Watching each film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one begins to wonder: Are these individual superhero films, or simply an ongoing money machine. Part 1 of 3.
WASHINGTON, May 22, 2016 – “Captain America: Civil War” is the 13th film chronicling the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2008. It’s also ostensibly the third movie of the Captain America franchise, which started with “First Avengers” in 2011 and “Winter Soldier” in 2014.
But at this point, each individual movie like this one can easily be treated as a sub-franchise chapter. Each successive film seems to exist to weave a more complex tapestry of the Marvel Universe. “Civil War” not only continues that trend, but makes it all the more entrenched.
“Civil War” takes place at least a year after “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and, by sheer happenstance, “Ant-Man,” with the Avengers operating as a full-fledged paramilitary outfit of superheroes out of their upstate compound, which was introduced back in “Captain America: the Winter Soldier.”
Stepping back from “Civil War” for a moment, we should observe that, when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe these days, it’s hard to say if each successive film can be strictly regarded as stand-alone movies. Indeed, they certainly aren’t individual franchises now, if indeed they ever were.
Segments occur in most of these films designed less to advance the plot and characterizations than to loosely connect the larger MCU continuity to the current film. Unfortunately, these segments feel out of place and might be better off forgotten entirely.
Ever since Howard Stark (John Slattery) was formally introduced in Iron Man 2, the notion that Tony Stark’s and Steve Rogers’ lives have been connected has become a key element in most of the Marvel films. Tony has always tried to live up to what’s essentially a mythical super-character – one who eventually comes to life through Tony’s engineering genius. At the same time, Steve tries continuously to live up to the ideals of his own initially government-created myth. This parallel narrative has continued to run through each successive film involving these characters.
All this character dovetailing can be a sticking point for Marvel fans who just want to see their favorite characters battling evildoers on their own. As it’s evolving, however, the landscape Marvel Studios has laid out since 2008 can easily become unwieldy, much as it was in “Age of Ultron” for the most part.
Trying balance all of the characters, relationships and focus can easily cause a film to collapse under its own weight. In “Captain America: Civil War,” we start out with a pretty simple conflict between the two strongest voices in the room. But then this film sends the audience and the Avengers down the rabbit hole.
The major conflict facing the Avengers in the current film arrives with the so-called “Sokovia Accords,” the all-knowing U.N.’s “executive order” to put more safeguards and control on the most physically powerful individuals on the planet.
Vaguely similar to the implications underlying the recent “Batman v Superman” film, the motivating argument here stems from the vast urban and human destruction left in the wake of the Avengers’ most recent cinematic outings. It’s clear that in the context of the genre, our heroes do unintentionally cause a lot of collateral damage trying to solve the deadly, oversized problems they are forced to face.
Admittedly, this poses a strong dilemma for our superheroes, and it’s not an altogether easy one for them to answer. That’s why the Avengers begin take sides, causing the very personal “Civil War” that gives this film its title. The U.N. “Accords” are largely responsible for igniting the central controversy that splits Tony and Steve apart. But they also pose a more cosmic question: Who ultimately gets control over the Avengers?
Next: Tony, Steve… and T’Challa?Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 Communities Digital News
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities Digital News, LLC. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.
Correspondingly, Communities Digital News, LLC uses its best efforts to operate in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine under US Copyright Law and always tries to provide proper attribution. If you have reason to believe that any written material or image has been innocently infringed, please bring it to the immediate attention of CDN via the e-mail address or phone number listed on the Contact page so that it can be resolved expeditiously.