Phase Three kicks off with a bang! That's right, today we're getting into the wacky world of the Civil War! (No, not that one. The good one.) I like to think of "Civil War" as "Avengers 2.5" - we get most of the cast of the Avengers (minus Hulk and Thor but plus Spider-Man and Black Panther). It's a sort of ensemble with a gut-punch of an ending, so let's jump right in.
I thought that each Marvel Phase ended with an Avengers movie. That's how Phase 1 worked, after all. But it turns out that "Ultron" was not the end of Phase 2 - that honor belongs to Ant-Man. To be fair, I don't think I was the only one who was a little bit skeptical of Ant-Man. A guy whose superpower is... getting smaller? That seems underwhelming. Also, Paul Rudd as an action hero? I think my skepticism was at least warranted. And I wasn't alone.
If you scroll through episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Hulu (because why wouldn't you?) you will notice a theme in some of the later seasons. There's always an episode or two with descriptions that start with a phrase like "So-and-so casts a spell intending to do X, but it all goes horribly wrong." That's basically how Ultron starts - Tony Stark and Bruce Banner create an AI global defense program because apparently no one in the MCU has ever seen Terminator. That's the plot in a nutshell, and we have a lot to talk about, including a brand new section at the end, so let's get into it.
Well, we're leaving Earth again. After spending last week in an Earth-focused spy thriller, this week we head to the stars with the Guardians of the Galaxy. This movie has it all: A pro wrestler, Bradley Cooper, A Parks and Rec veteran, Vin Diesel saying the same line over and over again, and Uhura - sorry, wrong sci-fi movie, I mean Neytiri - nope, that's the wrong sci-fi movie again. Forget it, you know who I'm talking about. Let's just get into it before this intro goes further off the rails.
I love this movie. In fact, as I previously wrote, I was so excited to write about this one that I accidentally skipped Thor: The Dark World during my rewatch (I stand by my declaration that this is a perfectly reasonable mistake.) Before this we were gallivanting through the Nine Realms with Thor and after this we travel the universe with the Guardians of the Galaxy, but Winter Soldier brings us a good-old-fashioned Earth based movie with no Infinity Stones or aliens.