Captain America: “Sorry, Tony. You Know I Wouldn’t Do This If I Had Any Other Choice. But He’s My Friend.”
Iron Man: “So Was I.”
SPOILERS THROUGHOUT THIS POST! ONLY READ IF YOU HAVE SEEN CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR OR DO NOT MIND KNOWING THE DETAILS OF WHAT HAPPENS.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way….
I don’t want to take too much time before going into the movie itself as there is so much to cover. But I will say I was very excited going into Captain America: Civil War. I love Marvel comics and I adore the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that they have built over the last 8 years and 12 movies. But above all films, I have been waiting for when they would finally make Civil War. it is one of my favorite Marvel comics and was the big event that really made me start reading comics on a much larger scale than I ever had before.
As a fan of the comic I will say this though, do not go in expecting an exact take from the comic. This story has been highly adapted from it’s Comic Book counterpart so that it will fit into the MCU’s built universe and also give us the final part of the Captain America Trilogy.
This Comic was adapted very well for the movie. We seen the same premise of the Heroes being told that they don’t have accountability, focusing on the events from Avengers, Age of Ultron and earlier in Civil War when we see the new Avengers team taking on Crossbones and his team. Iron Man is confronted by a mother who lost her son in Sakovia and begins to feel the responsibility of their actions and that they need to be accountable to someone and agrees to meet the Avengers with General “Thunderbolt” Ross (from the Incredible Hulk movie) to talk about the Sakovia accords, a document that will mean the Avengers agree to work for the U.N, and be deployed as and when the U.N. believe they should intervene. Captain America doesn’t agree with this as he feels that this could tie their hands in aiding people or send them out as a weapon against whoever they see fit and from his own experiences he has seen Governments and countries become corrupt and doesn’t want the Avengers to be caught in a regime or belief change.
Unlike the comics, I found as the two sides presented their points throughout the movie that I found myself being sympathetic to the stance of both ideals. In the comic Tony Stark started becoming more of a villain following the registration act but in the film I found myself understanding his stance. You could identify with him as a man who had lost so much and although never said it out loud, he blamed himself, clearly, for what had happened. It was also a good continuation of his arc from the Iron Man movies that he clearly wanted to protect the world and not see anyone else he cares about be hurt. Including how much he wanted Cap to join him and then sought to be the one to bring him in so that no one hurt him.
Cap’s story started out against the registration and that part of him seemed resolved to retire (unless he felt he had to intervene) until he seen Bucky on TV following an attack on the U.N. and wanted to bring him in personally so that he wouldn’t be killed on sight. As Steve fights being arrested himself initially thanks to Tony but with Falcon and Sharon Carter, he begins to learn that there is more to this than initially realized and wants to get to the bottom of it and clear his friends name.
Who’s side are you on? #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan
This creates an interesting dynamic as we see Iron Man’s team being filled with Avengers as well as Black Panther and Spider-Man. The Avengers who have all registered, Black Panther who wants to kill Winter Soldier after the attack on the U.N that killed his Father and Spider-Man because Stark recruits him gives him a new suit, becoming a kind of mentor to him.
As apposed to the registered team, Cap’s team comes together for different reasons. It is made up of Winter Soldier who he is trying to clear, his loyal friend Falcon who is backing him from the beginning of the film, Hawkeye who comes out of retirement because Cap needs help and he recruits Scarlet Witch who also wants to aid Captain America after Vision tries to keep her entrapped and Ant-Man who is kinda drugged and dragged there by Hawkeye too.
Iron Man’s team is partly ordered to bring him in and halfy there because they don’t wanna see anything happen to Cap. Where as Cap’s team is made up of people that stand by and support him for no other reason than he is Captain America and he needed there help, even if he never specifically asked for it they want to stand by his side.
This movie juggles all of these heroes very well, from older characters, newer characters and character debuts. It feels like they all got great screen time and no one was pushed into the background.
We then see probably the highlight of the film, The airport fight scene where both teams battle. This is given a lot of time to develop and the characters are so well choreographed in who fights who and when. Everyone looks strong and is showcased well throughout the fight. This ends with Cap and Bucky looking to find an old Winter Soldier bunker for answers and the rest of his team sacrifices themselves to let them escape and being incarcerated in a maximum security prison. They are also aided by Black Widow who was on Iron Man’s side but jumps ship at the end of the fight. We also see that War Machine and Iron Man attempt to pursue Cap and Bucky but War Machine is shot down by a miscalculated shot from Vision’s mind stone because he is distracted helping a wounded Scarlet Witch. This leads to War Machine being severely injured after falling out of the sky.
