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Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Postby Ali » Apr 26, '19, 5:11 pm

Before I go see Avengers: Endgame on Sunday, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks watching every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in order of release, except Captain Marvel because I had to see it in theaters. But how do I, an idiot with too much time on his hands, rank them? Let’s go.

21. Thor: The Dark World. In terms of the MCU, it's only real significance is introducing the term "Infinity Stones" and the Reality Stone. Apart from those, it's largely ignored by the other movies for good reason. It's quite a mess, tonally all over the place, and easily the low point of the series.

20. Iron Man 2. Easily the weakest of Phase One. Still not a bad movie, the last act is really good, but it's a noticeable step below the rest. Too much political talk, really drags it down.

19. Iron Man 3. This is just one of those movies that doesn't click. The pieces are mostly there, but the convoluted villain setup is what keeps this from being great. Fun, but not quite all together.

18. The Incredible Hulk. Not nearly as much of a quality drop as I remembered, but there is this spark that's just missing in comparison to the other Origin movies. It’s still plenty of fun, the big monster clash is good and you can actually see it, but that X-factor is missing.

17. Avengers: Age of Ultron. I blame the opening sequence of the team taking down a Hydra base. If the team is all together at the start, you lose that sense of Ultron being this great threat that warrants The Avengers coming together to save the day. Shame, because Ultron's a fantastic villain.

16. Captain America: Civil War. This is a disappointment on a rewatch. Some stuff is really good, like the introductions of Spider-Man and Black Panther, the villain, and parts of the big fight scene. But the action is bogged down by shaky cam and quick cuts, which really hurts it.

15. Captain Marvel. The first act, before she gets to Earth and starts interacting with Nick Fury, drags on for me, and the action can be a bit of a mess. But I love the 90s aesthetic and soundtrack, the acting is great, particularly Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn… and I want that cat.

14. Thor. This is where we actually got more of what the MCU is capable of, a bizarre meld of sci-fi, fantasy, and Shakespearean drama that somehow manages to come together into a good package. After Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk had the series on shaky ground, Thor got it back on track.

13. Spider-Man: Homecoming. This is the best Spider-Man movie yet. I love Michael Keaton as Vulture, how Peter Parker feels like an actual kid, how it isn’t another origin story… my one issue is early in the movie, they do that trope of “I can totally get my best friend Famous Guy to show up at your party!” I hate it on sitcoms and I hate it here

12. Ant-Man. I love a good heist flick, and this fits the bill. Sure, the villain is a bit weak, but this one's just fun. A lot of imagination went into this, very funny, a personal favorite. And I’ll love Michael Douglas in just about anything.

11. Thor: Ragnarok. I like silly Thor. I just enjoyed how wacky this was. Shakespearean Epic Thor can’t work without a director like Kenneth Branagh, and The Dark World was a mess, so going goofy with it gave it a fresh take.

10. Ant-Man and the Wasp. It’s a lot like the original one, but with a better villain, more imaginative uses for the shrinking and growing tech, plus you add Laurence Fishburne and Michelle Pfeiffer to the cast? This is what a sequel should be, building on the first and improving in every way.

9. Doctor Strange. Holy crap, this is a visual masterpiece! I do love the cast and the use of magic and mystic arts leads to some insane kaleidoscopic effects and action sequences. I just wish Mads Mikkelsen had more to do.

8. Captain America: The First Avenger. When you have a hero as iconic as Captain America, you have to do it right, and they nailed it by not being afraid of a little cheesiness. But they balance it by making it clear what the character stands for. Right off the bat, you establish how important Steve Rogers is, and why the team needs him as a moral center.

7. Guardians of the Galaxy. Humor, imagination, a rockin' soundtrack, and a frickin' tree. What more could you want? It's amazing how it took a group of no-name Marvel characters and turned them into mega stars.

6. Avengers: Infinity War. To be honest, as a film, I really don’t have any complaints. Well paced, well acted, extremely well balanced considering the sheer number of characters. This movie is just heavy. Its a big, massive gut punch of a movie.

5. Iron Man. Where it all began. The sheer risk of this movie doesn’t get talked about enough. Iron Man was a C-tier hero, and Robert Downey Jr. was still largely a Hollywood pariah due to his addiction history. In a fictional and a very real sense, if Iron Man fails, there is no MCU.

