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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Captain America: Civil War Trailer 2

Edited by Robert Beach 

There’s really no need for a preamble here is there? Captain America: Civil War is easily going to be one of the biggest films of the year, the starting pistol on phase 3 of Marvel’s vaunted cinematic universe after the mixed bag of phase 2 and the next installment of the seminal superhero of the 2010s. What’s more, the movie stars almost the entire Marvel roster of characters at the moment making it, in function if not in form, basically Avengers 2.5. 

It’s also serving as the introduction point for both Black Panther and Spider-Man, two long-awaited heroes finally making their way into the Marvel cinematic universe. The fact that everyone and their mother are breaking down this new trailer is as simplistic and acceptable a fact of life as gravity or the sky being blue.

So that was a superb trailer. Some folks have asked me how I feel about the darker tone to the film, and I actually really enjoy it, mainly because “dark” in this case isn’t being used as superficial shorthand for “adult.” The movie actually is emerging from a legitimate question in the form of security vs. autonomy as well as more looming question of loyalty and personal responsibility, but more on that in a bit. 

Additionally, even despite all the angry “hero vs. hero” stuff going on here this is still a movie where a 6-inch Paul Rudd rides around on arrows to beat up RDJ in power armor, so it’s not like Civil War is trying to be anything other than exactly what it wants to be. It’s not ashamed of its comic book roots is my point, which is something I can’t say for a lot of traditionally dark adaptations. 

This winter fortress has popped up throughout all of the trailers, and so far we’ve yet to get a really good indication of what it is. It seems like a safe bet this was the facility where Bucky was kept after being turned into the Winter Soldier as the scenes of him strapped into a tube would suggest. I’m not quite sure where this place will factor into this film’s chronology as it’s hard to imagine what would lead Cap, Tony, and Bucky to some random mountain, but it does seem to be the location for that big, epic 2-on-1 fight with them all.  

Some have speculated it’s the old Red Skull mountain fortress from Captain America: First Avenger. I’m not totally convinced but that would certainly make a good deal of sense. The ending of this trailer featured a clear shout out to Cap’s first film and using the third installment of the trilogy to build off ideas from the first is a tried and true tradition. 

The scene here I’m most curious about is the one where Cap and Tony come to blows. Bucky is clearly visible behind Iron Man in the sequence but there’s a fourth person in the scene, a mysterious sitting man hooked up to a bunch of tubes in a tank similar to Bucky’s. I have no idea who this is, but I’m willing to bet he’s somehow tied into the still unanswered question of how Bucky is still alive. 

We know Bucky’s been carrying out Hydra assassinations since the Cold War when Arnim Zola took over S.H.I.E.L.D., so the question of how he stayed young all that time is a big one, especially given no other Hydra characters seem to have that immortality (save for Dr. Whitehall from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).  If it turned out the Winter Soldier was actually a more recent Bucky clone of some kind, that would explain it and throw a major monkey wrench into this whole situation.

Speaking of Bucky’s assassinations, this scene at some summit sure looks like the alleged international incident that brings the Avengers under closer government scrutiny. The main rumor I’ve heard is after the Avengers fail to stop this incident, it ends up blamed on Bucky and used as a flashpoint to bring the team under UN control, which would make sense as an incident to fracture the team. The Bucky angle makes a lot of people’s agreement to military control a lot more plausible, most specifically Black Widow and Iron Man.  

Both of these characters would normally seem anti-authority like how Tony blew off the government in Iron Man 2 or how Black Widow helped bring down S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: Winter Soldier. Given they both have beef with Bucky, that might explain why they’re so willing to throw in with the government, even more so for Stark given it was his evil robot monster that caused the Earth’s most recent flirtation with doomsday.

This incident also seems to trigger Black Panther’s involvement as I’m fairly certain we see him mourning someone killed in the bombing. This trailer gives us even more Black Panther action, and he looks awesome. I especially love the sequence where he shrugs off machine gun fire like it was candy. Every scene with him is great though, especially the speed-line flair type FX that are going on with him chasing Bucky in that underground tunnel sequence. 

My best guess for the chain of events here is when Bucky is blamed for the incident, that's what causes the airport fight as Panther’s scenes are only the incident and the airport. I hope we see more of him over the course of the film but it’s possible he’s just an extended cameo. 

