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03rd Apr 2017

Everything we learned from the epic teaser trailer for ‘Arsenal: Civil War’

Wenger In vs Wenger Out. Starring: Captain Arsenica, Ire Man and Thorth

Rich Cooper

Fans of the Premier League Cinematic Universe (PLCU) were treated to a teaser trailer for the upcoming Arsenal: Civil War this weekend.

The trailer dropped during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City on Sunday, another non-win for the Arsenal franchise supervillain/superhero Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal: Civil War, the hotly-anticipated sequel to Arsenal: The Worst of Wenger and Arsenal: The Winter Sojurn, has been bubbling away noisily for the past few months, but the freshly-laid teaser gave fans a taste of what they could expect from the upcoming blockbuster.

The trailer is light on story, focusing mainly on a high-octane fight between heroes Captain Arsenica, Ire Man and Thorth. If you haven’t seen the teaser yet, you can check it out below.

The trailer came with a short synopsis of Arsenal: Civil War:

With the fate of Arsenal Football Club hanging in the balance, Ire Man has had enough of Wenger. He makes it his mission to depose the Frenchman, but loyalist Captain Arsenica steps up to defend him.

Caught in the middle is Thorth, who wants to restore whatever dignity he can scrape together to the club he loves, and put an end to all this shithousery once and for all.

But what else can we tell from the trailer? What hidden details can we extract from the frames of this 10-second video? Let’s look a little deeper.

The plot

As we said, the trailer is very light on story, which is a welcome break from the usual ‘here’s the entire plot, why even bother going to the cinema at all’ approach that trailers frequently take these days COUGH SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING COUGH.

Each of the combatants is representing a different faction of the Arsenal fanbase: Wenger In, Wenger Out, and Wenger We Gonna Stop All This Bullshit. Details leaked through the press suggest that a string of tactical and managerial foul-ups lead to this flapping of fists, but it’s where the story goes from there that is the mystery.

Will Ire Man defeat his former friends and smash the Frenchman back across the channel? Will Captain Arsenica save his beloved manager from the lukewarm fury of Ire Man? Can Thorth bring peace to the Emirates and return Arsenal to their rightful place mid-table?

Or will Wenger take the bullet by stepping down and bringing this war to an end? Or will he drag it out for another interminable instalment of the franchise? We. Just. Don’t. Know.

The setting

This is a civil war, of course, so it makes sense that the action takes place at home, somewhere near the back right in the heart of the Emirates Stadium. It’s tough to watch these brothers-in-arms come (close) to blows, but it illustrates just how bad things have gotten at Arsenal. Heartbreaking stuff, really.

But while the fighting is domestic, war is no respecter of boundaries. Like most of the productions in the PLCU, we can expect to find much of the action of Arsenal: Civil War taking place in a variety of exotic locations, such as Middlesbrough, Tottenham and Stoke.

Filming is expected to move to glamorous Croydon next week, where Arsenal will face Crystal Palace. Rumour has it that high-tech IMAX cameras are being hired to capture the true cinematic beauty and scope of Selhurst Park, which frequently makes appearances in films when producers can’t afford to hire an actual bus shelter.

At this stage, it’s looking unlikely that any of the production will take place in Wembley Stadium, but the producers behind the Arsenal franchise are determined, reportedly prepared to blow a large chunk of the production budget on a huge green screen stadium to make it feel like they’re actually there, even though they absolutely won’t be.

The costumes

Captain Arsenica (left), Thorth (middle) and Ire Man (right) are seen without their trademark uniforms, instead wearing more civilian  – though most certainly not civil – clobber. Curiously, they all appear to be dressed the same, each wearing a black or black-ish jacket and shit jeans.

The three heroes are rarely seen out of uniform, particularly during combat, so this suggests that this was a surprise, impromptu clash, striking a markedly different tone from the full kit wanker aesthetics of the two prior outings. Not much in the way of gaudy reds and whites; mainly muted blues, blacks and pasty whites.

These are not purpose-built costumes; they’re rough-and-ready, come-and-have-a-go-if-you-think-you’re-wait-I-didn’t-mean-it-mate-please-no clothes, as at home on the terraces as they are in the dock at Crown Court. Of course, the costume decisions will have an impact on…

The fighting styles

Ire Man, bereft of his armoured suit, powered by his own sense of indignation, is forced to fight unaided. As such, the best he can manage is a kind of staggering push/hug, just about holding Thorth down, like a dodgy kebab after eight pints. Perhaps he knows Thorth is only trying to bring order and doesn’t want to hurt him. Or maybe he’s just exhausted from watching Arsenal.

Thorth, arms disabled by the tender embrace of Ire Man and thus unable to use his hammer, is forced to kick his feet up and down like an upended turtle. His feet, which are not hammers, prove to be inadequate weapons, waggling about like lost leather puppies. It’s not looking good for Thorth, we have to say.

Captain Arsenica, experienced in hand-to-hand combat, is employing the Zui quan or ‘drunken’ style of fighting, in which he grabs onto Ire Man’s arm and slowly falls backward. When that doesn’t work, he takes a swing, missing by such a massive distance that it’s hard to believe it’s not CGI.

The fight choreography is really incredible, in that none of the kicks or punches actually make contact with their intended targets, in-keeping with the reality of most football fights. Audiences are getting tired of seeing punch-ups where people actually get punched, so in this area, Arsenal: Civil War looks to be breaking new ground.

What does all this tell us?

You can only appraise something on its own merits, and so we can’t judge the finished product based on a 10-second clip, but if the trailer is anything to go by, we can expect:

• A bunch of middle-aged men squabbling

• Some tedious scenes of people explaining why Wenger is good

• Even more tedious scenes of people explaining why Wenger is bad

• Maybe some football

Arsenal: Civil War will be out when Arsenal: Civil War feels that the time is right and not a moment before.