4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It takes a lot to get me to tear up at a movie, and this managed it. I didn’t outright cry like in Toy Story 3, but the ideas of family and seeking approval and your place in the world really resonate with me. Wrap it all up in another fun sci-fi adventure with a great selection of tunes, and you’ve got yourself a damn good time.

3. Black Panther. This is a cultural phenomenon inside of another cultural phenomenon. There is a reason this movie broke the Awards barrier for Marvel, and that is because the sets, the costumes, the production, all of it is so immersed in African cultures. Yeah, story, acting, directing, that’s top-notch, but this movie shines in the amount of care given to portray Africa.

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Sure, superheroes are cool, but mixing them up in a spy thriller results in a movie that works on every level, and the actual adaptation of the comic storyline might be the best yet. This is the best of the standalone MCU films.

1. The Avengers. Somehow, someway, it all came together. An unthinkable idea resulted in an unprecedented success, so much so that everyone else tried to do the same thing, and failed miserably. To me, this is still the most fun movie for me to just put on and enjoy. And that’s why I consider it the best of the MCU.
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Re: Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Postby Everlong » Apr 28, '19, 8:48 am

Fun ranking. I saw Endgame yesterday, it was decent. Here's how I"d rank them.

I HAVE NOT SEEN: Ant Man, Ant Man and the Wasp, Guardians of the Galaxy 2

The "THESE MOVIES ARE PRETTY BAD" tier:

19. Thor: The Dark World
18. Iron Man 2
17. The Incredible Hulk
16. Iron Man 3
15. Avengers: Age of Ultron

The "THESE MOVIES ARE BELOW AVERAGE" tier:

14. Guardians of the Galaxy
13. Captain America: The First Avenger

The "THESE MOVIES ARE AVERAGE" tier:

12: Captain Marvel
11. Doctor Strange
10. Captain America: Civil War
9. Thor
8. Avengers: Endgame

The "THESE MOVIES ARE PRETTY GOOD" tier:

7. Black Panther
6. Avengers: Infinity War
5. Thor: Ragnarock
4. The Avengers

The Elite Three

3. Iron Man
2. Spiderman: Homecoming
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
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Re: Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Postby KaiserGlider » May 02, '19, 8:36 pm

1. Avengers: Endgame
2. Avengers 1
3. Avengers: Infinity War
4. Civil War
5. Thor: Ragnarok
6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming
8: Iron Man 1
9: Avengers: Age of Ultron
10: Ant-Man
11: Black Panther
12: Dr. Strange
13: Guardians of the Galaxy 1
14: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
15: Ant-Man and the Wasp
16: Iron Man 3
17: Iron Man 2
18: Captain America 1
19: Thor: The Dark World
20: The Incredible Hulk
21: Thor 1

The only one I haven't seen is Captain Marvel, but based on the reviews for it, I'm in no rush.

By the way, I don't think there are any "bad" movies in the MCU. Some are just more forgettable or disappointing.
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Re: Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Postby Everlong » May 03, '19, 5:39 pm

^I refuse to believe that you don't even think Thor: TDK was bad.
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Re: Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Postby KaiserGlider » May 03, '19, 9:01 pm

You and I just have different definitions of what a bad movie is. The Dark World is mediocre, but there is some cool stuff in there surrounded by a lame plot with a shit villain. The scenes involving Loki are enjoyable and the end of the film where it's revealed that he faked his death and is impersonating Odin is great. Shame it didn't lead to more than that one hilarious scene in Ragnarok, but it's still a good ending for the Dark World film.

And damn you for making me defend Thor The Dark World, this is one mess I never thought I'd be in :P
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Re: Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Postby Ali » May 04, '19, 2:30 pm

Thor: The Dark World is bad... for a Marvel movie. That said, I would happily watch it over films like Batman v. Superman, the Transformers movies, at least half of the X-Men series, or so many other bloated action blockbusters.

I've seen Endgame twice already, and it is so damn good. They really made it feel like a true culmination of the MCU so far.
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Re: Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Postby Hanley! » May 05, '19, 7:22 pm

The Dark World isn't even the one I have the biggest problem with. How are there multiple people here that don't think that Iron Man 2 was a bad film?

