By Brianne Burgess
Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War is taking the country by storm. Although technically a Captain America movie featuring Marvel characters, fans of Thor or Hulk might be disappointed they don’t make an appearance. On the other hand, interesting new characters make their debut.
Die-hard fans know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), differs from the comics. A major plot point of the comics hangs on the secret identities of the heroes, but in the movies, their identities are well known. There are WAY more characters on each side in the comics, and the way the characters interact differs dramatically. This is not necessarily a bad thing, the movies need consistency within their own universe and present the story in a way more appropriate for the medium and audience.
Civil War raises the genre to new levels with uncommon nuance that includes extraordinary action scenes rare in cinema, high dramatic tension, and optimally placed humor. It’s far superior to Superman vs Batman which fails to artfully grasp the characters in the way that screenplay writers Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely do in Civil War. They give each character depth while subtly disclosing their motives. Although it doesn’t match the comics in this respect, it didn’t need to. The cinematography is uncommonly good as is the superb choreography. Simply put, Civil War is a highly enjoyable movie. The sound engineering falls short somewhat, but it is hardly noticeable.
The movie has its twists and turns, but the moral message is familiar: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” (Abraham Lincoln quoting the Bible, speaking about the American Civil War).
The fact that comic books were condemned in a 1955 conference talk (see insert above) and 60 years later command a global following inside and outside the Church, speaks to the evolutionary nature of pop culture genres. Comic media are complex in their many forms. One example is the graphic novel (book-length comic book) Road to Perdition which was converted to an Academy Award – winning movie starring Tom Hanks.
Civil War is receiving critical acclaim, and for this genre, it may earn masterpiece status; it certainly gave me goosebumps, and at the end of the two and a half hours, I wanted more.