Saturday, May 14, 2016

Discuss: Captain America: Civil War - FULLY SPOILED!!


Karen: That's right kids, it's time to discuss this blockbuster, no-holds-barred, say what you will! First up, me and my co-host Doug are going to get things rolling with our thoughts on the film, and then it's up to you to keep it going.

Karen: My overall impression of the the film is that I enjoyed it, but it does seem a bit over-stuffed. Somehow, despite all of the characters and places and plot threads, it still feels like Captain America's story is the core of the film, but there is an awful lot of other stuff going on around that.

Doug: I enjoyed it too, but I am having guilt feelings because I didn't walk out of the theater giddy as I was when I saw The Avengers, or Captain America: the First Avenger or Captain America: Winter Soldier. I think Civil War ultimately makes my top 5 MCU films, but I can't put my finger on exactly why I haven't had puppy love butterflies. It is a dense film with tons of characters, as you say, but I didn't ever feel that the film was hampered by that. If anything, it seemed to effectively serve the purpose of the plot.

Karen: I hear you. I wasn't as pumped up at the end of this one either, but I think that's natural - we've just seen our heroes torn apart. It's not a happy ending. Maybe it's a bit like that feeling from when we first saw The Empire Strikes Back - everything has fallen apart and how are our heroes going to recover? Well, we know they will somehow get back together to face Thanos for The Infinity War.

Doug: Agreed. I've also seen the Russos refer to this pic as their "Empire...", and there is that sense of uncertainty at the end of this. I'm thinking the first Infinity War movie (or whatever they are going to call it) is going to be a major butt-kicking. My guess is that it will be the darkest film of the MCU.

Karen: The conflict -whether or not to sign the Accords, to accept the authority of the world's governments, or to keep their autonomy - is clouded by the issue of Bucky and his guilt or innocence in the Vienna bombing (and later, his assassination of the Starks). I sort of wish they'd kept Bucky out of the whole thing and kept the discord about the whether or not to sign the accords, and maybe the idea that they were holding some superhumans against their will (like Wanda). But I suppose they needed to resolve the Winter Soldier storyline, and grafting that onto Civil War worked out.

Doug: It did work out, and I viewed the Vienna incident as the last straw that pushed everything over the edge. One element from the Accords and Bucky storylines being mashed together was the character trait of loyalty in Captain America - loyalty to freedom (or his interpretation of it) and to Bucky. However, and we've said this before, there is no sense of history between Cap and Bucky in the MCU as there is in the comics. This would have played out much better in the comics because of what we knew for decades. To try to make us care from one film to the next is a bit of a hefty request.

Karen: I think they've done a decent enough job of establishing Bucky as Cap's best buddy -but it kind of bothers me, as I think that's the role the Falcon should have!

Doug: There is sometimes a sense of "Captain America and the Falcon", isn't there? Oh, and loved Redwing -- when Sam first used the device I was thinking to myself, "Hmm, just like Redwing would do." And I was right!

Doug: I'd also argue that Wanda's role in the fall-out of the Crossbones battle (by the way - very cool, and loved Crossbones) might have played better in an X-Men picture. The doubt of the nature of her powers and her ability/lack of ability to control them seems to fit in better with anti-mutant hysteria. Of course, she's a Hydra construct now, right? In regard to the Accords, they sort of just drop, don't they? Sure, there's been some history through the past few MCU movies, but there's really no tension in this film as "Thunderbolt" Ross shows up and boom! Sokovia Accords.

Karen: It's interesting that they chose to bring Thunderbolt Ross back as the agent for the Accords. Yes, there wasn't much warning that they were coming, but considering what happened in Sokovia, and perhaps more likely, how badly  the politicians would want to control the kind of power the Avengers have, it's no surprise. 

Doug: Ross was perhaps a stand-in for Henry Peter Gyrich. Maybe his inclusion was part of an effort to legitimize that second Hulk film.

Karen: Regarding the two camps, the leaders in both cases aren't seeing things straight. Cap is blinded by his friendship for, and guilt over, Bucky. He's willing to do anything for him.  He also has a huge distrust of authority since coming out of the ice, after the incidents in Avengers and Winter Soldier. So it's not surprising that he doesn't think it's a great idea to allow the most powerful fighting force on Earth to be directed by a group of politicians. As he says in the film, "What if they want to send us somewhere we shouldn't go? Or they won't let us go somewhere we should?" However, he never tries to work with anyone. When Bucky is in trouble, he just goes off and does his thing.

