Captain America: Civil War is almost assuredly going to be the biggest movie of the summer, having already made an almost upsetting amount of money. People have been amped up for this thing for a while, but as great as the movie is, there’s still the strange issue of it being more an Avengers movie than a Captain America movie. Really, it feels more like an Avengers sequel than the actual Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron, did. I have some theories as to why this is so!
Bigger Character Stakes
Sure, Ultron wanted to destroy the world, and was created by Bruce Banner and Tony Stark and blah blah blah, but there isn’t actually much in the way of characterization in the second Avengers flick. Like, no one deals with the emotional fallout — Captain America and Tony Stark broodingly stare at each other while they chop wood at Hawkeye’s farm (that sounds like either a description of a scene from a dust bowl-era period romance or gay porn) but all of the real emotional stakes come out in Civil War. Shouldn’t the movie with “Avengers” in the title be the one about the interpersonal relationships between the different Avengers?
Ultron Felt Like More Of The Same
Really, Ultron kind of feels like less of the same, because in the second Avengers outing, the bad guy wasn’t even a horde of aliens, it was just a mass of robots, not even here to conquer Earth but to destroy it. Like, if you watched Avengers and Age of Ultron as one movie, you’d be like “While it is unnecessarily long, yes, I believe it was all one movie.” I know that that’s typically how sequels work, but when Civil War came out, it felt like “Oh, what an interesting sequel this is, because it is telling a new type of story with those same, beloved characters.”
Civil War Changed The Team Dynamics
I know that at the end of Age of Ultron, the actual members of the Avengers changed, but it still just felt like a “Well, some of us are done being Avengers, so I guess we’ll bring in these new people!” Civil War actually changed how you perceived the Avengers — are there going to be two teams now, one led by Stark, and one led by Steve Rogers? Will Cap’s Avengers, with much less firepower in the group when compared to Iron Man’s, become more of a street team of vigilantes, ala the Defenders? (Probably not, since The Defenders is already going to be a TV show.) But still, the possibilities are endless!
Civil War Creates More Story Potential
On one hand, the first Avengers film essentially wrapped up the first phase of the Marvel film universe. But it also introduced Thanos and also left us with an obliterated New York City. Ultron ended with… well, kind of the same thing, and a different team, but other than maybe “where is the Hulk going?” we didn’t seem to have a ton of questions about future stories. Civil War, meanwhile, could be seen as the TRUE end to Phase two of Marvel Films; not just a new Avengers team, but the very idea of the Avengers as we know them now over. With one character paralyzed, the two cornerstones of the universe at odds, and an entirely new area of the world (Wakanda) open to be explored, the Marvel universe was fundamentally altered.
Civil War ALSO Has All Of The Avengers
The Captain America movie has so many of the Avengers in it. It’s absurd, when you really think about it, what a chore it must have been to get so many movie stars into the same movie together. That at least makes it as much of an Avengers movie as Age of Ultron. Finally, we get to that fact that…
Civil War Is A Better Movie
With its better pacing, characterization, and motivation, Civil War works so much better than Age of Ultron, which really did feel like more of the same, only less interesting. And The Avengers is Marvel Films’ BIG franchise; it’s supposed to set the bar for everything else, and have universe changing consequences, and just generally get you excited. I honestly don’t know anyone who didn’t think Civil War did exactly that.
Want to defend Age of Ultron from my cruel attacks? Oh buddy, I dare you to…