Note: this post may contain spoilers for Civil War and probably preceding MCU movies as well. I'll do my best to mark or hide anything major, but just be warned.
My Thoughts on Captain America: Civil War
- I'm going to say this up front: if
certain characters had thought things through just a little more,
discussed things a little more thoroughly, this could've been an
entirely different movie. And by that I mean: neither the
Avengers nor the hearts of the fangirls would get ruthlessly torn apart;
the team could've dealt with their conflicts while still remaining a team.
And certain characters does mean Tony rather often, but there were
others who messed up too. In particular, there were two major points
where characters could've done better without behaving out of character
(highlight to read, since they're spoilers of varying severity):
- So Tony gets the idea that the Avengers need to be controlled. And fine; I can respect that belief and the motivation behind it even though I disagree with it as a whole. But instead of going behind everyone's backs and then showing up to say "Hey, we've created this Accords thing which will basically allow the UN to control our actions; you have three days to sign or retire," he could've come in and said to the other Avengers, "Hey, look, there's a bunch of people upset with us, and some of them have pretty good points. Maybe we need some oversight to tell us when we've overstepped our bounds. Can we think about getting some of that?" And maybe it would still end in conflict, but on the other hand, maybe it would end in "Ok, we've reached an agreement that satisfies both parties" and the rest of the movie would just be them dealing with Zemo and Steve doing damage control when Tony finds out about how his parents actually died.
- Also, whose great idea was it to let Zemo, even in disguise, interrogate Bucky alone? Yes, people were watching, yes, Bucky seems to be trapped, but if he's as dangerous as everyone thinks- what if he panics? What if he gets out? Zemo doesn't seem like he's got much in the way of actual fighting skill; certainly nothing to rival the Winter Soldier. And maybe there's some kind of countermeasure installed in the room- some way to pipe in gas and knock both of them unconscious or something like that- but what happens if that malfunctions? Why not have a few soldiers or someone else down there with them so that if the Winter Soldier breaks out, they can deal with him- and so that when the lights go down and Zemo starts acting weird, there's someone there to realize "This ain't right" and stop what's going on. And if you do that, Bucky has a chance to talk, explain that he wasn't in Vienna during the bombing, that he couldn't have been. He's clearly not just hiding in a bolt-hole; the first time we see him in the modern day during the movie, he's out on the street, shopping for food, so people would've had to have seen him. And once they've established that Bucky's innocent on this count, again, the rest of the plot is just dealing with Zemo (who, naturally, would've escaped at some point while everyone else was establishing Bucky's innocence) and working through the Accords mess.
- Between this and Age of Ultron, I think Tony forgot how to have good ideas. Ultron, obviously, was a massive failure. And then here, we have (spoilers; major spoilers hidden) the Accords (which, I'll admit, could've been a decent idea but had terrible execution), locking up Wanda (and mentioning it to Steve), insisting that he had to deal with Steve and Bucky himself instead of letting someone else handle it, bringing a pretty inexperienced kid onto his team, and then going out for revenge instead of maybe learning something from all the villains he's fought previously and looking for another way to deal with the situation. I'm not saying that he wasn't trying to do the right thing most of those times; he said himself that he was doing what he believed had to be done. But he definitely doesn't have the best track record for thinking things through thus far. Literally the only 100% good idea he had in this movie was giving Spiderman a better suit, because yes, support the aspiring heroes! Great job!
- I storming love Clint and Sam, ok? They're probably the only two characters who appear for significant amounts of the movie who weren't being idiots or complete messes. I mean, I've loved Clint since the first Avengers movie (because he's the most human, he manages to have a normal family and be a superhero/agent, and despite the fact that he doesn't have a fancy supersuit or special powers or anything, he keeps up with everyone else and is awesome in ways they can't be), and I love him even more here. And Sam I just met recently, but he's awesome too- awesome in The Winter Soldier (which I just watched yesterday) and awesome here for his loyalty and his willingness to take enormous risks for a friend. (Also, while we're talking about people who are awesome and actually have their acts together, Scott and Peter both fit that category too. And let's face it, Peter/Spidey in the big battle? How he was getting so excited about stuff? I would be the exact same way and it was a bit of lightness that I really needed in the midst of all the heartache.)
- Feel free to disagree with me, but I honestly wasn't that bothered by the Steve/Sharon kiss. (And that was a spoiler, I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure the entire internet knows about it by now?) Was it a bit soon? Maybe. Was it necessary? No. Do I ship it? No, not yet; I'm waiting to see what comes. That's my one complaint- that we didn't get to see more of their relationship prior to the event. Regarding the future, I think it could be an interesting relationship, and I predict that at some point, if the relationship continues, Sharon will wonder if Steve really likes her for her or if he likes her because of her connection to Peggy, and that will probably spiral into relationship drama. But on the whole, I don't think it was as big a deal as people make it out to be. Steve undoubtedly knew Peggy was dying, and he would've known even before then that they weren't going to have the kind of relationship he'd wished they could have. I'd even go so far as to suggest (and I'm probably going to get flak for this) that Peggy might have, at some point in the past, told Steve that she didn't want to stop him from living his life and told him that, if he had feelings for someone, he shouldn't let her keep him from pursuing them. And Steve didn't have feelings for anyone at the time, but now that he thinks he might, he's going to honor Peggy's wishes and not let his grief keep him from finding some happiness. So, yeah. That's my take on it. Feel free to disagree.
- Why do so many Marvel villains/antagonists seem to blame the Marvel heroes- particularly Tony- for something that wasn't necessarily their fault? We've seen this with Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2, with the Maximoffs in Age of Ultron, and now it shows up again in Civil War. Why? I get that angry people who've lost loved ones aren't always completely rational. I get that they want someone to blame. But in all three cases, there was someone to blame for what happened who wasn't Iron Man or the Avengers and who made much more sense to blame. And of the people I mentioned, Vanko's the only one who I feel had a semi-legitimate reason for transferring the blame to Iron Man. In Civil War, on the other hand, everyone's blaming the Avengers for what happened in Sokovia, and, all right, Tony is to blame for creating Ultron, but he isn't to blame for what Ultron chose to do, nor is he to blame for the fact that sometimes you can't save everyone. None of the Avengers are to blame for that last thing. And I'm tired of people thinking they are. They did their best, now let them be.
- Movies like this are why I try not to watch things with other people. I am not a quiet movie watcher. I make appreciative comments on awesome action sequences, occasionally make sarcastic remarks at characters, panic and remind myself that "There's another movie after this; he has to live!" or "There's still X more seasons to go; he can't die yet!" (usually accompanied by pausing the movie), and yell at the characters when they're being idiots. That last one is especially common, and I tend to get louder as the movie goes on and characters (for some mysterious reason) fail to take my advice. And I can tone it down, but if I'm given the choice, I'd rather just watch the movie by myself or with someone who won't mind my exclamations. And no, that's not specific to Civil War, but it's something that I've been reminded of lately.
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)