Warning! This entire discussion contains spoilers for Captain America: Civil War.



Scott Hardie | May 1, 2016
Do audiences want to see superhero friends beating each other up? Batman v Superman had a good opening weekend at the box office but plummeted fast, and seems little-loved among audiences (or critics for that matter). Superheroes fight in comics all the time, and they've fought in the movies before but always as a brief sideshow, never really meaning it. I wonder if this movie is a miscalculation. But every time I doubt Marvel Studios, I get proven wrong, so here's looking forward to what's very likely a good show no matter what it's about.

Scott Hardie | May 13, 2016
Indeed, I was wrong: The grimness and tension does not ruin the film, but merely provides a new variation on the endless theme of superheroes punching people, since this time they're punching each other. (All of those powers and it always comes down to fists!) This is Marvel trying something new, without abandoning the winning formula.

I liked the levity provided by Spider-Man and Ant-Man, the surprise appearance of a young Robert Downey Jr, the way that Black Panther dealt with the villain, and the villain's (improbable) scheme which was refreshingly different for a change.

It's too bad that so much of the plot depended on the Winter Soldier, as he is neither charismatic nor interesting. We shouldn't feel doubt as to whether he's worth saving. Even he himself thought he deserved punishment rather than rescue and absolution.

Movies like this often struggle with artificial conflict in the form of a superior who calls out the team for their wreckless actions, and Thunderbolt Ross is apparently that person because Nick Fury wasn't available. I found it very difficult to accept that no one was seriously arguing with him when he claimed that the Avengers' wreckless heroism was costing lives. Sure, they allowed people in Sarkovia to die... while saving the entire rest of the planet from extinction. Same with the other incidents cited; violent heroism was the only means available to stop mass murder. It's not that I doubt that politicians would try to use these events to some advantage or whatever; it's just that there's a huge gulf between what Russ is saying about the events in the previous films and the reality of those scenes. The Avengers so obviously deserve medals and ticker-tape parades for their actions that punishing them for not doing a tiny bit more is just completely not a credible argument. Screenwriters should be taught in school to avoid this ancient trope.

Marvel is afraid to kill off War Machine? Really? There are fans out there clamoring for more War Machine? Rhodes's fall should have been deadly. There should have been stakes. With the hint towards resolution between Rogers & Stark in the final scene, it became clear that nothing that happened in the main storyline of this movie meant anything or will have any lasting impact, a frequent criticism of Marvel and of comic books in general. Killing Rhodes would have at least had some permanent impact on the MCU. I like Rhodes fine (I was a regular reader of the War Machine comic in the nineties), but he's kind of useless in these movies.

I don't want to wait six months for Doctor Strange or two years for Infinity War. I want more MCU now. All of these heroes and my appetite is still not sated!

Scott Hardie | May 13, 2016
Kelly thinks most of the problems in the movie could have easily been settled by talking and listening. She just found "If The Avengers Had Basic Emotional Skills."

Scott Hardie | May 19, 2016
I saw that Disney scheduled Alice Through the Looking Glass to open on the same weekend as Fox's X-Men: Apocalypse, just three weeks after Captain America: Civil War. I wondered if Disney was deliberately trying to undermine Fox's ticket sales with the X-Men (something that the comic and toy divisions of the company have done) in an effort to drive the X-Men movie series into the ground and get Fox to surrender their movie rights back to Marvel. That thought ended when I looked it up and saw that Disney announced Alice's release date before Fox announced that X-Men would open on the same weekend. So I wonder, what was Fox thinking?

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