Doug: The whole "Cap's survivor guilt" is overplayed. While the guilt over surviving the larger War is one thing, guilt and loss over Bucky seems a bit of a stretch. Again, we don't have the longer backstory of not only the War years but of Cap's early years after his revival from suspended animation as we do in the comics. This is one I have a tough time separating and enjoying as an aspect of the MCU. You mention Cap as a loner. I did enjoy the first scene of the film. It's obvious that Cap has trained these Avengers, not unlike he did in the Kooky Quartet era. Fun stuff! 

Karen: I always think of part of Cap's guilt over  Bucky in the MCU as being his feeling of guilt over what Bucky was turned into -a mindless assassin. If he had been able to save him, none of this -the years of working for Hydra, and all of the crimes and murders he committed -would have occurred. So Cap feels responsible for Bucky's actions, in his own way.

Karen: As for Stark, he is at one of his lowest points. He has split from Pepper, seemingly due to his need to be Iron Man. He's wracked with guilt over the death and damage he's caused by his arrogance. He's ready to hand the reins over to someone else. Downey plays Tony Stark as a man on the edge -he appears about to crack many times in the film, and when he discovers the Winter Soldier killed his parents, he really does, quite effectively.

Doug: For the first time in six films, I felt empathy toward Tony Stark. Prior to that, he was just sort of a rich jerk who I couldn't relate to. You know, I saw some criticism online of the computer generated Stark family scene. I loved it. I thought that really added to the characterization of Tony Stark, and to the greater MCU. While not directly mentioned, it did bring Hank Pym's comment in Ant-Man about Howard Stark into the light. I also found myself not caring for Bucky Barnes by the end of the film. Brainwashing or not, he's going to need some rehabilitation in order to bring me back.

Karen: Both Howard and Tony have huge egos and just always think they are right. The scene in the Raft prison, where Tony walks in and Hawkeye says derisively, "The Futurist! He knows what's best for you!" really nails it. In Tony's mind, everything he does, whether it's building Ultron or signing the Accords, is the best possible path. But Tony has miscalculated a lot over the years. 

Karen: Now Tony finally admits that maybe he isn't always right -but once he decides the Avengers should sign the Accords, he can't see the other side of it. Although he desperately wants Cap to side with him. And of course, by the end, he's taking matters into his own hands again, breaking the Accords to help Steve, at least briefly.

Karen: I thought most of the other characters got at least one good moment, if not several. I am more and more impressed with Black Widow -she truly deserves her own film. Her moves in the opening action sequence manage to be both graceful and brutal! It's amazing. And I appreciate the fine line she walks between Tony and Steve.

Doug: I'm really unsure what to make of the use of Giant-Man. On the one hand, "Heck yeah!!" But then it seemed as if he moved in slow motion the entire scene, which really made the character less than formidable. But there were some cool visuals, like grabbing and holding Rhodey by the legs, and breaking off and swinging the airplane wing. And speaking of cool visuals, how about the Vision phasing into Wanda's room near the beginning of the movie? That brought a big smile to my face. I liked the way the Vision was portrayed and thought he got some great screen time. Hawkeye seemed a bit short-changed -- and even when he had the chance to call himself "Hawkeye", he said "My name is Clint." Why run from it?

Karen: I figured you would love the Giant-Man sequence! Yes, he moved a bit slowly, but I think it heightens the sense of his size. I loved Paul Rudd laughing maniacally when he grew! And everyone freaking out about it! It was just perfect. There was the right mix of serious and light-hearted in this fight. 

Doug: Maybe my reservations about the movie lay in a line of dialogue during the big airport battle. When the Widow and Hawkeye engaged hand-to-hand, they fell to the ground and Natasha remarked, "We're still friends, right?" Well that seemed from then on like it was really stupid and unnecessary. And I had to wonder -- actually I hoped -- if everyone was pulling their punches.

Karen: I sort of assumed there would be a lot holding back -these people are friends or at least co-workers. I didn't believe they would be trying to kill one another. Well, except for Black Panther. He definitely was. What did you think of how he looked, and how Chadwick Boseman played him? I thought it was spot on. 

Karen: Of course, you know I love me some Vision, and I was immensely pleased with the direction they took with our android Avenger in this film. He's logical, he's measured -and he's also undeniably falling for Wanda. I just wonder though if it will be reciprocated?

