Captain America: Civil War has released on 6th of this month and is running blockbusterly into the first week. After a long wait, the audience have been enjoying their summer time in theaters watching their favourite Superheros fight against each other.
As you must have seen from the trailers (if not from the movie yet), the movie is basically a fight between two teams of MCU’s (Marvel Cinematic Universe) Superheros:
Team Cap and Team Iron man
on a ground-breaking question
How much does the world needs Superheros and at what cost?
And the beauty of Civil War is not only the characters fight with each other, they will actually make you leave the theaters with the same question on your minds.
For the first time, in the Marvel’s saga of superheros, it was able to pull out a balanced Superhero story, so grounded and so fun. There was everything in the movie which an audience would expect from a superhero movie. The fights, the visuals, the character building, the fun part, the emotions they carry and the basic purpose of the story.
Well, only this time, Civil War scored a lot from the audience in all of the above traits of a film, which the previous Marvel movies couldn’t do. Which even a latest DC Film couldn’t do.
What’s Civil War is all about?
Civil War, being the 13th continuation film in the MCU, the third part of Avengers, the audience would never feel they need to watch every single film before they watch Civil War. The film is a basic plot reachable to both comic-book and non-comic-book audience.
When Superheros are always busy fighting bad guys and saving the World from end-of-the-world, a 100 times, they always forget the damage they do to the real world.
Power is dangerous if its unchecked, no matter whether it is good or bad.
If the bad guy is killing a 1000 people, Superheros are saving them, but at the cost of 10 people in the catastrophic blasts/accidents they cause in stopping the evil. And when asked to keep their power under control of Government – the people – some heroes agree to it and obviously some wouldn’t. There starts the teaming up of Superheros in Civil War film, heroes who sign the my-powers-are-under-your-control contract and heroes who don’t.
Amidst all this, a Civilian who lost his whole family in one of the Catastrophic fights made by Avengers, stands up to split the superheroes from inside the house. He devices a plan to turn the avengers fight themselves because he know he can’t defeat them on his own as he is just a civilian. He uses, an old video footage from archives in which Iron man’s parents get killed by Bucky (Captain America’s Best Friend). This is the point where the real fight takes place between Cap and Iron man.
Why the Comparison?
The Night is darkest just before the Dawn
This famous dialogue from TDK, is not only supposed to give people hope but also to remind them, you always need the dark to feel the dawn. You would and you should always have something in your mind to compare it with others.
Every film has its own style. Every director does. But they all come under one bigger genre. Films.
And contextually, BvS and Civil War are stories based on almost the same line. Only that, Civil War made it to cross the line while BvS forgot there was a line actually. And officially or unofficially, both tried to prove their potential to the audience by working on same story line and releasing the films at the same time. And Civil War just won it, undoubtedly.
We all know that when a superhero movie has a touch of political controversies and real-life scenarios, the movie becomes more grounded and comes much closer to audience, thanks to Christopher Nolan and his Batman Trilogy. The same was tried to be portrayed in both the films.
While in BvS, there were courts, people striking outside holding boards protesting Superman, Judgement scenes, police walking alongside Superman and all that, BvS didn’t know how exactly to handle ‘What Next?’ The beginning was so picture-perfect, but just for 20 mins. Later on, you see no good point in all that political drama. All that Superman in Hand-cuffs stuff is not exactly real.
Where as in Civil War, not even a single court scene or any hand-cuff scenes were shown. But you feel the political impact in the film. Because it just didn’t carry visuals but the idea itself. Civil War implants the idea into the audience brains:
How Different are Superheros from Bad Guys?
When they Save us at the Cost of Other’s Lives?
With some decent and reasonable video footage shown to Avengers and a treaty session organized between 117 countries and Avengers, it all gets so politically effective that you yourself will find in between Government and Avengers unsure of which to choose.
The Title Itself:
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice didn’t do any justice to the title. As it later became more clear to the audience that it was the 5th part in the franchise and that is the title justification. At least that is what fans thought. But Synder tried to justify the title by actually letting Batman and Superman fight each other for no good reason.
When Luthor says to Superman, “I have your mom. Go kill Batman and I will let her go“ the fight starts between him and Batman.
He is Superman. He could just blast the building on which Luthor is standing and scan the whole city and find where his mother is. Instead, he goes after Batman. Like a puppet.
That scene is just created to make justification to the title. Its as if the whole story is trying to reach the title alone.
On the other side, Civil War title stands on the idea that the war between Superheroes is initiated by a common civilian. Just proving once again:
Never underestimate the power of a common man!
In BvS, right from the beginning, you witness lot of visual shots. Almost in dark tone trying to get the feel of a Christopher Nolan movie. Yes, there are some meaningful visuals in the first half of the film. But as the film crawls into the later half, everything blasts.