The climax of the movie is the revealing that Helmut Zemo (Who has had scenes throughout the movie) was behind the U.N. attack and was seeking to turn the Avengers on each other by causing conflict from within to tear them apart. He further does this, when faced with Captain America, Winter Soldier and Iron Man, he reveals that Winter Soldier killed Iron Man’s parents in order to steal formula to create more Winter Soldiers. The other Soldiers seem to be a sub plot in the movie but never really goes anywhere as Zemo end up killing them.
After the video, this sets Iron Man on the warpath with Winter Soldier and Cap tries to stop him because Bucky did it while under brainwashing from Hydra and was in control of himself when he did it. Tony doesn’t care and ends up battling both of them in an amazing fight scene which ends with Iron Man blasting off Bucky’s metal arm and Cap slamming his shield into Tony’s arc reactor, shutting down the Iron Man suit. Cap helps Bucky leave and Tony yells the shield was his dads and he doesn’t deserve it, so Cap drops it as he is leaving.
The end of the movie sees Iron Man receiving a letter from Captain America (from a delivery man played by Stan Lee in a great cameo where he delivers a parcel for Mr. Stank). In the letter Cap says he is sorry for things being this way and for his role in it but that if Tony ever needs him he will be there. And lets him know that he is breaking his team out of prison, whether to go their separate ways as they are fugitives or to form a team with Cap, possibly the Secret Avengers we will need to see. Although I did find myself leaving the theater wishing they would announce Secret Avengers on their slate to continue the story as most of his team won’t be seen again until Avengers: Infinity War.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and for me it was a definite high point in the MCU and a great accumulation of everything and everyone we have see up to this point from Marvel and done a great job of setting up for Phase 3 of the MCU. It also let us know that the focus going forward would be on some new heroes and that the tone going forward would be a different one from what has come before. The Russo Brothers did an amazing job, it was well written, well acted and well paced. I am excited to see what they do with Infinity War and we can go forward knowing that the Russo’s have the MCU in good hands taking over from Joss Whedon.
There is so much in this movie and so many amazing highlights throughout it and I honestly can’t cover absolutely everything in it. But there are a few parts that I do want to mention from the movie more in depth.
The Bigger they are…
Ant-Man is without a doubt one of my Favorite Marvel movies and I was so excited that he would be part of Civil War and he didn’t disappoint in the time that he was on screen. But to see him grow and become Giant-Man during the Airport fight scene was amazing and done so well. And to see him going from being shot on Hawkeye’s arrow to pulling a wing off of a plane to fight Iron Man’s team was amazing. And even the Star Wars reference from Spider-Man tying up his legs while Iron Man and War Machine punched him. It was great to see. Unfortunately this moment was given away with the early release of the Funko Pop! Figure of Giant-Man, however, it didn’t make it any less awesome.
Just getting better and better…
We got to see the return of Hawkeye in this movie, not that he went far as we last seen him in Age of Ultron but technically he had retired. Jeremy Renner has been getting the chance to showcase this role more and more but in the Avengers we never got much of him and in AoU we got a little more but in Civil War I honestly felt for the first time he was able to fully be Hawkeye and portray the character to the best of his talents. From the characters reasoning for getting involved just because Cap needed the help to the way he behaved, the lines he delivered, he was amazing and a dark horse of a highlight in this movie. I want to see Hawkeye continuing into Infinity War and beyond with Renner portraying him if this is the Hawkeye we are going to see.
We seen some budding romances taking place in Civil War. Just because we are in the middle of a superhero war doesn’t mean we can’t also fall in Love right?
First we had Scarlet With and Vision, both made their MCU debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron and both were either villains or intended to be villains but were full Avengers by the end of the movie. We see that there is a connection between them, especially as Vision tries to cook her favorite meal as a way to encourage her to stay at the Avengers compound. He is legitimately worried about the world’s response to her following what happened in Nigeria at the start of the film and Scarlet Witch agrees to this initially worried about the world being afraid of her. Once Hawkeye comes to get her though, she decides she needs to no longer be afraid and that Cap needs her help and she ends up on the opposite side from the Vision. Although they fight a little, we see Vision become distracted when Scarlet Witch is injured which leads him to blast War Machine accidentally with his mind stone while attempting to hit Falcon and severely injuring James Rhodes. Will we see their romance begin to grow going forward, they are separated right now with Vision still being an Avenger and Scarlet Witch a fugitive on the run with Cap. But they only just joined the MCU and have many more movies to be part of, and their history in the comics could suggest they will get together and possibly married but we will need to wait and see.