Doug: Vision cooking was priceless. And speaking of Vizh, am I wrong that the only time we see his density increase is when Wanda manipulates his mass and makes him sink? We saw flight and phasing, but I don't recall the ol' "hard as a diamond" schtick.

Karen: I don't know about another example of his super-heavy form, but his hard as a diamond form was used when Giant-Man kicked a bus at Panther and Vision just stood there in front of it and it shredded around him. That was quick but awesome. Really, he's so powerful, he could handle most of Cap's team himself.

Doug: I guess that went right past me. That airport scene, once it lands on YouTube, will be one replayed for the ages. Sort of like the Thor/Hulk battle in The Avengers and the elevator scene in Winter Soldier.

Doug: So back to the Panther. He was just another in a long line of "gettin' it right" from these MCU creators. I mean, go back to Tuesday's characterization question... Can you think of an egregious "miss" in the MCU? Sure, they're for the most part playing these characters as their Ultimate universe selves. but we continue to come to them the first time "knowing" them. I really liked the Panther costume, and didn't mind that it was made of vibranium -- for all I know, that's true in today's comics. No clue. But the bullet-proof capability, coupled with his speed and agility (by the way, the motorcycle chase scene was a bit far-fetched, even for comics -- the Flash wasn't the one running, you know) make him a very special hero.

Karen: With Panther, I think we got the regal character we expected, whose rage was held simmering below the surface. I just hope we get to see some of his genius intellect next time around. I hope they don't drop that aspect of the character. Spidey was another delight.For once, he felt like a teenager. Was Spidey essential to the story? No, not at all. But I loved how he was portrayed, I liked how he and Stark played off each other, and I'm looking forward to the Spider-Man film with Marvel at the wheel.

Doug: I totally concur on all things Spider-Man, from the lack of necessity to the plot to Stark's rapport with Peter (and with May). I  made a comment on our spoiler-free post last week that this Aunt May is the age she really always should have been. Really, if Stan Lee and Steve Ditko had wanted a frail old woman in Peter's life as an ongoing (and ongoing...) plot device, then he should have been raised by his grandma or great-grandma. Like I said, two of my aunts are only around 12 years older than I, and two others are only slightly younger than my parents. If you reflect on May's depiction in even the earliest issues of Amazing Spider-Man, she has to be in her late 70s. For a 15-year old kid, that's not his aunt. Loved the new costume, the CGI eyes, and the banter. Absolutely smiled out loud (you know what I mean) when Spidey was criticized (by Falcon?) for talking too much during a fight. The display of Peter's strength and agility against much older adversaries was a superb showcase of what is to come. I really can't wait for the reboot to land; everyone knows I'm on record for not liking Andrew Garfield -- looking forward to this breath of fresh air.

Doug: Baron Zemo. Many have complained that he was a wasted villain, or not necessary to the plot. I think an underlying theme in the film was manipulation. And truth, too. The Avengers have been manipulated by Loki, Ultron, Crossbones, and Zemo. They keep being forced into situations where choices need to be made, and generally with consequences that fall outside what our heroes would normally morally choose. So Zemo was, in my opinion, an able catalyst. Granted, he took some chances and got lucky (movie lucky, comic book lucky) that Cap and Bucky followed him to Siberia. Iron Man following them -- calculated or lucky? It's an old trope -- having one's enemies destroy themselves. Zemo nearly pulled it off.

Karen: I just don't know why they bother calling him Zemo -he has nothing to do with the original villain. That does annoy me a little. But not enough to matter when it comes to my overall enjoyment of the film. I guess I was just hoping that 'Zemo' would have some greater connection to the Marvel universe. But you make a good point -why is it that these heroes are so readily manipulated? And what does that imply when we consider that Thanos is on the way? In comics, heroes are mostly reactive, while villains are the ones initiating action. It's much the same in the films, but the heroes seem to be easily worked into bad situations.

Doug: No hood, no Adhesive X, no Zemo as far as I'm concerned. But again, I thought as a plot point the character's presence was fine.

Karen: I also felt there were deeper machinations at work: what was it that Howard Stark had in his car that the Winter Solider took from him? It looked like five bags of some sort of blue-colored plasma. This was  apparently then given to the Russian soldiers to create more winter soldiers. Was this another version of the super soldier formula that SHIELD was working on? Will we ever learn more about that?

