It pains me to say it, but I can’t help but feel like Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is going the way of James Bond and it is starting annoy me.
What was once fun and awesome is now a simple commodity that can be easily refreshed by using a tested formula. Overzealous audiences convinced by tireless marketing are led to believe they’re watching something new, when it’s actually getting as stale as that french fry that fell down the side of your car seat. It’ll soon be an empire slowly building a secondary workforce that will replace the originators when their time has come. This means that by the time Chris Evans is ready to hang up his shield, he’ll have already been replaced by a brand new character. There will always be a “new” superhero, but it will always be the same movie.
I mean, are these movies anything other than fan appeal anymore? Marvel isn’t interested in making any drastic changes to their formula. Nobody ever dies, save for Quicksilver in “Age of Ultron.” It’s like they’re afraid of losing someone Kill Iron Man, kill Captain America; do something new.
Look, I get it, they’re a lot of fun. They’re great movies for the most part and I do not deny that I have enjoyed the majority of them. But there comes a time when the formula needs to break and that time better be coming soon, especially after “Captain America: Civil War.”
Let’s get one thing straight here: this isn’t a Captain America movie, just like how “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” wasn’t only a Batman and Superman movie. “Civil War’s” first problem (though surprisingly one of its saving graces) is its inclusion of an ever-growing cast that is beginning to get a little hard to contain. Pretty much every Marvel superhero is represented (except for Thor and Hulk who disappeared at the end of “Age of Ultron”) and things are getting a little out of hand. Add in a handful of new characters and it’s almost ready to burst at the seams. One would think that the introduction of new characters would spell the deaths of old ones, but apparently not.
While this is proving to be a problem, the inclusion of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland, who is so good you’ll forget about that pile of garbage known as “Spider-Man 3”) makes this giant pill of a film go down just a little easier. Boseman brings a ferocious fighting style and a sense of honor and grief to the universe, while Holland delivers the Spider-Man we’ve all been waiting for. Naive and snarky, he is everything audiences wanted out of Spider-Man; not that weird angst Andrew Garfield imbued his incarnation with, nor that moody crap Maguire pulled.
“Civil War” does a solid job exploring new emotional terrains as it essentially ties together all of the damage the Avengers have done since they first formed. There is pain and regret, and the heroes try to come to terms with it in their own way. Oh, except for Scarlet Witch who seems to have completely forgotten that her brother died in the previous film.
The movie drags a bit early on as it tries to establish the new characters and set up the whole “Civil War” thing, but luckily it kicks things into high gear once the teams are formed. The feud between Cap and Iron Man is interesting, though it’s hard to believe that the Captain, who has basically been like an obedient little Boy Scout, would suddenly lose all of his morals and values to assist his fugitive friend, Bucky Barnes, who everyone is hunting.
But as with all Marvel movies, “Civil War” is fun. There are some seriously exciting moments, particularly the huge airport battle that features old heroes fighting with and against new ones in one of the most entertaining scenes of the year (it even has a “Star Wars” reference).
“Civil War” confirms my suspicions that Marvel is getting a bit too cozy with their sure-fire formula. While the movie does offer a lot of thrilling moments, none of it is really new. There are no major shocks, no real surprises and in the end the Avengers go on to fight another day with every hero accounted for. I thought there were victims in war—I guess I
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