Civil War is one of the most iconic and pivotal storylines in Marvel that ended with one of the most heartbreaking moments in comics history. Needless to say, we were both excited and a bit nervous to see how this would translate to the big screen. The Russo brothers had set the bar impossibly high with Winter Solider, so to say they had a lot riding on them is a bit of an understatement. So how successful were they? Well a bunch of us here at Geeks OUT wanted to weigh in on that and also explain whether we are Team Cap or Team Iron Man and why.
Benji: For me, Civil War was extremely successful. There were things I could nitpick, but on the whole I was extremely impressed. Considering the scope of the comic book event, I was nervous it would just be a huge mess on screen. I think the Russo brothers pared it down and streamlined into a tight movie. And if I'm being honest, I'm team Sam Wilson. In the comics and on screen.
Joey: Oh man, he was so great! Here's the thing though. We're all gonna say we loved it because it's great …
Niala: Actually, I didn't love it. I liked it, but I didn't love it.
Joey: …but this is Geeks OUT so let's get to the Queer/Feminist parts that are annoying.
1) Women do not talk to each other in this movie.
2) Heterosexual relationships in the DCU have never seemed so forced to me.
Benji: Sharon Carter and Steve do not exactly have sizzling chemistry, but Peggy/Steve chemistry is a tough act to follow.
Niala: Sharon/Steve is a TERRIBLE ship. And it always has been.
Lexi: Sharon/Steve felt beyond forced -- I was not about that ship.
Niala: I wanted so badly for the film to explore the legacy angle with Sharon. Who is she, what is it like to grow up looking up to PEGGY CARTER, what does she think about the fact that the thing her aunt spent her life building, that Steve died for, was for nothing and it had to be brought down. So many ways to take it. But they focused on the "romance" angle. Ugh.
Joey: But Cap and Bucky and Cap and Falcon? ALL chemistry!
Benji: Um…Falcon and Bucky
Joey: The car scene?
Benji: I loved their hateship/friendship.
Lexi: LOVED the relationship and interactions between Bucky and Falcon!! I wanted to see more interactions between them and Cap!
Niala: The Barbershop Quartet (Natasha, Bucky, Sam, and Steve) were AWESOME!
Benji: It definitely seemed like Sharon Carter was there to be an administrative plot device …
Aaron: And perfunctory love interest.
Benji: …We need someone on the inside.who can PRESS THE BUTTON so we can hear what's going on in that room!
Niala: Yeah and the story didn't work at all, so they ended up cutting most of her scenes and reshooting the epilogue to remove her. Because they clearly think it's time for Steve to "move on" even though Steve "Till the End of the Line" Rogers is not exactly the moving on type. He was still literally dreaming of Peggy in Age of Ultron but now he's going to make out with her NIECE?? Well, I'm a mostly Steve-Sam shipper (OTP: What Makes You Happy?) so I came out of Civil War pretty happy to be honest.
Ian: I thought the kiss was fine? I mean, we knew they'd never have Bucky and Cap kiss. Of course, I wish they would, but they do some Teen Wolf-level queer baiting with their friendship.
Benji: Honestly I feel bad for Emily Van Camp. She is a fine actress who did the best she could do with what she was given, but how do you compare to the badassery of Peggy/Hayley. At least she got some cool fight choreography in the film.
Niala: I felt bad for Emily too, but man the press tour was SO AWKWARD. The tension between her and Chris was uncomfortable.
Joey: I loved this film…
Ian: I also loved it.
Joey: … but the overall straight/maleness of MCU is so hard.
Niala: I got so excited that there was a woman of color with a speaking role. And she was only in one scene. A waste of Alfre Woodard but we are desperate for any diversity.
Joey: The “move or you will be moved” line made me thrilled for Black Panther!
Benji: We will see Alfre on the Luke Cage TV series but as a different character. Is that a first for the MCU? Pulling a Law & Order, same actor different character thing?
Niala: Depends on if you consider the Fantastic Four movies to be part of the MCU. Chris Evans is both Johnny Storm and Steve Rogers.