Doug: My assumption was that it was a replication of the Super-Soldier serum. Say, did you count the dead Soviets (man, that sounds like a name for a punk band) in the last scene? Did Zemo indeed slay them all? I was thinking that we might have had the opportunity for the Soviet Super-Soldiers in a future Winter Soldier standalone flick.

 Karen: I did count, and it looked to me like we started with five, and ended with five -dead. So I think all of them are dead -at least the ones we saw. But hey, who knows -maybe one will be revived as Deathlok? Oh wait -they already made a super-lame version on the Agents of SHIELD TV show.

Karen: And here's a silly thought: Was having Wanda in a green outfit at the beginning of the movie a tip of the hat to her first appearance in X-Men #4, where the Scarlet Witch was in a green costume on the cover? OK, probably not, but these are the things that rattle through my brain.

Doug: You scientists are so detail oriented. How'd you pick up on that? I got nuthin'. But then, that will give me something to look for if I see the film again. After this discussion, I think I'm even a little more amped for it than when we began. And I'm really anticipating everyone else's views in our comments section.

Karen: Me too, so let's get throw it over to everyone else! And hey, Humanbelly -Bob C. says he's going to revoke your Marvel Nerd card if you haven't seen Civil War by now, so for your sake, I sure hope you can report in!


Redartz said...

Just a few thoughts to start this morning (have to get to work):

Doug- fully agree with your comments on Aunt May. She (and Ben) always seemed so much older than Richard Parker. Definitely more a "Grandma feel than an "Aunt".

Regarding Zemo- he did seem effective at least in his attempts to manipulate, and get the Avengers to oppose each other. I kept waiting to see if he might encounter some adhesive, but that of course never happened ( of course, it could at some later time in the MCU).

Vision was terrific, both visually and in terms of his portrayal.

Minor complaint- I found it a bit hard to follow some of the fight action at times , due to the speeds involved and the quick-cut editing. But maybe that's just aging me, not as sharp as those young bucs out there...

BobC said...

I don't have much time to post at the moment, but Doug I didn't walk out all giddy either and I think I know why. It's not that it wasn't a great film--it's just that there was so much going on you almost walk out feeling confused. I noticed the other nerds in the theater didn't clap or cheer like they did after The Avengers. There were so many sub plots going on--just bringing in Spiderman could have been a movie. The sub plot of Winter soldier and CA vs The Panther could have been its own movie.

After Age of Ultron, we had a new Avengers team and they just appear in this movie with no real build up. That's a little off-putting. That could have been its own movie.

Martinex1 said...

I too really enjoyed it, but I agree with you about the feeling of unease rather than joy at the end. For me, it had to do with Zemo and my interpretation of his motives. On the surface when I first saw it I was a bit disappointed with his villainy - he was not the comic book Zemo that I knew. He also was motivated by the deaths of his family and grief which made him more sympathetic. However, on reflection there were notes in the movie that made me think something else was going on. Zemo was always a master of levels of manipulation; knowing the surface only meant there were layers of deception underneath... just read "Under Siege" or early Thundetbolts. In the film, I keep going back to the scene with Everett Ross confronting Zemo and saying " you lost spectacularly" and Zemo responding with a slight smirk "did I?" with Everett recoiling a bit. I may be overreading this a lot, but not only did Zemo put some fractures in the Avengers trust, he now also pushed the governments further against the heroes and what else? It's the "what else" I wonder about. Why did Zemo really kill those super soldiers, why did he work the whole movie to find them; he didn't need them to cause the rift between the Avengers. He was a master manipulator down to ordering breakfast so the maid would find the body so Cap would discover the doctor replacement so he would follow him etc. Zemo strung them along the whole time but I didn't get the sense it is over yet. Now Zemo will be put in captivity with other super-criminals to manipulate. Did he extract some super serum? Will there be a Masters of Evil? Again very possibly over-reading this!

Alternatively, another sadness to the ending is that the villains are essentially the heroes. It is really hard to pick sides on this one. At least both sides in the fight are relatively understandable, so you don't get a clear side to root for that you can truly cheer and say that you are glad they won. There is more melancholy around that final fight.

Things I loved:

1) Black Widow. Not only did she have great fight scenes but I loved her nuanced characterization. She chose an unexpected side, but she had well thought out reasons. She tries to be diplomatic. She shows care for Steve when he loses Peggy. She changes sides reasonably. She fights the most to keep the team together. Also to you Avengers jacket-wearing fans out there... Black Widow doesn't wear a bomber jacket but there seems to be a slight nod in the Crossbones fight. She was a standout for me.
2) Giant-Man. I really laughed when he grew. And I didn't mind the slow motion. To me it showed a slight limitation to the power.
3) Vision overall was great. From his density changing to his use of his solar ray power to his logical explanation of the accords to his chess board.
4)Black Panther. I really liked him, his costume and that he held his own against Cap. Plus I am so looking forward to seeing Wakanda.