Then we also see some romance for Captain America himself as former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Agent 13 returned from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and we find out that she is Sharon Carter, the niece of Cap’s first love interest Peggy Carter. We seen some interest during Winter Soldier but that was before he knew she was S.H.I.E.L.D. and had been sent to keep an eye on him. It turns out though that the flame they had for each other was genuine as without thinking Sharon Carter uses her new connections at the CIA to aid Cap in rescuing Bucky and pursuing the truth of what’s going on. She also covertly meets with Cap, Bucky and Falcon to return their armor and weapons that had been confiscated by the CIA and we see Cap and Sharon sharing a passionate kiss that both believe is long overdue. I hope we see more of Sharon Carter and Cap’s relationship through the rest of stage 3 before Chris Evans steps down from his role as Cap. Partly because it is another nod to the comic book source material but mostly I think Cap deserves some good luck in that department for once.
(And yes it is a little weird that he is now with the niece of his first love interest but we aren’t going to question it too much.)
The Comedy Duo
100% one of my favorite parts of the movie, as little as we got to see it, was Winter Soldier and Falcon. Two individuals thrown together by circumstance and a connection to Captain America, and probably the funniest duo in the entire movie. I think it was their dead-pan delivery of lines to each other and the realization that they really don’t like each other at all but are choosing to stand by Cap in this situation. Cap wants to help clear Bucky’s name and Falcon is loyal to Cap and wants to help him but their disdain for each other can be felt. They only have a couple of scenes together but whether it be trying to fit into a small car or both battling Spider-Man (or their shared approval as Cap get’s to kiss Sharon Carter) these two were one of the major highlights in an already phenomenal film.
The Warrior King
We got to see a couple of Marvel heroes make their MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War. The first was T’Challa, The Black Panther. I was really impressed with the introduction of this character and how he was handled. He just came across as a total Bada**. Whether it was how he carried himself, in the lines he delivered or in his amazing fighting, Black Panther was a great addition to Civil War. There was a possibility of going too much into his origin as we haven’t met him before in the MCU or their was the possibility of leaving fans scratching their heads at the end of this wondering who he was but they gave enough information about him, his people and their culture and enough knowledge of Wakanda to enjoy his addition to this story.
Vengeance was the driving force for Black Panther in this movie, going after Winter Soldier for the believed killing of his father and I was worried we would get the typical vengeance rage story that would lead to him just wanting to kill without listening to reason or to find the truth but was glad that in the final act we seen that he heard the truth and changed from desiring vengeance, even wanting to save Zemo’s life and see him face justice for being behind it. Showcasing the Wisdom that makes him one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe. I can’t wait for 2018 to see Black Panther in his solo movie!
Ok, let’s discuss one of the biggest talking points for Civil War, even in the months prior to it’s release he was the main talking point… Spider-Man. One of, if not, the top hero at Marvel and one of the most popular Superheroes in the world today. Made his MCU debut in Civil War thanks to their deal with Sony and man, he did not disappoint. Tom Holland was a perfect casting as Spider-Man. I loved that he got around 30 minutes of screen time and we seen enough of his home life and of him in costume for a taster of what’s to come in his own solo movie next summer.
Having Tony Stark being the one that found him an kind of starting to mentor him was an ingenious way of connecting Spidey with someone who he is very close with in the comics and having Stark to be the one to give him his costume was a great re-imagining of how this 16 year old kid puts together such a costume. We also get to know that he has had his powers for around 6 months and that he is living with his aunt may without them really going into too much of an origin story or how he got his powers. Then we got to see him in the best scene of the whole movie as Team Iron Man vs. Team Cap. He was swinging all over the place, got to see his speed and agility portrayed through out, got to see his strength as he took on Winter Soldier and of course he was cocky and mouthing off during the whole thing while also being the teenager in awe that he was fighting with and against the Avengers who he clearly looks up to and respects. And after the fight he was done and that was enough. Tom Holland WAS Spider-Man and I am so excited for Spider-Man Homecoming and to see what Marvel does with him now that he is under their banner and expect him to take front and center stage soon, especially as we could be losing a lot of our known heroes after Infinity War and will need new heroes to headline.
