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For This Sneak Peek Trailer edition of Captain America: Civil War, Dan and David break it down.
Titled Captain America: Civil War, it’s much more an Avenger’s film than a Steve Rogers movie, though to be sure Cap (Chris Evans) is certainly one-half of the two main star leads, with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) the other. While the Avengers have always been about big action and comic book appeal, the Captain America series has been much more character driven, especially as it grew from its original. Cap is easily one of the more likable members of the group, and has earned a place as the leader. Stark has also been a core member and arguably the most popular, Downey Jr.’s sardonic performance a highlight of the series. As a multitude of new heroes join the ranks, the plots of these many films have become secondary to story, which is reduced to large-scale destruction and witty banter.
Now comes Civil War and it looks like Marvel is taking the franchise in a new direction. Well, a slightly newer direction. The Avengers have dabbled increasingly with heavier, more consequential drama as they progress and this second trailer suggests this movie has a lot more of that coming. The conflict stems from the disagreement that the Avengers need government oversight to account for their actions, and while Stark and other feel it’s the right move, Rogers and many on his side, don’t, though he has his reasons why. Introducing a few more new characters, including Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), this movie brings together new members from other films as well, including Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and the long-anticipated entry/reboot of Spider-Man (Tom Holland), affectionately called ‘under-roos’ by Iron-Man, providing the only bit of humor in the clip.
The grittiness looks appealing but there is a worry that the lighter tone and comic book mentality of the original 2012 Avengers film and 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger will be lost and lose the younger target audience. That said, I also think this is a great direction for more mature fans of the series and comics, giving the story and characters much more weight. There is a lot to like about this clip, and while I have been pretty vocal about my disinterest in superhero films, especially with the dreadful Batman v Superman trailers and mostly dull Suicide Squad clips, it looks like this one might finally have what these movies need most: story.
The knee-jerk reaction for this is Spidey of course. You can’t help but get a tingle up your spine at his appearance, one that many have been long waiting for. That troubled franchise, which started so well under Sami Raimi looked to be over. This sure to be brief role, will generate lots of interest for the new reboot. Still, with the likes of Iron-Man and the other, his flying in an tossing a web on Cap’s hands seems a little underwhelming, and I find it incredibly hard to believe that Tony Stark would ever say the line he does and allow someone he calls ‘under-roos’ to step in and do his job for him (except for maybe for the Hulk).
For me, the Sneak Peek Moment comes in the middle of the clip when it’s just Steve Roger and Tony Stark in a room trying to hash out their differences. There are no suits and costumes, no fighting and battles, no wild special effects and dramatic camera work. It’s just too great actors in a compelling moment. Rogers is telling Stark that if things go south, he can’t ignore it, clearly saying that a time for action is when the problem starts, not waiting for or being told by a committee to regulate what he does. At another point in the clip surely from the same conversation, Stark tells Roger he wants to punch him in the mouth. The arrangement of these two men, with Rogers and sitting and Stark pacing is interestingly opposite of their positions on the issue, with Rogers the one who wants to go head long into the defense of a situation and Stark thinking they need oversight, a more controlled response.
I like the dynamic here, and the absence of action is hopefully a hint at some of the strong character moments the film will present. While yes, I want lots of fun action in these movies, that action is pointless without consequence, and if I can’t connect with the people behind the masks, then I don’t care what happens. This story hinges on this conflict between Rogers and Stark and it’s this moment in the clip that promises the makers haven’t forgotten that.
Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Christopher Markus (screenplay), Stephen McFeely (screenplay)
Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Martin Freeman