Continuity and the MCU
When we watch films, it’s so easy to walk away when the credits roll and take everything you’ve seen at face value. You’ve been presented with a story, carefully edited to give you an experience designed by the director. But what we take for granted are the subtleties they’ve worked into that story.
From the delivery of lines and subliminal emotions from the actors, the tone and mood of the lighting and sets, the choice of camera angles and scenes. All of this is telling you more. More about what the characters are experiencing and how the screen writers/producers/director are trying to invoke a deeper response from you in the audience.
If I tell you now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is doing the same thing, would you believe me?
Yes, the ‘Superhero’ movie genre is saturating our screens big and small. It has well and truly taken over as a major part of our current cinema culture. And at face value they are action films. But wipe away the pop culture history and fandom, the heroes vs villains tropes, the garish costumes and you have thrilling drama. Narrative steeped in science and myth brought into the 21st century to become so much more realistic and plausible.
A few weeks ago, MCUExchange released a supercut trailer that encompassed all their film and television work from Ironman 1 through to Antman and Agents of SHIELD. It’s a 7min long propaganda piece for the lead up to Captain America 3: Civil War.
Each part of the MCU has been so carefully crafted to build a universe that not only can stand on it’s own, but tie together so perfectly with another character’s universe. The continuity has been woven so tightly with fans in mind, and in this trailer we’re shown a recollection of highlights that illustrate the opposing sides taken by Ironman and Captain America. The depth of how entwined these movies are, bring to light the underlying themes and emotional currents that are crucial in Civil War.
The raw truth expressed by Tony and Steve is pitted against one another while being challenged by the voice of the film universe US President and a citizen to juxtapose the viewpoint of the greater world against the two heroes. We now see clearly how much is at stake when the amount of devastation that has been caused is laid out in front of us, but it’s also easy to empathise with both sides of Team Ironman and Team Cap.
Marvel Studios have blown us away with each new release, however when you look at the expanse of years we’ve been going to the cinema to see these films, it’s all been a slow burn until this moment. We’re now at a precipice and the MCU’s future is riding on the outcome, Civil War being the climax and Avengers: Infinity War the final act.
When you go to see Captain America 3: Civil War, go with the emotional investment that has been awarded to you by the incredible experiences you’ve witnessed and been a part of so far. It will give you a greater appreciation of what’s to come and open your eyes to those stunning subtleties you might normally miss.