If you’re a Marvel fan, you should have heard of Captain America: Civil War by now- its not going to be just another superhero flick- its going to serve as something of an Avengers 2.5. Something which which sate your appetite before the main course is served. Something like an appetizer.
For those who have been hiding under the rock, here’s a bit of background information- Captain America: Civil War is going to bring back every main and supporting character from the Marvel universe you can ever remember, with the exception of Thor and Nick Fury, and introduce new superheroes which will be branched off into their own films in the near future. So simply, the list of characters in itself is baffling, which I will kindly name here:
Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk (in a cameo of sorts at least), Black Widow, Falcon, War Machine, Hawkeye, The Vision, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Spiderman, Ant-Man, Bucky Barnes, Baron Zemo, Crossbones, Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, Agent 13, Stan Lee (because he’s a character by himself), and a unknown character played by Martin Freeman. Even Avengers or its inferior sequel couldn’t come close to this amount of characters. Thats 18 characters (sorry, Stan Lee), compared to the latest Avengers’ 15 characters, including villains. Oh, and I included Falcon and War Machine, which hardly played a part in the film, and will have a major role to play in the upcoming one. All in all, this is going to be bigger in scope as compared to Avengers. One where the Avengers team will take sides and choose whether to stay with the tech-friendly Tony Stark, or the more conservative, traditional-beliefs sorta guy Steve Rogers.
The only problem is that this film isn’t opening with the title Avengers in it. Which is bound to get many confused. No film has came close to Avengers in terms of gross in the franchise, save Iron Man, and the latest Captain America flick ended off with $259.8 million domestically after a opening weekend of $95 million, about half the amount Avengers: Age of Ultron managed, despite having an 89% rating on rotten tomatoes. This is bound to confuse some moviegoers. Fans won’t be having an trouble, but a majority of moviegoers who catch the Avengers film solely due to the very name of its title will be left out. After all, not everyone loves Captain America.
For those who catch up with the premise though, it is really exciting to see the Avengers team in turmoil for the first time ever. It is indeed exciting to have the notion of two big superheroes, once buddies, splitting up and battling each other. Although it is unknown whether they will come back together again, this is definitely going to get many excited and rush to the cineplex over opening weekend. However, the big question- will this demand be sated a month earlier, when Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens with what is arguably two of the most popular superheroes we have ever seen- Superman and Batman, face off in a once in a lifetime event? With the likes of Aquaman and Wonder Woman making their first ever big screen appearance, and Lex Luthor, probably one of the most well known villains in any comic book ever, backing this one? Of course, DC and Marvel are like rivals, are fans will definitely take sides, but for the general moviegoers, its just going to be yet another superhero vs superhero event. And in this case, the odds will lie in the latter’s favor, because it is more likely for people to have heard of Batman and Superman over any other superhero. Seriously, they have been having a constant on screen presence for over 30 years, and Iron Man doesn’t come close, with only less than 10 years.
Of course, one might argue that this film is going to introduce never before seen superheroes like the likes of Black Panther. It’s also going to introduce a brand new Spiderman, and its going to be the first time ever you will see Spiderman and Ant-Man fighting alongside a brand new team of Avengers, which no one has seen work together before either. Its new, and not a re-iteration unlike the sequel to Avengers, set in a context where the villain is themselves. Yes, I have to agree with this, Avengers: Age of Ultron did try to pull this trick when they introduced Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver and Vision, although the newer additions are all much more exciting, fan-favorite characters, all of which have received or are about to receive a solo film treatment, something which Scarlett Witch, Quicksilver and Vision will never get. At least not anytime soon.
Its also exciting for this is the Russo Brothers return to the Marvel universe. They helmed the previous Captain America film, which is well liked due to the fact that it reinvented the Marvel universe. It was bold enough to destroy SHIELD (before inevitably getting reformed), and it stepped into the political thriller territory, a first for the studio. Fantastic reviews and word of mouth helped, and it is indeed interesting to see whats next for them. Don’t get your expectations so high though- Joss Whedon, upon directing Avengers, brought the film to glory and a 93% score on rotten tomatoes, but fumbled on its sequel, getting criticized in return. The Russo Brothers might screw up this time round. But its highly unlikely, so don’t worry so much.
Of course, every film has its fair share of criticisms. The storyline is going to be close to impossible to manage. I cannot imagine how a 2hr movie is going to handle so many plot threads and villains, while introducing so many new characters. Avengers: Age of Ultron fumbled for this very reason, by building unsatisfying characters, a bunch of unmemorable villains, some which were pushed out of the limelight almost immediately. I’m wondering how this film is going to set up the superhero vs superhero conflict, introduce the synergy between the new team of Avengers, introduce two new villains, one of which returns, and introduce Black Panther and Spiderman and Ant-Man into the team-up? The Russo Brothers pulled it off the first time because they had much less characters and plot to work with. Having a plethora of things to take note of within the same amount of time only spells trouble. However, don’t doubt against Marvel at this point- regardless of how horrible their movies are, they have all at least been watchable and fun.
Great, the ranting is over, and here’s my answer to my first question- no. It won’t come close to beating Avengers, unless marketing does a hell of a job in notifying people that this is basically another Avengers in disguise. So people don’t complain about an overdose of that massive superhero team-up. Its going to be much bigger than the previous installment though, upon building up awareness. Lets just say that it has a chance at hitting Iron Man 3’s opening weekend gross of over $170 million, but my current bet is far more conservative. I’m only suggesting a $165 million opening weekend here, and a $430 million cumulative gross. I believe that as soon as people here Iron Man is co-leading this one, they are gonna rush to watch this. Thats close to a definite.
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