With the second epic superhero battle movie of the year hitting theaters on Friday, audiences are less likely to feel the same trepidation when seeing Captain America: Civil War as they were with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Of course, this is due to a couple reasons, like word of mouth or critics reviews, but the main reason why audiences can expect Civil War to live up to expectations is primarily because….well, it’s Marvel and not DC.
No, we’re not necessarily implying that Captain America is a better hero than Superman.
In fact, it’s likely that there’s a stronger opportunity for DC to have actually put out a good movie that could have topped the MCU’s attempts simply by utilizing the villains available at their disposable, which, to an extent, they’re already going to be doing this summer with Suicide Squad, but neglected in BvS (seriously, that’s why Batman and Superman fought?).
To date, most of the Marvel villains have generally been simply darker versions of their heroic counterparts with the exception of Loki and Bucky Barnes. Iron Man had to face Justin Hammer, who was also involved in creating weapons for the Defense department. Or Darren Cross who also has a suit that helps him shrink in the same way as Antman, and also happens to be someone who is working to undermine their boss, albeit with different motivations.
Or, we could just go into the fact that each Marvel movie spends so much time focusing on its heroes that there is no character development of the villains and that we’re generally just expected to leave happy because the good guys won.
Now, we’re not trying to put any of that down because the MCU has been able to put out great movies that deliver on action, suspense, and comedy all in a perfect balance.
But in the case of Civil War, all of that is thrown out the window.
Instead of seeing a two superheroes that we’re relatively unfamiliar with in the current installments, we’re treated to a cast that began over eight years ago with the first Iron Man installment and that has been overseen by Kevin Feige all the way through.
We don’t have to learn to care about the villains, or spend time developing the villains because a. there aren’t any, and b. if you’ve already chosen a side in the #TeamCap vs. #TeamIronMan war you’re already more than familiar with the faces battling on against your chosen leader.
The Russo’s were already quoted as saying that the film was going to be dark. And it is. It’s not the typical light of heart, the superhero’s going to win sort of saga that we generally have seen. Civil War forces us to look at our heroes differently. To question what we thought about the Avengers before, and also what we will think of them moving forward. It forces us to watch as two sides battle to prove that their thinking is correct and wonder when the damage they inflict on each other will finally be enough. And it doesn’t give us that same warm feeling that we get when it’s over.
Of course, it’s not all dark. Credit the Russo’s for being able to foresee the problems that would have been created in advance by including Antman and Spiderman in what are some of the tensest moments in the movie. Their presence helps to lighten the tone of what would likely have ended up being a film that was darker than even most of the Thor movies have been so far.
But, when all is said and done. The events that have already occurred will have severely altered the Avengers universe, one that we won’t have answers to until the Infinity Wars, but one that has helped make Captain America: Civil War the best movie in the MCU to date.
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters nationwide May 6, 2016.