Four Reasons Why The War Of Sokovian Aggression Is Everything Batdude v Superguy Tried To Be

Dane Dorius, Reporter

Team Cap 4 lyfe

Captain America: Civil War is the newest hotness by Marvel. It’s a really good Marvel movie, and it’s probably one of the better superhero movies in the genre. However, we still have the aftertaste of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in our collective consciousness, another impossibly large-budget superhero movie with a title about established superheroes punching each other. Civil War is still largely a movie about Captain America and him facing problems and people from his past, but it’s also a culmination of themes stretching back to Avengers 1, unlike BvS, which was an attempt to form the DC equivalent of The Avengers while also trying to foreshadow a big bad evil dude’s arrival five, ten movies down the line, and to develop Batman and Lex Luthor’s characters, and so much more it’s an awful corporate mess of checked boxes. Civil War, if you couldn’t guess, kicks Batman and Superman’s rectum to the point of near-prolapse. Here’s just a few reasons why.

You have a basic idea of where things are. One of the criticisms I’m surprised wasn’t more widespread about BvS was that there were almost no establishing shots- camera angles or objects shown to tell the audience where the scene is located. I think that the Marvel execs noticed that people were confused about BvS, since whenever a new location is shown, they have a giant aerial shot with the city/province name in giant white letters. It’s a little on the nose, but it’s better than confusion.

The characters make sense to a casual viewer. This might be surprising, but I actually don’t read comic books. I have a basic idea about them, but most of my knowledge is second-hand from people angry about changes they’ve made in the movies. BvS was absolutely nonsensical to me when I watched it- Superman’s all dour! Batman’s shooting people! Civil War had explanations that were actually onscreen as to why all these people are punching each other. Batman’s character arc actually does make sense, but it’s mostly told via implication and even then the signs are easily missed unless you’ve read a specific comic arc/heard rants by people who read them/Googled it in anger and confusion about why Batman is shooting people.

It’s well-paced. Civil War is only six minutes shorter than BvS, but it’s a lot less draining- and not just because it’s a lot less dour (see the next one for that!). Civil War treads a lot of similar beats, and had more characters involved than BvS, but the plot had a clear progression and the scenes felt like natural movements of the plot instead of the writers saying “now we need x and y to talk about z so we can bring it up later.” BvS awkwardly shoves scenes needed to progress the plot down the audience’s throat, but the problem is that every scene is shoved down like that.

And finally, it is fun to watch. BvS is an incredibly dour experience. After the requisite family death scene needed in every Batman movie ever and some Christ symbolism, we then see is watching Metropolis fall from a human’s perspective, with imagery evocative of 9/11. The next thing we see is a CIA agent (who’s actually an established character in the comics, not this movie) get executed by terrorists, and then we see someone (Superman) smiling while he punches someone holding a hostage through concrete, almost certainly killing him. I counted two (maybe) jokes in BvS, and they were near the very end, within ten minutes of each other. Civil War doesn’t shy from darker scenes, but the quips and humor almost serve as a contrast to it- Dean from Community asks Tony Stark for funding for a hot dog cooker moments before someone tells Tony about her son- and his death at his (inadvertent) hands.