William said...

I'm going to start by saying I really enjoyed the movie, and I plan to see it again in the theater.

So, for my thoughts, I'll go with a straight up "Pros and Cons" kind of post.

Firstly, the things I like about "Civil War":

1. The fight / action scenes. They were exciting, super, and very well done.

2. Spider-Man finally being portrayed as a wise-cracking teenager with more power than he really knows what to do with. His addition to this movie reminded me a lot of Quicksilver's inclusion in "Days of Future Past". A character that was only used sparingly, but turned out to be one of the major highlights of film.

3. Scott Lang / Ant-Man / Giant-Man. Loved every scene he was in. Along with Spider-Man, he really added some much needed comic relief to what was otherwise a pretty bleak situation.

4. Black Panther. I was happy to finally see T'Challa debut in the MCU, and I thought they really did him justice. Even his vibranium costume made sense, and also made it more believable that he could hold his own in a fight with mostly super-powered beings.

5. Most of the characters looked pretty good for movie versions of comicbook superheroes. Especially Spider-Man, Black Panther, and The Vision. All were very recognizable as who they are supposed to be.


William said...


Things I had some issues with:

1. I didn't like the way all the Avengers were so immediately accepting of taking the blame for everything that had happened involving them. For example, the alien invasion in NYC was not their fault. In fact if they hadn't been there the damage would have been much worse, and the world would now be ruled by Loki. Also, you would think that someone would have brought up the fact that it was the government that launched a nuclear missile at the city and if not for Iron Man it would have completely destroyed everything and killed millions of innocent people.

Also, someone could have mentioned that the incident in Washington DC involving the helicarriers was the doing of Hydra, who had infiltrated SHIELD, and were operating with impunity within that agency undetected for decades!! And it was only the actions of Captain America that exposed the plot.

And even at the beginning of "Civil War" when Wanda lifted Crossbones in the air before he exploded. Her actions actually saved lives. If she had just let CB blow himself up on the ground it would have killed a lot more people than what it did.

But instead of bringing up these facts in their defense, the Avengers just sat there and were like "Yeah, everything is all our fault." Come on! I hate when writers ignore logic like that.

2. Zemo's plan was full of holes. For example, how did he know that Wanda was going to cause an international incident that would result in the creation of the "Superhero Registration Act"? And how would he know in advance that there was going to be a big United Nations summit on the subject for him to sabotage disguised as Winter Soldier?

And how would he know that Captain America would definitely try to help Bucky escape the law, resulting in tensions between him and Iron Man?

And what if Iron Man didn't follow Cap and Bucky to Siberia where he could learn that Winter Soldier had killed his parents? It was mere coincidence that Iron Man showed up. So, what if Tony had not come along? What was Zemo's plan then? Just to show Cap and Bucky the footage he had of the Stark's murder. They already knew about it.

All in all it was a pretty thin plan that he had very little control over. If even one of these things didn't happen his entire scheme falls apart. So, I think the writers could have come up with a better idea for Zemo's evil master plot.

3. The fact that Captain America was so willing to break international law and help a suspected terrorist escape justice simply because he was an old friend of his. Why wouldn't he just bring Bucky in and try to clear his name? After all, they have proof he was brainwashed by Hydra and was not responsible for his actions. I think that would have been a better idea than to just run. Where were they going to go anyway? What was Cap's long-game here? I didn't really get that.

Redartz said...

William- Spidey, Scott Lang and T'Challa were high points in the fim; definitely. And you raise some good questions regarding Zemo; I need to see the movie again. The first time around I was overwhelmed by the 'holy cow' factor.

A note- sorry to inject a bit of sad news in today's discussion. It was announced that artist Darwyn Cooke has succumbed to cancer. A great loss of a great talent.

BobC said...

William I share your views on Captain A and Iron Man. The government sort of skipped the parts where the Avengers SAVED the human race several times. That's kind of important. I also thought CA's blind devotion to Bucky, over everybody else, very strange. I mean Bucky isn't really even the same guy Cap used to know decades earlier. Brainwashed or not, he's killed several people and that alone throws some moral ambiguity in the mix--or at least it should.

