Thursday, November 26, 2015

'He's my friend': 'Captain America: Civil War' trailer review

"Sorry, Tony. You know I wouldn't do this if I had any another choice. But he's my friend."
— Steve Rogers/Captain America about Bucky Barnes (aka Winter Soldier)

"So was I." — Tony Stark/Iron Man

Friendships run as deep as many family ties, sometimes deeper. So it's really ugly when friends fight.

We already knew that Captain America and Iron Man were going to be on opposite sides in "Captain America: Civil War." The question was what causes the split between Caphead and Shellhead? 

Many fans assumed "Civil War" would follow the Marvel Comics Universe and the limited series of the same name.

That didn't hold much water for me since secret identities aren't really any issue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tony Stark publicly proclaimed he's Iron Man during a press conference shortly after his first appearance in the 2008 "Iron Man" film and Steve Rogers being Captain America is public knowledge.

Thanks to the first killer trailer released yesterday, we learn it's the government's issue with Cap is he could be considered an unmonitored vigilante. (Guess General "Thunderbolt" Ross [again played by William Hurt — complete with his cheesy mustache from the not-so "Incredible Hulk"] is more interested in keeping tabs on the Star-Spangled Avenger now instead of tracking down the Hulk.)

"Captain, while a great many people see you as a hero, there are some who prefer the word vigilante. You've operated with unlimited power and no supervision. That's something the world can no longer tolerate," Ross says.

Of course, the general could be speaking to the entire Avengers, but deciding to address Cap since he's the team leader. Regardless, the government seeks to put the clamp down on Rogers' activities.

Since the military, government and what remains of SHIELD might know Bucky Barnes as Winter Soldier was used as an assassin-style terrorist, it's just as likely the push-back on Cap isn't about Rogers at all. In fact, the higher-ups probably don't trust that Barnes is on the side of angels and suspect Cap could go rogue with his lifelong best friend and World War II fighting partner.

The irony is it's logical to assume Rogers would want to follow the government's wishes, but his stronger dedication to liberty supersedes all that. Countless comic book stories bear that philosophy out.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it makes sense Stark would side with the government since 1) he used to be an arms dealer and 2) in "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Stark tells the team he "tried to create a suit of armor around the world ... but I created something terrible."

So maybe Stark feels like he owes it to America to redeem himself after the Ultron near-catastrophe. Either way, the billionaire industrialist wants to protect the world and with a reputation for being reckless, if that means being a team player for the government (again), so be it.

So now we have Team Cap vs. Team Stark.

Clearly on Cap's side are: Falcon (Sam Wilson), Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and of course, Barnes (Winter Soldier).

There's no doubt War Machine is Team Stark and surprisingly so is Black Widow (more on that in a bit).

There have been rumors and speculation that Vision first will side with Stark (since Jarvis is part of the basis for his personality and creation) before siding with Cap. This would make sense since being a newly created being/synthezoid, wouldn't it be natural for the Vision to want to pursue liberty and freedom — the very heart of who Steve Rogers is?

Ant-Man is in "Civil War." The assumption is that Scott Lang might back Stark, given that Dr. Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man) is a brilliant inventor like Stark and since in the "Ant-Man" film, Lang faced off against Wilson/Falcon to steal an important piece of tech from the new Avengers complex.

But could Stark trust someone who stole something from property owned by Stark Industries?

Since Lang managed to be successful in his mission while still mastering Pym's suit and controlling ants, it's safe to assume Wilson has newfound respect for Ant-Man. Given their history, Lang would find it natural to work with Wilson/Falcon instead of against him.

Also, Pym has no love, much less respect, for Stark's father from their days with SHIELD. So I can't imagine Pym wanting Lang to use his old suit and identity to side with Stark.

The biggest clue IMHO of Lang/Ant-Man being on Team Cap comes from the "Civil War" preview scene at the end of "Ant-Man."

Sam Wilson has an eyes-wide-open situation about Steve Rogers taking such
a hard stand: "I just want to be sure you've considered all your options.
Because people who shoot at you usually wind up shooting at me, too."
Wilson tells Rogers "I know a guy," a subtle reference to Michael Peñar's Luis saying throughout the film he knows a guy who knows a guy. Back to the scene from "Civil War" when Wilson and Rogers find Barnes with his arm trapped in a vise. They decide not to reach out to Stark for assistance and Wilson tells Rogers "I know a guy" — a reference to Lang's Ant-Man.

It's obvious Wilson had been tracking Barnes; why wouldn't he do the same and look for a favor from Lang?

But why in the world would Black Widow be siding with Stark?

At first glance it would seem Natasha Romanoff might naturally be Team Stark since she originally was hired at Stark Industries. But keep in mind SHIELD sent her to spy on Stark.

Black Widow makes a cloak-and-dagger heads-up call to her pal Steve Rogers:
"I know how much Bucky means to you, but please stay out of this one.
You're only going to make things worse."
Rogers and Romanoff have a strong bond and at the end of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," Black Widow draws a tough line on playing nice with the government — but only up to a point. In the end, I assume her dedication to SHIELD forces her to take precedent over her friendship with Rogers.

Keep in mind, Black Widow is a trained spy. So she might end up paying lip-service to Ross and Stark, but when it comes down to it, she's still loyal to Rogers. So count Black Widow on being Team Stark … with an asterisk.

The biggest highlights of the "Civil War" trailer are the brief glimpses of Black Panther, a character getting his first live-action treatment.

His costume is super sweet, so kudos to the wardrobe and character design department.

There's no doubt Black Panther is a skilled fighter (check him out kicking Winter Soldier, who flies backward into some crates!) and like his namesake, T'Challa is fast, fast, fast. Rogers' blood is infused with the Super Soldier Serum — and Black Panther has a huge lead on Captain America during the tunnel chase. (See the GIF from Cinema Blend below.)

The Russo Brothers have another sure-fire hit on their hands. Fans were wringing their hands over when the "Civil War" trailer would come out. We'd all assumed we wouldn't see it until the Dec. 18 release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," but we have another reason to be thankful this time of year — a kick-ass trailer being released earlier than expected.

Grade: A

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