In the aftermath of a terrible catastrophe, disagreement over the role of those involved leads to a showdown between our favourite super-heroes. Such is the story-line behind both ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War’.
It’s fair to say that Marvel have been far more hit than miss with their recent film and television releases, and ‘Captain America: Civil War’ will hopefully deliver a highpoint to the legions of fans gained through previous ‘Avengers’ films (and their stand-alone brethren) and television series like ‘Marvel’s Agents of Shield’, ‘Daredevil’ and ‘Jessica Jones’. We’ll miss the angry green guy, who doesn’t seem to be involved here, but we should still be able to enjoy another strong entry into the Marvel line of movies. With a huge cast consisting of original Avengers Chris Evans (playing Captain America) and Robert Downey Jnr (Iron Man), who will lead the two opposing ‘sides’ in the Avengers internal war, Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) being joined by the likes of Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlett Witch), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Tom Holland (who will be playing Spiderman both here and in the mooted Spiderman reboot set down for 2017), ‘Captain America: Civil War’ promises to be a pretty safe bet for a good time.
Obviously fan forums are buzzing with news and views on which heroes will side with Cap and who will side with Iron Man (especially given that the makers of the film seem to have deviated somewhat from the original comics), but I am also quite excited to see the return of Ant-Man (a high point of 2015 for me) and to take a first look at our newest Spiderman (Holland). Robert Downey Jnr is also always worth watching, and though the film will obviously carry a fairly serious tone, we still hope to see the usual Tony Stark quips.
Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice, the eternal comic-book nerd question could soon be answered. Who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman? Well, no matter who wins, it really is about time Warner Bros (owners of the rights to DC’s Justice League) started throwing some punches back at Marvel Studios. Marvel have, in all ways, outgunned Warner ever since the release of ‘Iron Man’ back in 2008. Sure, Christopher Nolan gave us an outstanding Dark Knight trilogy, but Batman alone against the combined might of the Avengers and their stand-alone series of movies, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, multiple tv spin-offs, and, of course, ‘Ant Man’, has seen the Marvel universe explode across our screens in recent years. All the while, Henry Cavill’s ‘Man of Steel’ took a job on a fishing trawler to ‘find himself’ and Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Green Lantern’ vanished as quickly as he appeared.
‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ will be one of the movie events of 2016. It should be the main rival to ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, and given the pop-culture status of its main protagonists, out-perform Marvel’s entry. As mentioned, Marvel have saturated the market in recent years, and the idea of yet another Avengers film perhaps doesn’t rate quite as highly on the excitement meter as the chance to finally see Batfleck (Ben Affleck as Batman) slug it out against the Man of Steel (Cavill). Still, Warner are running out of chances to haul in Marvel, and if ‘Dawn of Justice’ disappoints it will be difficult to see where they will find an audience for future ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Aquaman’ films (two long-time DC characters finally being given some air time), scheduled to be released in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ is scheduled for an Easter release, and with the exception of the usual family films around this time, should enjoy a fairly handy ride at the Box Office. Similarly, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ is due to appear a month later, at the end of April, and should enjoy a similar charge up the Box Office charts.
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice 4/5 But seriously Superman, this is your last chance.
Captain America: Civil War: 3.5/5 Starting to feel like too much of a good thing, but the Avengers haven’t let us down yet.