As for extended cameos, it’s looking a lot like War Machine’s run as an Avenger is going to be cut tragically short. In all seriousness, I doubt they’ll kill Rhodey as, depressingly, Marvel really doesn’t have the black characters to spare by killing one of them off.  However, this scene and the dialogue that accompanies it, Tony saying the whole world was wrong about Steve, hints at a greater revelation I’ve been speculating about for awhile.  

Specifically, it’s starting to seem like Cap might be on the wrong side of this fight. I’ve said this before, but I’ll speculate again: my theory is that Bucky is still under Hydra control in this film and is acting as the perfect anti-Captain America weapon: a friend who needs help. It’s the classic villain scheme of turning the hero’s greatest strength, his loyalty, into his greatest weakness. Using Bucky to turn Captain America into the enemy of the world and a weapon against his friends and comrades is exactly the scheme Hydra would pull, especially if they spent decades subtly manipulating the rest of the world the exact same way.

This structure seems to be a re-imagined version of prison 42 from the original Civil War comics. In the comics, prison 42 was a specially designed prison to hold rebellious superheroes located in the negative zone. Obviously, Marvel doesn’t have access to the Negative Zone because of rights. 

Making it an underwater facility makes sense. It also seems like Tony did build the prison for the UN, or whoever in this version, hence him visiting it. Tony building a prison to keep his friends locked up seems the most out of character for him, given how Ultron was an attempt at problem pre-empting that went so sideways. Then again, this is basically a prison-sized version of the Hulkbuster armor. 

This is a major moment in the trailer I haven’t seen most people make a big fuss over. Scarlet Witch and the Vision are the two most powerful characters on their respective teams, so it was a bit of a given they were going to throw down sooner or later.  However, it’s been stated that Scarlet Witch’s powers will get an actual explanation in this film, for it’s possible they’re going to go with the more recent “reality warping” power description.  

If Wanda does have the power to warp reality (something I could believe given how much her powers visually resemble the reality stone from Thor: The Dark World,) this scene could be the start of a catastrophic chain reaction. In the comics, when Wanda really cut lose with her powers, she created an alternate timeline where mutants ruled before reducing the mutant population by 90%.  There are no mutants in the Marvel cinematic universe. Still, if her powers were truly unleashed, it could spell a unique doom all its own. 

Based on the trailers, I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of Crossbones in this film. He’s barely appeared in the trailers so far and this quick snippet is all the footage I could find of him. Though, he has a great look, and it’s pretty well confirmed he’s behind the attack in Africa that’s going to kick off this whole civil war. I’d still like to be seeing more of him, especially as I really like Frank Grillo, but this is a movie meant to be selling itself on hero vs. hero. I can’t begrudge them a lack of super villain action.  

Crossbones presence has led many to speculate about Cap’s possible death in this movie, mainly because Crossbones was partially responsible for killing Cap in the comics. That’s certainly possible, yet what most folks forget is that, in the comics, the person who actually gave the death stroke was Sharon Carter. She hasn’t appeared at all in the trailers despite being in the MCU. My guess is that even if Cap is going down in this film, it won’t be Crossbones who pulls the trigger.

And here its, the moment we’ve been waiting for…the pride of New York: Spider-Man. This is a great reveal and terrific stakes raiser for the entire enterprise. It’s clear the airport battle sequence is meant to be the big, central hero-against-hero scene of the film, so it makes sense Spider-Man would be thrown in there. This also tells us that the fight is going down somewhere in or around New York, which is another monkey wrench in the gears of anyone trying to figure out the order of events here. 

The biggest twist of this appearance has to be that Iron Man and Spider-Man have already met. I’m not sure if we’ll get to see that sequence or just trust that their meeting took place off screen. Either way, Spider-Man going on team Stark is a big turn for the movie. We’re all still assuming Tony win will the civil war, so the fact Spider-Man and Stark are on the same side and seem to be colleagues on some level is going to play into the Spider-Man movie in a big way in a few years. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony’s been mentoring this new Spider-Man to take command of the Avengers as a way of still trying to avert the disaster he saw in Age of Ultron. 

Captain America: Civil War is scheduled for release on May 6.

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