Quick Thoughts: Civil War v Dawn of Justice

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen! Long time, no posts.

For today’s post, I want to relay a few thoughts I have about this month’s two biggest comic book movies, Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Civil War vs Dawn of Justice

The ultimate battle of “Meh” versus “YEAH!” Get your tickets this May.

Over the past week, I have seen Captain America: Civil War twice. I would be hard-pressed if I didn’t say Civil War is the best film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. It may very well be the best comic book movie ever made. I was expecting Civil War to be good because the Russo brothers did such a good job with The Winter Soldier, but I was surprised by how good it ended up being. If I had any expectations for the film, they were surpassed and more.

The same cannot be said about the Warner Bros. film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which ended up being more of a disappointment than the amazing crossover I anticipated it would be. Well before the film’s release, I knew what to expect due to the trailers (example) revealing many of the relevant plot points and action scenes. Though, it must stated that even good trailers couldn’t hide how poorly constructed the film is. Dawn of Justice is an amalgamation of too many ideas all trying to be relevant within a 2.5 hour run time. There are a few standalone moments that are entertaining and enjoyable, but the collective whole of the film is sloppily put together.

I believe the strongest facet of Captain America: Civil War is the storytelling and direction. This is a Captain America sequel in every respect, as it should be since he is the titular character, focusing on Steve Roger’s personal mission to protect his friend Bucky. I was a little worried that including Iron Man and the Avengers, and even introducing new characters to the MCU, would weigh down the film. However, one of the most surprising aspects of Civil War is how well each character fits into the film. Each additional character was given a couple moments to standout in some way, but I never felt like it took away from Captain America’s relevance in his film.

Sadly, Dawn of Justice did not excel in storytelling and direction as well as Civil War. There was a heavy focus on introducing the new Batman and fleshing out his character, but very little was done to develop Superman as an actual character. I felt like Superman spent most of the film playing second fiddle to Batman, or just being his punching bag. Then, there was the constant wave of pace derailing scenes involving Bruce Wayne’s Sucker-Punch-style dreams, and the random clips of the other Justice League members (the Cyborg one was cool, though). There are a host of other narrative problems including Wonder Woman’s minimal involvement and barely existent storyline (even though I liked Gadot as WW), the pointless battle with “Doomsday”, the pointless “death” of Superman, and the “did we just become friends” style plot device that kept this film’s murderous Batman from painting the pavement red with Kryptonian blood.

After watching both Dawn of Justice and Civil War, I am of the opinion that Warner Bros. needs to step up their game. Marvel is currently steamrolling them, but they have been building their cinematic universe for 8 years. I didn’t have high hopes for Batman v Superman, and after watching it my expectations for the remainder of the DCEU have been kicked to the floor (though, Suicide Squad still looks awesome). I can only hope that Warner Bros. will learn something from watching Captain America: Civil War, and stray from repeating the mistakes they made in Dawn of Justice. I will likely have to wait for the Justice League film before Warner Bros. has a chance to prove they can actually make a good film that includes Superman, and redeem themselves for allowing a killer Batman to exist.

Just hours after I finished writing this post, I found this little video.
Dear Warner Bros., #HesNotTheGuy

What did you think of Captain America: Civil War? What were some of your favorite moments? What are your thoughts on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Are you looking forward to Suicide Squad? Join the discussion below.

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Thanks for reading to the end. I hope you’ll be back for the next one.

War Fist out.

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