I also didn't like Tony Stark making the statement "Whatever it takes to reign us in, I'm game." Really? What if the solution were lobbing off Avengers' heads? And if earth had another invasion by space aliens, how exactly would the government getting involved make things better?

BobC said...

I think the guy who plays Antman (Paul Rudd?) is a comedic genius. He was fantastic!

pfgavigan said...


The inclusion of Secretary Ross was, I believe, a clear indication by the directors and the writers that the Accords were inherent corrupt. In the Incredible Hulk he instigated and led, apparently without any authorization from any civilian authorities, the illegal invasion of another country that resulted in local and military casualties. He also misappropriated government property (just because something is owned by the government in the form of the Department of Defense doesn't ipso facto convey the right to use it to a person of rank) and created a monster via the Erskine Super Soldier serum that proceeded to go on a rampage in New York.

But since it was Harlem I guess nobody really cared.

How on Earth has this man avoided court martial, let alone pass the FBI background check prior to his cabinet appointment?

It also explains the Hulk's absence from the film quite nicely. Imagine the good secretary laying down the laws - to - be . . . and Banner walking into the meeting room and spilling the beans.

"Respect for national boundaries, Thad? Is this a case of 'Do as I say, not as I do'?"

Planning on seeing the film again tonight, enjoyed it enough to see it several times in the theater and probably get the DVD, even though I don't think it will work as well on the TV.



William said...

Redartz, I'm very sad to hear that news about Darwyn Cooke. I had no idea the man was ill. A huge loss to the world of comics. His work on "Justice League: New Frontier" alone should put him in the hall of fame.

He was one of my favorite artists. His was the kind of style I've always liked the most. Realistic but also very clean and cartoony.

It strikes me that a lot of artists with a similar style have also passed away at a young age, most notably Mike Parobeck and Mike Wieringo. Both were artists I followed and admired greatly. And now Darwyn Cooke joins their ranks as "gone too soon". A real sad day indeed. :(

Anonymous said...

Holy cow indeed Doug & Karen!

Yeah, Marvel Studios should definitely teach a class on how to make a superhero movie featuring a ton of heroes yet still making it seem uncluttered.

I loved Vision, Black Panther and of course Spidey. It just makes sense for Spidey to start off as a teenager, considering in this film he mentions it's only been six months since he acquired his powers. Dunno how I feel about Stark being the one to give him that costume, although I liked the Spidey signal he gets at the end credits! T'Challa was introduced nicely too, and his costume is on point.

I also liked Ant-Man/Giant-Man here, Paul Rudd really plays him with comedic effect. This Giant-Man was really a giant, what was he, like over 50 feet tall here? This is the biggest I've ever seen Giant-Man ever in my life. Those Pym particles are really something!

The only (minor) negative thing is that even though this movie effectively juggles so many characters, it should have been called Avengers Civil War! I personally liked Zemo, although like Karen I feel this Zemo is so far removed form the comics Zemo that I felt they should have used another name for the character.

Can't wait for the Spider-Man, Black Panther and hopefully a Black Widow movie!

- Mike 'until Vision learns how to cook gumbo' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anonymous said...

Doug / BobC: I did walk out giddy. I think that with preceding films, Marvel felt obliged not to make it too ‘super-hero-y’ so as to be inclusive. With Cap 3 the Russo’s were: OK, everyone’s got this now, time for a full-on super hero movie.

Doug – to your point about Wanda being the inciting incident of the accords - something I hadn’t noticed in the MCU up to this point is this: in the comics, there is a divide between the characters that actively chose their powers and those who were saddled with them (esp. mutants). In the Civil war cast, nearly everyone – Cap, Iron Man, Falcon, Ant Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, War Machine – chose to have powers. So that tension created by registering / monitoring private citizens for powers which they never chose to have doesn’t really exist, except in Wanda & Bucky’s cases. So it kind of had to be them around whom the moral dilemma centred.

Karen - I think they missed a trick with Cap’s distrust. In 1944, he went into the ice defending freedom against an oppressive regime which monitored its citizens every movement. He wakes up today to find a camera on every corner, GPS, low jacking, and everybody reporting their every thought & movement on social media. It must seem to him like people have voluntarily given up the very freedoms that millions died to protect.