I don't watch that many of these anymore, so I can't give a complete ranking. I've watched 14 of the 22, and found them quite samey for the most part which is why I usually don't bother anymore. Most of them are decent, but none of them are great. My favourite superhero films were all from outside the MCU where there's a bit more variety and vision brought to each film.

FILMS I HAVEN'T SEEN:

Iron Man 3
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Ant Man & The Wasp
Dr Strange
Captain Marvel
Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: End Game
Avengers: Age of Ultron


SHIT:

14) Iron Man 2 - A complete mess
13) Captain America: Civil War - Patronising, poorly conceived, and tonally ridiculous. The plot makes no sense. The interactions between the characters make less sense. It's hard to follow and even harder to care. The film maintains a fun, breezy, rollicking tone throughout scenes where heroes and former friends are trying to kill each other. More competently made than Iron Man 2, but I hold a particular hatred for this film.

BELOW AVERAGE:

12) The Incredible Hulk - Completely forgettable
11) Thor 2: The Dark World - Completely forgettable outside of one fun action scene

BANG AVERAGE:

10) Captain America: The First Avenger - I remember almost nothing about this film
09) Ant Man - Super unremarkable, but there are some vague hints of what it could have been if it had stayed an Edgar Write film.

GOOD:

08) Thor - Good villain, bad love interest. Hopkins phoned it in, but fish out of water stuff worked.
07) The Avengers - Boring for the first hour, but an enjoyable spectacle
06) Guardians of the Galaxy - Like the Avengers but with better music
05) Thor: Ragnarok - This started out awful, but became a blast once on Goldblum's trash planet.
04) Iron Man - This ruled on first watch, but it's not aged as well as some of them
03) Spiderman: Homecoming - Captured some Spider Man elements very well, but Stark stuff hurt it.
02) Captain America: Winter Soldier - Should have been the best MCU film, due to the interesting subject matter and tone. And it would have been only for two terrible scenes. The Nazi supercomputer scene and Black Widow's testimony really dragged this down.

DAMN GOOD:

01) Black Panther - This stuck to the Marvel formula, but it just executed it that much better. It's one of the few films from the franchise to have a compelling villain (and a fun scenery-chewing side villain as a bonus). It also has its own flavour, which is what so many of these films lack. The music doesn't sound like it could be from just any other MCU film. The visuals aren't the same as every other MCU film. The costumes are amazing. This actually felt like there was a genuine vision behind it and I think that's part of why it had such a big impact.
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Re: Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Postby KaiserGlider » May 06, '19, 1:33 pm

Hanley! wrote:The Dark World isn't even the one I have the biggest problem with. How are there multiple people here that don't think that Iron Man 2 was a bad film?


Stark's charisma keeps it watchable, at least for me. That's why I ranked it higher than the other bottom-tier films. (speaking of which, after thinking about it some more I definitely think Dark World is the worst MCU movie behind Thor 1 and Hulk). Iron Man 2 still manages to be kinda fun despite its heaps of problems, whereas the other ones are just forgettable. They take themselves a little too seriously, whereas Iron Man 2 barely takes itself seriously at all, which might be the biggest thing going for and against it.

There's a scene in which Mickey Rourke's entire character suddenly becomes obsessed with getting a bird, and it's never elaborated on and does nothing for the plot going forward. What kind of bird? Is it a bird in Russia? Who knows!

13) Captain America: Civil War - Patronising, poorly conceived, and tonally ridiculous. The plot makes no sense. The interactions between the characters make less sense. It's hard to follow and even harder to care. The film maintains a fun, breezy, rollicking tone throughout scenes where heroes and former friends are trying to kill each other. More competently made than Iron Man 2, but I hold a particular hatred for this film.


How do the character interactions make no sense? And they weren't trying to kill each other until the very last fight scene, when it was only Iron Man trying to kill Winter Solider.
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Re: Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Postby Hanley! » May 19, '19, 5:37 pm

KaiserGlider wrote:How do the character interactions make no sense? And they weren't trying to kill each other until the very last fight scene, when it was only Iron Man trying to kill Winter Solider.


Forgot to respond to this. Apologies in advance for what is (believe me) the short version of this rant.

I could write a college thesis on how much I hate this film, particularly for its terrible characters and tone. But I'll just hit a few of the elements I had the biggest problem with.