Benji: I'm sorry, there were Fantastic Four movies? I'm sure I would have heard of them.
Niala: Black Panther is where we will get ALL the black people! Racist fans are going to flip their shit and I'm 1000% here for that.
Benji: Speaking of Black Panther...HOW PERFECT WAS HE?
Lexi: BLACK PANTHER WAS PERFECT! 1000% here for it!
Ian: I thought Black Panther and Scarlet Witch had really great arcs for not being the main characters. I wasn't sold on her in Age of Ultron, but this movie sold me on her.
Benji: Agreed on Scarlet Witch. I also like the relationship with Vision. Side note, anyone else find Paul Bettany fuckable in full Vision regalia?
Niala: Hmmmmm. Not really? But I don't think Paul Bettany is all that cute.
Aaron: I love how he looks in non-costume attire. So ridiculous in the best way. PS read the current Vision comic if you’re not already. It’s great!
Ian: Vision in those dad sweaters and dad pants was the best and so weird and so perfect. I really thought, even though it was drowning in characters, that I didn't feel cheated on any character and screen time. Every side character had just enough time and was really wonderful.
Benji: Does Paul Rudd age?
Niala: No. Neither does Chadwick Boseman. That dude is, wait for it, 42!
Lexi: Paul Rudd does NOT age, and I wanted so much more of Wanda and Vision's weird little relationship.
Niala: I thought the Wanda/Vision's relationship was uncomfortable and weird to be honest.
Benji: My biggest fangasm was when Ant-Man said, "I have something else I can try." I went squeee!
Niala: Yes! Paul Rudd was perfect! Him meeting Steve was the BEST. Scott Lang as super Cap fanboy overwhelmed by the Cap body? YES!
Lexi: Baby Peter Parker was pretty perfect, although I can't say I have been able to successfully wrap my head around de-aged Aunt May.
Benji: I think since Tony is going to be in Homecoming, they might be setting up a romance with May. I think we've seen the last of Pepper Potts
Joey: Aunt May was great!
Niala: Each movie, Aunt May has gotten younger.
Aaron: Marisa Tomei is great, but on the other hand, it's like even older female characters have to be fuckable now.
Joey: I love her being younger and smart and cool. I've seen old Aunt May who’s sad and lonely. I am glad for another take.
Benji: Aunt May can get it!
Lexi: Don't get me wrong, Marisa Tomei is fantastic (and could so get it) but it was surprising to see Aunt May young and sexualized.
Ian: A friend of mine had a tweet that was making the rounds that was pics of Aunt May from the diff movies saying "I love seeing Marvel Benjamin Button Aunt May."
Niala: I hope her younger age means that we will see her actually doing stuff in the Spider-Man reboot.
Benji: Also, ten minutes into the movie I thought, "So why can't we have a black widow movie?" She and Anthony Mackie were the moral compasses. Widow was a spy, a soldier, a diplomat and a best friend. WHERE IS HER MOVIE?
Niala: Natasha's fight scenes were AMAZING. And I've been impressed with all the others in all her MCU appearances, but they outdid themselves this time. Now, they just need to confirm finally, that Natasha is superhuman just like her comic book counterpart.
Lexi: They did give Nat (and Wanda) some super badass fight scenes. I want my Black Widow movie!
Joey: I would watch Black Widow forever.
Benji: I admired the way they introduced all the new characters. It didn't seem as forced as I was worried it would be.
Aaron: I was definitely concerned about the movie being overstuffed, but I think they gave every character great beats even if it's still ultimately about Steve and Tony.
Niala: Did it bug anyone else that the whole reasoning behind the Sokovia Accords seemed weak and that no one else (notably Steve, Sam, or Natasha) was pointing out the glaring plot holes? Like when Ross says "New York" and shows the destruction, no one was willing to point out that the government was going to NUKE the island? Or that in DC Hydra was going to kill 20 million people simultaneously and that all that damage was bringing down the helicarriers that were going to do that exact thing??
Niala: And Sokovia was on Tony! He (and Bruce who is conveniently MIA) created the murderbot that everyone else had to stop.
