Round 1: The Avengers v Captain America: Civil War


The Master
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Round 1: The Avengers v Captain America: Civil War  

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This is really tough, but I feel Civil War wins were. It not only continues themes that were setup earlier in the MCU (Tony and Steve's animosity), it also continues plots begun in Age of Ultron, and sets up so many threads for the next batch of films.

The Avengers is so damn fun and is a great culmination of the Phase 1, but CW just feels grander and more serious.

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2 hours ago, The Master said:

The Avengers is so damn fun and is a great culmination of the Phase 1, but CW just feels grander and more serious.

CW grinds to a halt to introduce Spider-Man. Avengers is paced better, has Loki in it and kills off Coulson - as such it's better.

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The reason I think that's never bothered me is because that scene shows there are burgeoning superheroes out there, and the results of the forthcoming "civil war" will potentially ruin their lives forever. Using Spider-Man as that every-man in Civil War works thematically for me.

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Civil War is peak MCU potential (which itself was crested with Black Panther). It's humor isn't off-putting or jarring, the fight scenes are top notch, it has genuine suspense, grim in parts but not gritty when it doesn't need to be. The characters are rendered believably, it's arguably the most sympathetic Tony movie ever (maybe Infinity War too), and its utilization of the characters is the most successful in its intent.

What I held back on during the podcast is that, despite what Ian said, the film isn't cynically Avengers 2.5. Like Mike said, the inclusion of Spider-Man adheres thematically to both Tony and Steve's conflict of using power responsibly, and how that is both interpreted and affects the rest of the heroes. Every hero in the film gets their say on how to best operate for the sake of others, and Cap's dilemma is taking that idea of relying on oneself as the final line of doing the right thing despite all opposition. Tony, to the best of his ability, tries to do the right thing but becomes morally compromised in the end when he tries to kill Bucky, which in essence justifies the need (or at least idea) of some kind of superhero registration. In the end, neither Tony nor Cap can come together, and it destroys the Avengers as a result. But it tracks with Cap's character in the development of someone who never had any problem doing the right thing even if it cost him his life. In Civil War, it's not so simple. It costs him his reputation, his (admittedly murky) legal status as a superhero, and his friends. But the film ends with him assuring Tony that despite all they've lost, he can still be counted on to do what's right by everyone else, no matter what - which is the heart of the story's question, being what's the right thing for heroes to do.

Also, I didn't see no Hawkeye family or nothing, so the idea of it being an Avengers spotlight story never really entered by brain. 

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I don't really have strong feelings either way, however, I would sooner rewatch 'Civil War' than 'The Avengers' for entertainment. Both are good (in my eyes), but I think 'Civil War' has more to it, and 'The Avengers' seems a bit basic or formulaic in hindsight. 

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