William – I agree about the Avengers’ ridiculously meek acceptance of what they were accused of. First, I thought there was a fairly obvious flaw in Thunderbolt Ross’s argument that the govt can’t have all of these super powered vigilantes running around. Cap & Bucky were turned into super soldiers BY governments; Hulk was created by the same government research that made Cap; Stark created Iron Man & War Machine from the tech he developed making weapons for the government; Clint & Natasha were both created by and worked for the government; Falcon was a soldier and his wings were a government weapon; Ultron was a government-sponsored security program which went berserk and in turn created the Vision, and the Panther is a head of state. So the government is all over these guys.

Secondly, as you say, Hydra completely infiltrated Shield and were foiled by Cap; but also Hank Pym hid his shrinking tech from Shield for fear of what they would do with it; Ross himself was trying to create super-beings with Dr. Banner Snr and it seems like every time the cube falls into government hands, be it the Nazis or Shield, all Hell breaks loose. It seems to me more like super heroes provide the buffer to the abuse of government power, not the other way round.

Also, re: Thor, I’m not really sure a god should have to report to the US government.

Karen – you say you’re bothered by who is Cap’s BFF, but I think that’s actually well-raised in the film itself, when Bucky & the Falcon squabble like children. You’re supposed to be bothered, as are they.

Aunt May – funnily enough, I never considered in all my years of reading the comics that Aunt May was impossibly old. It wasn’t until the 2002 movie when I saw the 75 year old Rosemary Harris portraying the teenage Peter’s aunt that I did the math. You’d need a 30 year gap between those siblings.

Having said that, hot aunt May in the form of Marisa Tomei was still a shock!

Doug / Karen - I thought the Panther was actually better on screen than in most of the comics. The character was well written and thought out and Chadwick Boseman was great. I thought he would seem underpowered compared to the others, but he oozed power. Agree about the vibranium suit. I mean, if you were the only country that HAD vibranium, why would you not use it for that? Seemed to me more like it fixed a question than raised one.

Karen - Hated the use of Zemo. I always thought the Red Skull would be rubbish on screen, like a pantomime villain, so I was delighted by his handling in Cap 1. Zemo however was completely wasted in Cap 3.


BobC said...

I have to say I am surprised at how surprised everyone is that The Black Panther is able to run with the big dogs. You all know he got quite a large power updgrade years ago in both Doom War and The New Avengers? Besides, these Avengers are more like The Ultimates anyway. Captain America kicks a truck at somebody and is as strong as Spiderman in this film--feats he could not do in the comics. Even before his power upgrade, BP was on Cap's same level, depending on who was writing. BP's physical attributes are now considered superhuman--somewhere around 2000 lb military press. His speed has also increased quite a bit and with tech he can turn invisible, teleport and has a personal force field. His claws are anti-metal, which can burn through any metal. Jonathan Hickman did a fantastic job with this character who deserved better treatment than he's gotten over the years.

Edo Bosnar said...

Finally saw it this evening, and I mostly loved it. Yes, the ending was a downer, but it didn't bother me as much.
William's cons list makes some good points, though, I agree mostly with his no. 3, i.e., Cap being so willing to break every law to help Bucky. And I'm not the biggest fan of Bucky here, but I loved the bickering between him and Falcon.
Loved, absolutely loved, Spider-man. Someone finally got a big-screen portrayal of Spidey/Peter right.
Also loved T'Challa/Panther, looking forward to his movie.
And that gets me to a point I made in last week's post: why the hell hasn't there already been a Black Widow movie. Here in particular she almost stole every scene she was in.
Well, I just spilled those thoughts out as my first impressions. Maybe I'll post some more thoughts after a good night's sleep. It's getting late over here...

BobC said...

Edo--I read that Black Widow IS getting her own movie.

BobC said...

WHERE IS HUMAN BELLY?!!! Didn't Miss Karen's stern warning serve as a timely reminder that he MUST see this movie? Marvel Nerd Card REVOKED!!

Humanbelly said...

Ha--! NOBODY is going to read this at this point, I've no doubt! I did not manage to catch the film until just this past Saturday afternoon, old chums. Hence my lack of contribution on this delightful thread. And naturally, since I hadn't seen the movie yet, I never read this post because. . . I was avoiding all potential spoilers, naturally! (And that effort did pay off, I must say. I was STUNNED when the Spidey in this film proved to be a kid named "Peter". I was still completely under the impression that we'd be seeing the Miles Morales version-!).

BobC-- props to you for alerting me to my Card being imperiled-- yer a pal!


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