't consider this a spoiler, by the way, since it was in that second trailer.) HOWEVER. He adds some much needed levity to this grim, violent story line, and he's brought in not a second too early. Black Panther, the other new addition to the team (meaning the other character who is appearing for the first time in this movie), is AMAZING, and my favorite newbie alongside Scarlet Witch. He's the perfect example of a hero who knows how to slow down and listen when the situation changes. He's probably the most balanced, mature, and responsible hero on the map right now, and I am antsy to see more of him.

That's all for now guys! See Civil War in theaters if you can, then come back and tell me what you think!
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