The Red Pen of Doom

Conventional wisdom about writing is conventionally wrong.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR does the impossible

What’s hard? Ice skating uphill. What’s impossible? Flying to the moon in a Cessna or making people love a character who’s about as inherently lovable as AquaMan, which is saying, not lovable at all.

Batman is easy to love. Captain America, not so much.

Never read his comics. Never liked him.

So more than anything else, I’m impressed with how Marvel has turned Captain America into one of the most likeable and enjoyable characters on screen today.

This is just about impossible. Robert Downey, Jr. is an incredible actor playing a great part. Iron Man is far more fun on paper. I’m pretty sure Chris Evans hasn’t been nominated for Oscars and he’s a pretty good bet to never be seen as a Serious Actor.

Yet he’s perfect as Captain America.

Instead of taking a role that could easily come off as self-righteous, he makes it human.

WINTER SOLDIER was the darkest and deepest Marvel movie, yet it still had humor and joy. And of all the Marvel movies, it had the most developed relationships. They didn’t feel like cardboard characters reciting lines before more things exploded.

More than the fights, I remember moments like Cap doing laps around Falcon in the beginning, and driving with Black Widow in a stolen truck. The whole thing was beautifully done.

With CIVIL WAR, the Russo brothers out-did themselves.

It would’ve been easy for a movie with so many Avengers to fall apart from the weight of all those characters. Everybody got their time on screen, with interweaving setups and payoffs.

And the relationships are the strong point. Any film or TV show can have amazing special effects today. But can you make us care about the characters?

I cared about all of them.

And one of the best moments in this film is a kiss, I kid you not. That’s an achievement.

CIVIL WAR brought up big questions that don’t have easy answers. It was surprising, fascinating and fun.

Fun is the most important part. As a huge fan of the Batman movies, I have to say Marvel beats DC in the fun department. Every single Batman movie (except for the George Clooney disaster) has been dark and grim.

WINTER SOLDIER and CIVIL WAR prove that you can mix dark moments, tough choices and betrayals while still having an incredibly fun movie.

It’s an impressive achievement for what’s really an Avengers movie, since everybody except Thor and Hulk are in this thing. And I liked it better than either of the Avengers films.

Verdict: A+. I’ll buy it on Blu-Ray and would happily watch it again tomorrow.

###

This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

About Guy Bergstrom

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot.

4 comments on “CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR does the impossible

  1. graysusan
    May 20, 2016

    Totally agree re: the dismal-ness of Batman – esp. Christian Bale(ful). My son worked on this film – he ‘rigged’ (computer animation speak) the Vision character and a few sundry other items. He got a credit too, so I must get around to seeing it at the flicks, just so I can loudly point out his name as the credits roll 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. corikane
    May 11, 2016

    I don’t really agree with you on the Batman-part – easy to love? I tried through most of the movies, and all those ever did made me seriously hate the guy. I actually see Iron Man as a more relatable fun-version of him.
    Cap on the other hand, completely lovable, such a cinnamon roll. My favorite Marvel movies are Captain America movies, favorite Marvel show: Agent Carter.
    Good post, thanks.

    Like

  3. Mark Andrew Edwards
    May 10, 2016

    I agree. For me the best moment in the movie wasn’t a fight (and I like my sex and violence, trust me), it was a hug. An awkward hug, even. When Black Widow told Cap ‘she didn’t want him to be alone’, I was just sold. I didn’t care how thin the plot was, I liked these people and I wanted to watch them do things.

    Like

  4. lcbennettstern
    May 10, 2016

    “Not a onesie!” (Best Spiderman ever)
    Cannot wait to own this movie! Glad you approved!

    Like

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