For starters, the central conflict of the film doesn't work. This story was based loosely on the Civil War run from the Marvel comics where a law (endorsed by Iron Man) is passed forcing super-powered people to register with the government. This is done as a protective measure to keep people safe. But it also means that mutants have to reveal themselves to the world and expose themselves to bigotry and death threats. Captain America opposes the law for this reason. I'm simplifying the story but those are the basics.

In that situation, you can see both sides of the argument. But ultimately the comics take Captain America's side and most of the audience would be inclined to do the same. In the film franchise, they don't really explore the idea of mutants and almost none of the heroes have secret identities. The argument instead becomes whether or not there should be oversight over the Avengers. Should this handful of people be allowed to do whatever they want with no repercussions? Captain America doesn't have a leg to stand on in this argument. He's just wrong.

I think later on the fight becomes about what to do about Bucky or something, and I honestly couldn't give a fuck about any of that, but the conflict that sets the Iron Man vs Captain America stuff in motion is ridiculous, and makes Captain America look like an asshole.

Without going into all of the other Avengers, most of them seem to choose sides arbitrarily. Which makes it hard to remember or care which side each person is on. Some of the character's motivations are dumber than others. Spider-Man attacking other superheroes just because a rich dude said "trust me" goes completely against his values. And Ant-Man just rocks into the fight because somebody decides to ask him, without any real reason to take a side, even though doing so puts him at risk of losing his family.

I hated the airport scene. The conflict between most of these characters already feels completely contrived, and then they try to kill each other over it. Maybe that's not what was supposed to be happening. Maybe the wacky tone was supposed to signal that. But that doesn't change what was actually happening on screen. At one point Captain America drops something something massively heavy on top of Spider-Man, who then catches it and they banter for a minute. Cap doesn't even know Spider-Man at this point; he has no way of knowing that the guy wouldn't be crushed to death. I know you're not supposed to think about it that deeply, but that's pretty surface-level stuff. And the scene was full of those moments.

At the end of the scene, Vision shoots War Machine accidentally instead of Falcon and he almost dies as a result. But what would have happened if Vision had hit his target? The film gets around the brutality of this moment by playing up that it was an accident, but Vision was either trying to actively hurt someone here or was at the very least being reckless with his friends lives.

Even putting aside whether or not they were trying to kill each other though, the airport scene was lame. This was still supposed to be a battle of friend vs friend. That's heavy stuff. Could you at least try and milk a little drama out of it? And not act like it's just supposed to be fun? The film is called Civil War, for fuck sake.

I actually looked forward to this film more than most of the MCU series, because I thought they might actually delve below surface level for a change. They get two or more of the superheroes to fight each other in most of these films, so I figured the difference with CIVIL WAR would be that the characters would be involved in a genuine conflict of ideas, and that this conflict would be explored properly to create some drama. Nope! They just have a big fun, goofy fight scene and the audience are supposed to laugh at these clueless morons just smacking into each other spouting their awful one-liners. I found it cringe-worthy and patronising and unbearably shallow.

The fight between Captain America and Iron Man near the end of the film was still a bit contrived, but at least the scene had genuine tension and drama, and as a result it was the best part of the whole damn thing.

Sorry. I really hated this film. So much.
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Re: Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Postby KaiserGlider » May 21, '19, 8:51 pm

What it seems to boil down to is that your biggest gripe is what you wished the film would be vs what it actually is. Sounds like you didn’t have any fun watching it - even during the aiport scene - which is almost mind boggling to me since I think the airport scene is the best fight sequence in the entire MCU and probably the best fight in any superhero movie. There’s just so many cool moments and every character gets chances to shine. While for you the whole thing was hampered by the fact that the conflict wasn’t as heavy or as emotional as you wished it would’ve been. Understandable. But I think if we separate that and only focus on the story/tone the movie went for and what it tried to accomplish, it gets harder to make your argument.

This is a pre-Thanos MCU film which is basically about two things: having all the superheroes (minus Hulk and Thor) fight each other, and creating a rift between Captain America and Iron Man. The movie hits the mark on both of those goals. Although I wish the rift between Cap and Tony would have played a bigger role in Infinity War and Endgame than it did. Still, that’s not a knock on Civil War itself. Could they have gone deeper on the character driven stuff and made it more emotional and heavy? Given the skill of the writers and directors involved, I definitely think they could have pulled that off. But ultimately that’s not what this film sets out to do.