Everything falls. Doomsday. Wonder Woman doing wonderful stuff. Batman having over-brightness nightmares. Ultra Slow-Mo shots every time Batman or Superman Walks or flies or even snarls.
Well Snyder is a visual guy but this ain’t a 300 dude. Its BvS!
Even Civil War had visuals, but only when needed. In a limited sense. In the heroic moments. Not every time they lift up their heads. Civil War concentrated this time more on the intensity of the character via the words and emotions rather than showing it in visuals.
The Story, the Purpose:
The sole purpose of BvS is to make Batman and Superman fight over illogical reason and finally unite them to save the world from Doomsday. Wow! we didn’t see that coming at all. To be frank with you, we never expected the antagonist(villian) in the Civil War would be a normal civilian who raged the war because he lost his family because of Superheros.
After hearing to the story told by antagonist in the end, you would no longer find him as a antagonist anymore. You can see that even if you are in his place, you would do the same thing. His purpose seems valid.
The Characters and New Intros:
As some fans say, the worst 15 min of Man of Steel was the best 15 min in BvS. And we totally agree with that. The whole re-characterization of Superman in Man of Steel and realistic depiction of Batman in Batman Trilogy is all gone into sewers with BvS. And along a new character called Wonder Woman is introduced, as if just because they wanted a female protagonist in the film. And no comments on the other characters who just ‘flashed’ in a scene.
Well Snyder might have a bigger view for the upcoming films in the series but in that oversight he lost the BvS plot. He couldn’t see that he is just dumping all the hopes and expectations that were kept by the audience in him and the roles. In Civil War, even there were ten characters to hold, the crew managed to showcase everyone’s importance both super powers wise and the script wise.
The intro was Spider Man into the film is one big plus for Civil War, even though they spoiled the thrill in trailers. The creation of Black Panther with a legendary background to it. The turning of Ant man into Giant Man.
The conversation between Stark and Parker in his house. The unspoken care between Wanda and Ultron, confined to four walls. The still-arrogant Iron Man even in the climax scenes. The realistic stunts of Black Widow in the beginning fight sequence. Everything was perfectly framed with no lagging or dragging. Always remember a film might have good BGM, good visuals, good cinematography, but it will be nothing without the perfect characterizations and a proper script.
Well you must have known how loosely scripted it was when Batman stops hitting/killing or whatever he was trying to do with Superman, when he hears the name ‘Martha’ from Superman’s mouth. We were like ‘Whaaat?’ in theaters.
It’s as if some one stole your wallet and when you were thrashing him, he calls his wife name and you leave him because your wife also has the same name! Common Snyder, you made Batman carry a gun, you almost made him Spider man – jumping from building to building – in the Doomsday laser show scene, you raged him like anything till the end and then he just lost all of it.
And please stop playing video games more. On the other hand, Civil War even had its loose ends, but it exactly knew how to tighten them and when to tighten them. Its as if DC tried to become Marvel and Marvel tried to become DC. Even after that, Marvel stick to its definitions of Superhero film. It kept the fun, the action, the visuals, only that this time it gave little more importance to characters and their connections.
The climax had a valid reason for the fight between Cap and Iron man, each trying to out-strength the other. Controlling their power and anger at times. Giving choices. And in the end, they just ended it the way everybody would expect it to. Still, they did it greatly, far more better than BvS.
Civil War Vs BvS:
Being the fans of Batman Trilogy and the renovation of Superman character in Man of Steel, we had huge expectation on BvS. May be that could be one reason there was too much on Snyder’s hands and he lost the game not knowing how to handle it. Ofcourse, Snyder is the guy who made visual treats like 300, Suckerpunch but you should also know that he can make realistic-superhero flicks like ‘Watchmen’.
But when director of that potential is handling the most prestigious project, waited for so long from DC, its not the fault of audience to keep expectations but only the director’s who couldn’t live up to it. Where as in Civil War, the age of Ultron was a failure which might have helped in keeping audience expectations a little at bay.
But, we cannot accept that its the sole reason, because Civil War itself had the potential to be a great flick, even taken off the series. The directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, handled 10 actors as Superheros giving everyone proper screen time, not compromising with the script, not too much off the comics, no overloaded action, no unnecessary VFX, no copy-cat characters, no fill ups, authentic plot, good teamwork and a more appropriate title.
So, if you are a Marvel fan, you will love it better than any Marvel film. If you are a DC fan, you will accept it’s better than BvS. If you are neither, you will enjoy the film as it won’t disappoint at all. Go and join a team: Team Cap or Team Iron Man.