The State of Marvel: Civil War and why I’ve never liked these movies
Ever since “Captain America: Civil War” dropped its newest trailer, I’ve engaged in a lot of particular conversations with co-workers and other people.

Let me start by listing my star ratings for each film in the Post-Iron Man Marvel universe:

Iron Man – 2.5/4
The Incredible Hulk – 2.5/4

Iron Man 2 – .5/4

Thor – 1/4
Captain America: The First Avenger – 3/4

The Avengers – 2/4

Iron Man 3 – .5/4
Thor: The Dark World – Did Not See

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – 2/4
Guardians of the Galaxy – 2.5/4

Avengers: Age of Ultron – 1/4
Ant-Man – Did Not See

**This list specific to Avengers franchise

 So if you’re the kind of guy who ranted and raved like crazy on Thursday when the trailer for “Civil War” dropped, you may be starting to hate me. But let me make my case!

I will start by saying that Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2” is the greatest Marvel film, and probably greatest superhero film ever made.

It has everything. Great film-making, great humor, great drama, but the key element it has is a villain with depth.

1051-3Doctor Octavius was a good person trying to do something great for the world and it turned him into a monster. He kills his wife, then Spider-Man has to stop him. The man doesn’t even get a happy ending, he’s able to save Peter, Mary Jane, and the entire city, but ends up in the bottom of the ocean.

From the perspective of Doctor Octopus, this was a very tragic story and in the 2-2.5 hour runtime we are able to sympathize with his character has well as Spider-Man.

A lot of the Avengers movies, sorry, all of the Avengers movies post-Iron Man have had very underdeveloped villians.

Let me list the villians now, not going to look up there names, I’m just going to try and remember them.

Iron Man – Jeff Bridges?
The Incredible Hulk – Again only know the actor, Tim Roth right?


Iron Man 2 – Wrestler Mickey Rourke with some whips, but it actually ends up being Sam Rockwell (again don’t know names)

Thor – Loki! His brother! (The one I do know)
Captain America: The First Avenger – RedSkull? or Redface? I don’t know he was red.

The Avengers – Loki again, but over staying his welcome as a character.

Iron Man 3 – It was Ben Kingsley, then it wasn’t. Don’t remember who it actually was. Oh yeah, Guy Pearce because he got blown off by Tony at a bar or something?

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – His friend, damn I know his name. Bucky? We don’t know much about him other than him and Cap use to be friends. (Which was focused on very little in the first movie).
Guardians of the Galaxy – Thorax something? He’s blue.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – Ultron, I knew that because it’s in the title.

Vincent-DOnofrio-as-kingpin-daredevilTwo post-Iron Man things that Marvel has done that absolutely nails the villian.Their Netflix series:

Jessica Jones and Daredevil are incredible, and the best things Marvel has done since “Spider-Man 2.” Kingpin and Kill Grave were wildly interesting in different ways.

Kingpin because he mirrors Daredevil’s quest to do the right thing, but while standing on the wrong side of the morality line. (There’s also a whole episode dedicated to his backstory).

And Kill Grave because he was a psychopath who falls in love and becomes dangerously obsessed with Jessica, not being able to deal with the fact that there’s something he can’t use his powers to obtain.

I know they both benefit from the extra run-time, but it’s not impossible to develop a villain in two hours. Case and point: “Spider-Man 2.”

NEp5Irc8CihVst_2_bRoger Ebert, in his review of “Spider-Man 2” said a superhero movie is only as good as its villain. There have been a few superhero films I’ve liked with uninteresting villains like 2004’s “The Punisher” or “Kick-Ass.”

Both of those films invested in the emotional build up of the main character. Thomas Jane as The Punisher is iconic, and “Kick-Ass” was about it’s protagonists development from wanting to be a superhero to actually becoming one.

Are people really buying Steve and Tony’s friendship leading into this Civil War? They’ve had a few moments together, but it feels like they’ve always kind of been “meh” about each other. Even at the end of “Age of Ultron”

From the trailer it feels like they are hyping “two friends fighting” and I’ve seen articles come out and proclaim that its about their relationship. But there is no emotional investment in the relationship between the two characters.
I actually feel like Tony would happily fight Steve without blinking an eye due to his arrogance.

Snapz-Pro-XScreenSnapz0015The relationships these characters have with one another has felt forced throughout the franchise. It’s almost like we’re just being told how they feel about each other without being shown it.

The action sequences don’t help. They rarely show teamwork between them, instead just cut to “Here’s Cap tearing things up,” “Now here’s  Iron Man tearing things up.” Yadda yadda yadda…

Now these films, with the exception of a few, aren’t bad. They’re just formulaic and play it safe with their story. With how interesting each of these characters are in their source material it’s a shame that they feel more and more wooden with each new film.

npq4wssijqjb4gublkadThere’s nothing ‘insulting’ about these movies, personally, I just wish they’d bring out an interesting villain, and work on fleshing out their characters more. I know “Age of Ultron” and other films have tried to flesh them out, but those scenes just feel lazy and stale, surely some more drama can be worked into these character’s dynamic.

Now don’t get me started on “Spider-Man” in the trailer. His comical cameo totally took me out of the grim mood of the trailer. And we now add yet another character to the mix. With the Civil War conflict, I doubt there will be enough time to develop this new Peter Parker whatsoever.