Say Hello to the Bad Guys
The villains haven’t really received much attention at all in the lead up to this movie, at least not in comparison to the heroes. Apart from the fact that they were in it and who would be playing them, and a small appearance in the trailers, neither Crossbones or Helmut Zemo were a massive talking point going into this. And in all honesty I didn’t care too much about them going into this either, I even said aloud at one point “There is no point in them being in the film”. This was further fueled with one big criticism Marvel has received which is that most of their villains (except Loki) are not built up or as engaging as their heroes and most end up being killed by the end of the running time.
After all the lead up about Frank Grillo returning from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and in new armor and a new purpose as Crossbones on top of that, it was going to be interesting to see his role in Civil War. He boiled down to a mercenary with his own group of thugs looking to do some not so nice things while in Nigeria so we could see most of the new Avengers team in action before we split them apart, and then dies in the first 20 minutes of the movie. Overall an underutilized villain, a throw away villain of the week and of no consequence in this movie at all. He could have been teamed with Zemo or something as an enforcer but alas he never got anything quite so essential to the story.
Helmut Zemo I am still thinking about. It’s 6 days since I watched Civil War and I am still split on how I felt about him. Part of me feels he was used so sparingly that there might have been no need for him in this film but his story is so integral to why everything takes place that it would be hard to remove it without damaging the film. His subplot is subtle and in the background of the 2 Avengers teams fighting but as I look back I realize just how much he was in the movie and how much his scenes connected together once you have seen the full picture.
He is the one pulling the strings in Civil War. He kills a Hydra agent in order to get a Winter Soldier book of keywords to make Bucky agreeable to anything he requests, Fakes being Bucky and blows up the U.N and gets caught on camera, kills a doctor that would have evaluated Bucky once he was arrested in order to use this technique to gain information, information revealing Bucky was the one to kill Tony’s parents while under Hydra control, all of this so that he can turn the Avengers against each other in revenge as he blamed the Avengers for killing his family in their battle in Sokovia during AoU. He says “An empire toppled by its enemies can rise again, but one which crumbles from within? That’s dead… forever.” He knew that he wasn’t able to take the Avengers out himself but that if he turned them against each other, then they would crumble for good. Even though he intended to commit suicide following this but was stopped by Black Panther, Zemo actually attained his end goal. The Avengers are fractured and split, most are either fugitives on the run or injured, this is not the same team we seen in the previous Avengers movies or even at the beginning of this one, this is a victory for Zemo and it will shape the MCU in the years to come.
Zemo gets to end the movie incarcerated and I hope he isn’t forgotten about and they have a long game for him to be utilized in future. And I hope we even see the introducion of his Thunderbolts team in the future too.
After the Credits
Of course we need to talk about the after credit scenes (which I am still shocked that after 8 years of Marvel Movies people still leave at the start of the credits.)
In the mid-cradit scene we see that Bucky telling Cap that he wants to go into Stasis until the Hydra programming can be removed from him because he can’t trust himself and doesn’t want to be a danger to anyone. We then find that Black Panther is with them and that it is him that is offering to freeze Bucky until he can get the help he needs and keep him in Wakanda. Black Panther says he wants to help because both Bucky and his father were victims and if he can bring peace to one of them then he will. Cap tells him that they will come for him here and Black Panther tells him that they will try and we see a shot out across the Wakandan jungle.
In the end credit scene we see Aunt May tending to Peter’s bruises as he tells her that he got them fighting a guy Steve from Brooklyn and that his friend was huge. She thinks his story is suspicious but he asks her to let him rest and she does. We then see him messing about with a gadget Tony Stark gave him and a beam comes out putting a Spider-Man logo known from the comics onto the roof and you can see apps around it which I am sure he will use in Spider-Man Homecoming. The it fades out and we see the words on screen”Spider-Man will Return.”
Overall I loved Captain America: Civil War. I thought it was an amazing movie, well written and well paced but most importantly well directed by The Russo Brothers who clearly have a vision for where the franchise is going and cannot wait to see their plans going into Infinity War and beyond, as well as showcasing over 60 characters which are rumored to appear in the movie.
The older characters we love were showcased amazingly and the actors continued the great portrayals that we have seen throughout the movies. Newer characters like Ant-Man, Vision and Scarlet Witch had their stories well handled and continued beautifully in this movie without them fading to the background. And new additions such as Black Panther and Spider-Man fit in as if they had always been there. We got to know them enough that they never felt out of place but little enough to excite us for their movies in 2017 and 2018.
A must see movie and a definite high point for the Superhero movie genre!
What did you think of Captain America: Civil War? What were your highlights and what did you think could have been done better? Please leave comments below and give the blog a like. Thank you for listening to my Ramblings and I hope you join me next time!