The setup (the government suddenly announcing that The Avengers are causing excessive collateral damage, and some heroes choosing sides rather quickly) does feel a bit contrived. But you have to keep in mind that this is the first movie in the MCU lineup in which this conflict is introduced. A lot of these heroes have been fighting together for years on good terms, while others like Vision, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch, etc were only introduced to audiences very recently at the time of Civil War. So it would be very hard to have a truly serious struggle in which every hero feels a strong and established connection to their side and real animosity towards the other side, unless the groundwork for their emotions was properly laid out in a previous movie(s). It wasn't. The only one that really had any seeds planted for it was Iron Man vs Cap, in Avengers 1 and Age of Ultron. So given the time at which this movie takes place, it was always bound to feel a bit contrived.

Also keep in mind that eventually all these heroes must work together again to deal with Thanos. You can’t have everybody hating each other and trying to kill each other in Civil War, unless you are prepared to devote tons of screen time in future films explaining why/how they all resolve their differences. Screen time that could be used for Thanos stuff instead. Like you said, there's no mutants or secret identities. It's not going to play out the same way or have the same impact it did in the comics. Because the MCU's endgame is the Thanos storyline, whereas the Civil War storyline is intended to be a bump in the road to that.

You may think Captain America is wrong, but the movie explained why he felt and acted the way he did. Here's dialogue from two different scenes involving Tony and Cap.

Steve: Tony, someone dies on your watch, you don't give up.

Tony: Who said we're giving up?

Steve: We are if we're not taking responsibility for our actions. This document just shifts the blames.

Rhodes: I'm sorry. Steve. That - that is dangerously arrogant. This is the United Nations we're talking about. It's not the World Security Council, it's not Shield, it's not Hydra.

Steve: No, but it's run by people with agendas, and agendas change.

Tony: When I realized what my weapons were capable of in the wrong hands, I shut it down and stopped manufacturing.

Steve: Tony, you chose to do that. If we sign this, we surrender our right to choose. What if this panel sends us somewhere we don't think we should go? What if there is somewhere we need to go, and they don't let us? We may not be perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.


Steve: If I see a situation pointed south… I can't ignore it. Sometimes I wish I could.

Tony: No, you don't.

Steve: No, I don't.

This comes into play when Cap finds out that there’s a group of super soldiers that need to be stopped, but since he’s held in custody he decides to go rogue and recruit other heroes to help him. Iron Man is given the choice of finding Cap and arresting him personally, or letting the government do it instead. Tony decides to do it himself and that’s why he recruits his team. The reason they fight at the airport is because Cap’s team is trying to reach the super soldiers and Iron Man’s team is trying to stop them. And to reiterate, nobody’s trying to kill anybody else yet. This is highlighted numerous times, like when War Machine pulls out his sword and tells Cap “this won’t kill you but it won’t tickle either”, when Ant-Man throws the exploding truck by accident and said he thought it was a water truck, and when Iron Man tells Spidey to “go home” after the fight.

The most intense moment is obviously when Vision hits War Machine by accident. Notice War Machine telling Vision to aim for Falcon's thrusters:



I don’t see how the film was trying to downplay anything about this. Tony almost has a panic attack at the thought of Rhodes possibly dying, and then berates Vision about it in a following scene. The scene serves to put Iron Man even more on edge before his confrontation with Cap and Bucky in the climax, plus reinforce his mindset that extremely powerful individuals like Vision and Scarlet Witch need to be contained.

Captain America dropping the thing on Spider-Man happens at the end of their fight, after Cap goes for his shield and Spider-Man shoots webs to restrain him. So Cap would have figured out how strong Spidey was before dropping the thing on him.

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Ultimately, the airport scene is supposed to be fun. It's not supposed to be the climax of the movie's story, it's not what the plot is building towards. So I'm not gonna take it more seriously than I need to, given that the tension is saved for later in the film.

I agree with you on Ant-Man, him being there makes less sense than anyone else. But there's reasons he chooses Cap's side. He's been told to "never trust a Stark", and already has connections with Falcon going back to the first Ant-Man movie, not to mention he clearly admires Cap.