Benji: I thought the Zemo motivation was a bit weak. The character and the actor seemed out of place. Mostly just there as a plot device. Also, for a movie called Captain America: Civil War, Steve Rogers had the least character development. In the comics, Steve went through a huge journey. In the movie, he stays the course. With his perfect teeth.
Aaron: Tony also thinks it's a good idea to recruit an inexperienced teenager into a fight with a bunch of seasoned Avengers and agents, which, much as we love Spidey in this movie, doesn't really make much sense plot wise.
Niala: Right! And are Steve and Tony ever going to talk about Tony's not particularly well-concealed jealousy and bitterness about Howard's feelings for Steve? And that those feelings fuel a LOT of his hostility towards Steve.
Aaron: I thought Tony at least has some decent motivations as opposed to being an outright villain like in the original storyline.
Niala: I don't think Tony was an outright villain in the original story. Tony's was a true "path to hell" story.
Aaron: Nah, he straight up assembles a supervillain prison and clones evil Thor and goes power-mad.
Benji: The thing about Tony is he is his own worst enemy. He's arrogant and brash, but he truly does care about making the world a better place. But it comes from this place of, "I know what is best for everyone. So play by my rules and we will be fine." Which, in theory, is true, but not feasible. You can't control everyone’s desires and actions.
Niala: That is exactly Tony. And I didn't get/understand that until I read Matt Fraction's excellent Invincible Iron Man run. What is it with Fraction and making me like/love characters I had no previous feelings for? Like I love his Hawkeye, which is why I'm not here for Renner's/Whedon's Clint.
Benji: Tony is always looking at the endgame and not the right now. Cap is always in the here and now. It makes for great conflict. I honestly can't wait for Black Panther by the way. I was excited before and now I’m wetting myself in anticipation.
Niala: It's a long wait.
Benji: I'll buy some depends.
Lexi: I'll be joining you the depends department. I loved him even more than I knew I would.
Benji: To get really queer for a moment: Can we talk about the moving and operatic tribute to Steve Roger's arms? That helicopter scene! I think that is the closest to porn that the MCU will ever do.
Lexi: Oh god that helicopter scene … SPLOOSH! I couldn't believe it when I heard that he had actually grabbed onto a helicopter for that scene. Good lord! Love him!
Niala: YES. And Chris really hurt his arm/shoulder in that scene, so we should appreciate it MORE. He did it for us, y'all.
Benji: He really is the best. And a great LGBT ally.
Niala: I still can't believe the writers did this, but Steve should have delivered the "You Move" speech in the movie. I can't believe they gave it to Sharon, paraphrased, and said it was from Peggy. That is Steve's most famous speech and both a summation of her character and his main reasoning in Civil War. I'm so bitter about it. I love Peggy and her always being Steve's touchstone/wisest guide, but that's the most famous speech from Civil War. And he says it to Peter. The context was all wrong.
Niala: I really wish they had just called this Avengers 3. Because that's what it was. I wanted/want a Cap movie with just the Cap family. A smaller story.
Benji: I think that is inherently the issue with picking Civil Was as a Cap movie. You can't do it small. So yeah, it’s Avengers 3. It's called Captain America, but he had the least to do in some regards. One final thought…
Niala: Are we doing the Jerry Springer "Final Thought" now?
Benji: …I think they finally got all of the elements of Peter Parker right.
Aaron: Final thoughts: An impressive effort that manages to juggle a shit-ton of characters and build upon the movies that have come before, while laying the groundwork for the next few years of the MCU. And it manages to keep the stakes more personal than the CG destruction porn of too many blockbusters. I enjoyed it a lot.
Niala: I'll say that while I have noted quibbles with certain elements of the film, it managed to do pretty well for an adaptation of a famous, beloved and famously complicated comic book story. While I wish that my faves had gotten more screen time, this was a good juggle of so many characters and individual journeys. I'm excited about where it seems the MCU is going.
Joey: I loved it, but I really wish the MCU would allow some kind of actual queerness into itself. But I'll be watching everything they put out until then.