Marvel is known for a lot of cool things: diversity in the white men it hires to write comics, rabid support for reality TV stars turned potential world leaders, and making thoughtful, well-received movies. That is, until recently, when Marvel released Captain America: Civil War, a film so steeped in faux drama, contrived themes, and bland product placement, you’d think the Russo Brothers directed it.
After the triumphant Batman v. Superman wowed critics to almost universal acclaim, people assumed that we as a society were witnessing the golden age of superhero movies. Unfortunately, just as the American Civil War irreparably harmed north-south relations, Captain America: Civil War will set back superhero movies for decades, and, in my opinion, might even do more harm than the real Civil War ever did.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest problem with Civil War is its ludicrous plot. From the 30-second commercial I watched last week during a re-run of The Mentalist, Civil War appears to be about the U.S. government stepping in and trying to register superheroes to further the government’s own agenda. That’s right folks, Marvel would actually have you believe that our own government does shady things like monitor our personal activities, impede our freedoms, and repress underrepresented groups of people–as if it would somehow do terrible, unethical things to its own citizens. It goes without saying that such nonsense may have worked on idiot baby boomers (no offense), but I say there’s no chance that this sophisticated millennial generation falls for it.
Worst of all, Civil War desperately tries to make up for its awful plot by introducing Spider-Man to the Marvel Universe. This completely backfires though, as the entire time Spider-Man is on the screen, all audiences will be able to think about is how the entire cast of Amazing Spider-Man 2 is now out of a job because of Civil War. Instead of focusing on Captain America’s epic battle with Iron Man, the only thoughts in people’s minds will be whether Emma Stone can still afford to eat, and whether Andrew Garfield will be forced to turn tricks for a bed to sleep at night. Say what you will about the labor policies of southern leaders like Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and the rest of the Confederacy, but none of them ever stole jobs from SAG.
How Much Should It Make?
Apollo Creed once said, “if society doesn’t learn from history, it is bound to repeat itself,” and Mr. Creed’s wisdom holds even more true today than ever before. You’d think that Marvel would learn from past failures like Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Age of Ultron, but Civil War shows that it will probably take Marvel four score and a s--t-ton of years before it finally gets its act together.
Having minored in history at some of our finest for-profit universities like DeVry, Trump, and Columbia, trust me — just like the American Civil War fractured a nation for almost five years and ended with a dead president, Captain America: Civil War will divide comic-cons everywhere and pit nerd against his brother for generations. This will go down as Marvel’s Gettysburg, and so it goes without saying that Civil War should make less than a Confederate nickel at the box office.