Your argument for Spider-Man doesn't work, because it's that version of the character's first appearance. We don't know what his "values" are because we've never seen him before, regardless of the other ten thousand versions of Spider-Man out there. In that first appearance, a rich dude who happens to be Tony freaking Stark shows up at his house, informs him that he received the Stark scholarship, tells him he's got cool skills, and offers to upgrade his suit - as long as he helps Tony on his mission to bring in Cap. Considering what we know about the Spider-Man character that exists in that movie in that point in time, why wouldn't he go?
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Re: Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Postby Hanley! » May 24, '19, 7:03 pm

It's not just that the film wasn't what I wanted to be. I wouldn't hate a film just for that. I don't consider this a disappointing film; I consider it a bad film.

The tone of the airport scene didn't fit the content. That didn't matter to a lot of people because they just wanted the usual mindless fun, and that's fine. But it's a real criticism, not just a preference. Friend fighting friend over real issues with real stakes shouldn't be all wacky, quippy fun. Having an expectation that they'd take the scene somewhat seriously was maybe optimistic but not unreasonable.

I found the scene patronising. It was like watching a 10 year old slam his action figures together, only less imaginative. It was the film equivalent of listening to Michael Cole shill that the wrestlers in the ring are "fun to watch." The cool moments that you saw for each character rang hollow for me because I found them so contrived. It reminds me a little of the latest season of Game of Thrones: where the showrunners seemingly came up with cool visuals and then bent the story to deliver those visuals, even though doing so made the characters seem fake, and the lack of decent context made the visuals pretty lame.

I get that the superheroes weren't supposed to be killing each other in the airport scene. I got it during the film. But the message didn't match what I was seeing. The whole fight violated the show don't tell rule. I don't care if War Machine told Cap that he wasn't going to kill him; he also pulled a fucking sword on him. That's what makes the film a mess. The tone and the content are constantly at odds. If the point of this scene was for one group to stop another group from leaving, you can build a cool action scene around that. The pursuers trying to restrain the others, trying to pull them back or push them away, destroying vehicles before they can reach them. You could use their powers in some fun new ways, and you'd get a fight scene that's different from every other superhero vs superhero fight that's in every damn one of these films.

And I get that that's another example of me just saying something that I would have preferred, but I do that to demonstrate that there were ways to shoot the scene that wouldn't have been tonally bonkers and they didn't go for any of them.

My problem with the bit with Vision and War Machine/Falcon was that they played it for drama after the accident, rather than milking drama out of Vision taking that shot in the first place. Of the two of them, that shot was a lot more likely to kill Falcon than War Machine. But when he takes the shot the audience isn't really thinking of that, because all of the other potentially fatal stuff that's been happening in the scene is supposed to be no big deal. It's one of the more memorable examples of the tonal weirdness, which is why I singled it out.

The fact that the heroes picked sides arbitrarily is another thing that people may or may not be bothered by. I have trouble turning my brain off to dumb character stuff like that, particularly if a film is already boring me or pissing me off. So I'll admit to being more sensitive to this than most. But it's a valid criticism (and the element the film is most often criticized for).

I get your argument that we don't know this version of Spider-Man well enough to know what's out of character for him. But I still think they presented him badly here. Spider-Man is my favourite superhero, and his choices in this film made me find him unlikable. Beating up a superhero, no questions asked, because he's getting paid? No thanks.

Really the issue here is that the film didn't want the audience to think too much about these things. It needed to throw both groups together quickly so they could get to the dumb spectacle. But if it had presented the key issue better, it would have been easier to just have every character take a principled stand on one side or the other, and you wouldn't have had to dive into their individual motivations much, outside of Iron Man and Captain America. Though the issue wasn't framed and presented well enough to allow for that.

They actually did a decent job in the scene you quoted of trying to frame Captain America's position as justifiable, but the concept just didn't work for me from the beginning. The Avengers being allowed to do whatever they want can't be framed as the moral position. It's crazy. Though if the film had taken the concept a little further and placed the group in a situation where the law prevented them from acting in a certain situation, that could have worked. Captain America chooses to act because he thinks it's the moral decision, and Stark chooses to uphold the law ... now we have a compelling conflict.

It's weird, because I do think there are the bones of a good story in Civil War, but the directors squandered its potential by pandering and focusing on the wrong things. So I'll just have to live with being the weirdo who thinks Thor 2 was (despite all its flaws) immeasurably better than Civil War. Just don't ask me to watch that one again either.
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Hanley! Male
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