When I was a little kid, Marvel had just put out their Secret Wars action figure line, and my mom got me a bunch of them. I would have epic battles spanning the basement between heroes and villains and heroes and heroes and heroes and the occasional He-Man figure who wandered by much to their regret. It’s that kind of childlike super hero glee that fills you watching the airport battle in Captain America: Civil War.
Civil War is the film where consequences and collateral damage are brought home for everyone (and indeed even the pulled-punches fight here ends in tragedy for one Avenger), but for the most part the airport fight is where we drop that for a 12-minute battle royale that is without question the greatest comic book movie fight of all-time. TWELVE Avengers battling over the span of an evacuated airport. Spider-Man making a spectacular MCU debut. The action is spectacular, the fights are brilliantly choreographed to give everyone a moment, it’s funny and character-driven while being twelve people pounding each other through an airport, and all that’s before Ant-Man embiggens himself and turns the knob to 11.
Civil War is the best MCU film yet, and I cannot wait to see what’s in store when Stephen Strange, The Ancient One, and The Sanctum Sanctorum become part of the unfolding mythos this Friday when Doctor Strange opens. It’s so nice that we don’t even have to be nervous about these films any more. You know they’re going to be good. You know they’re chapters in an unparalleled film epic and some chapters some people will like more than others, but occasionally we’re going to reach epic moments and Civil War was the pinnacle of everything good about the MCU films through 13 issues, films, films, sorry.
“Does anyone have any orange slices?” Favorite line of the year.
7 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: Captain America – Civil War (2016) *Avenger Airport Throwdown””
A dozen characters, yet the audience is not confused for an instant, and the characterizations remain crystal clear the whole time. Masterful.
But I think there’s another reason why this scene is so good (other than the fact that it seems to have come directly out of a lot of people’s childhood dreams). Simply put, there had never been an MCU film with stakes like Civil War before, and watching these characters fight, with so much history and baggage on all sides, was much more interesting than watching heroic characters fight against underdeveloped, underused, and often lackluster villains. For the longest time I wondered why most of the villains were so weak in these movies. I once thought that maybe it was to emphasize that the heroes were going to be the focus, which was a revolutionary approach at the time. That was a long time ago however, and everyone has gotten the message, yet still Kingsley’s incredible Mandarin was turned into a joke for no reason. After that, I’m pretty sure the MCU showrunners are sticking with their approach, and for whatever reason I expect Thanos to be both underdeveloped and underused.
Hope I’m wrong.
I saw Ant-Man again, and I think it’ll be the last time I revisit that particular film. I really don’t like it. But it’s the only one I consider bad. Because you were right about the director’s cut of The Incredible Hulk.
I TOLD YOU! And I really like Ant-Man, and he’s undeniably used spectacularly in CW. But I think you’re wrong about the villains. They know they have to make us hate Thanos. They have to build him, probably starting in Guardians 2, they have to make us build up to hating him so the fight against him has the epic scope the airport fight did with 12 films of baggage (pun) behind every punch. I am also hearing that Phase 4 is going to be all about the villains and bringing them to the fore, developing them, and I think you’re going to see the real Mandarin and the return of the Red Skull (so not dead). Obviously where the MCU goes after Avengers 4 is a huge question, but now that a huge stable of heroes is developed, don’t be surprised to see the villains finally get their day. And, man, can you see why Edward Norton was so pissed? Marvel has messed with the runtimes twice and the first time it downgraded Hulk from a 9 to a 7 at best and in Age of Ultron where it compromised plotlines and alienated Joss Whedon (though he says he’d come back to do the Widow solo film in a heartbeat and he’d rock that). So CW they let breathe. They finally let go of the 2 hour run time mandate and look what resulted? Best and highest grossing film of the year. Took them awhile, but like all films, we will sit as long as it takes if the story is there, and it SO was. I know Dr. Strange is going to be largely it’s own thing, like Guardians, to open up a new frontier and introduce a pillar character, but I’m hoping we get a little transition to Guardians because Strange goes everywhere and he’s no stranger to Thanos AND he’s going to have one of our two missing stones, so I’m excited to see how it weaves into this ongoing tapestry of fricking awesomeness.
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Things will be fine post-Avengers 4. The deck is being stacked, and so far the characters being chosen for the new guard are richer and more interesting than the old ones. And Dr. Strange will fill much of the void that RDJ will inevitably leave. How could he not? He’s such a great character, and he’s being played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
I hope you’re right about the villains. Brolin as Thanos was a terrific piece of casting, but gifted actors have been squandered by the MCU before (like Del Toro, Hopkins, Kingsley, and Weaving, though I would buy advance tickets, and stand in line in the freezing cold, to see Weaving in a reboot of It’s Pat!). Then again Spader was superlative, and everyone is in agreement about Hiddleston, so if you say the villains are going to get their due, I will choose to be optimistic.
Hope you had an excellent Halloween, and had a chance to share a creepy movie or two with some family and freinds. Since Kubrick’s The Shining, Cronenberg’s The Fly, and Coppola’s Dracula are pretty much the only three horror movies I love, and I am surrounded by wimps, I have a bunch of non-horror Halloween movies on rotation, including most of Tim Burton’s oeuvre, Young Frankenstein, Little Shop of Horrors, and the best of the old Universal monster movies, which are about to be unceremoniously dragged through the mud by Universal.
Don’t get me started on that one.
I think this is everyone favorite scene in Civil War. Totally epic!
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I actually did a double take when I saw it was 12 minutes long. It feels like a snap of the fingers. There’s never a moment that’s not balls-out awesome or completely loaded with eight years of character development coming to a head. The Russo Brothers are amazing. To go from Community straight to Winter Soldier and this blows my mind.
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