Best and Worst of Civil War
Written By Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)
For those who have seen Captain America: Civil War I thought it would be fun to discuss what worked and didn't work in the newest installment from Marvel, The Russo Brothers, and Marcus/McFeely. SPOILERS GALORE in this one, so be warned.
Holy crap. I am not the type of person who enjoys fight scenes. Usually they are just a bunch of dudes punching and or shooting at each other. There are no real variances, which is also my complaint about most video games that involve fighting. Civil War however brought out the biggest superhero fighting playbook you could imagine. Every character had their own unique and interesting fighting style. They used combo moves! so many movies just handle guys one at a time, but when you see Black Widow take down two people in one swift motion, or Bucky swinging down to a lower level with a broken railing to knock a guy on his butt or rip him off a motorcycle and swing that around and hop right on it (that got an approving OOhh from the audience), you are seeing some truly heroic moves.
Just wow. I knew nothing of Black Panther but damn am I impressed. He felt like a wild card in comparison to everyone else. Most characters you know their motivations and how they deal with them, T'Challa/Black Panther felt fresh and different in the best way. He had his own agenda outside of the main team. He was not really recruited to one side or the other, he just had his personal mission, to avenge his father and he would do whatever it took to bring down Bucky. He manages to not only get an origin story of sorts but also a pretty complete story arc which is cool. He was certainly a focal point in the movie and it paid off wonderfully
I know I already said fight scenes but I mean come on. That was just amazing. The jokes landed, the punches landed, everything landed. Giant Man, Queens v Brooklyn, Scarlet Witch, Spiderman, Black Widow and Hawkeye. everyone got a lick in and it was great! it was almost 20 minutes long and all of it entertaining.
We got to see the new Avengers in action and boy do they look great. The results were not perfect however with Scarlet Witch essentially throwing a bomb into a crowded building and getting her put on lockdown. It was a good way to show how they can mess up and cause real damage, which was hammered home when they had the sit down about their other incidents. Granted all of those were in service of the people and not just for kicks. It also brought about the question of escalation. Better defence breeds a better offence. When you potentially have to deal with the Avengers you plan for it. it takes a lot more to take down an Avenger than your average SWAT team so the damage that it can cause to regular folks increases just by The Avengers existence.
Tony Personal Rage and Cap Government Rage
Cap is no stranger to war. He understands that in a battle sometimes there are going to be casualties. When you have to fight... people get hurt. He also no longer can stand by and watch a government tell him what to do because of what he has seen them become capable of doing. Tony on the other hand has been the root cause of so much destruction that he can not trust his decisions any more. It makes sense to him that he would want a bit of government/UN oversight. Someone to tell him what he should and shouldn't do. That wasn't the case in the original Iron Man movies. He didn't trust the government after his weapons got out and people wanted him to hand over the suit. To some degree he still doesn't want that but when the UN says it needs to be done he is on board. Absolute power corrupts absolutely as BvS said and Tony agrees. Cap on the other hand sees it as just another government made up of a lot of different people with different agendas and sets some good anchor points where you could see how both sides are feeling, Regulation vs Freedom; what would you choose?
Iron Man/Cap/Bucky Fight
When Tony learns the true fate of his parents death at the hands of Bucky while under Russian/HYDRA control that's when it really is war. It's a dark and brutal scene where Bucky kills both of them to obtain the super solider serum Stark had recreated, and was in the middle of delivering to the Pentagon. Tony loses it when he finds out that Cap (in the previous film) knew Howard Stark was assassinated, although he did not know by who other than HYDRA. This leads to an emotionally charged battle that really could have spelled the end to any one character, or at the least severely injured someone. The result? A battered and bleeding Tony and Cap and the severed metal arm of Bucky in the most thrilling and intense battle of the film. I was in awe of this scene. It was raw and scary to watch. Cap trying to protect Bucky while also protecting Tony from himself, really great stuff.
The reason the two sides are fighting? They can't agree. I guess because they need to fight. I guess it shows how strongly both sides believe in their causes that they feel the only way to win is to fight. That of course results in the people on the government side apprehending the non government side and putting them in jail. Don't get me wrong, the fight was amazing, just it didn't have emotion to it, more of an escalation. "I dont want to fight you, but if its the only way then i guess I will." no one is out to kill, just apprehend and that takes away a bit from the seriousness of the fight. It's a scuffle not a war, and I guess that's ok because it's made up for later on.
Sokovia Accords Meeting
This scene where they talk about the accords with Ross was pretty dry to me. The second time around I didn't mind so much but it felt a bit too heavy handed for my taste and zapped some energy out of the movie. I felt like things were handled almost too calmly to start? Just a bit more engaging and passionate discussion would have been appreciated.
Here is a character that was not a good focal point. I didn't find him very interesting. Just another guy with a traumatic past. Your typical villain who came out of the shadows because of something the team did. You could argue that he didn't need to be important because the main focus was on The Avengers. That however made him feel more like a plot device to get them to where they needed to be emotionally, rather than a real villain. He also really banked on the fact that Tony would chase after Cap and Bucky and that the tape would cause him to want to kill him. Yeah it happened but a lot of things had to go right for it all to work out, seemed a bit too perfect to me. If anything Bucky was the reluctant villain and that is what made him interesting. Looks like Marvel once again doesn't nail its villain, oh well at least he got a good torture scene. Every bad guy deserves one of those.
Ok before you kill me hear me out. He was almost TOO out of place for the movie. I get he has only been fighting crime for 6 months but it felt like he moved up to the big kids table and just wasn't ready. Also he looked too CG when he was fighting, the sheen of his suit didn't help that either. His voice really bothered me as well, it almost sounded too kiddish, Spider-preteen rather than Spider-man. He got a few laughs in for sure but did we really need him? No. Black Panther made sense, it was woven into the story nicely, Spidey was totally out of left field and felt like a diversion rather than a necessary piece of the puzzle.
All the big moments seemed to hit well for me, only a few minor problems set this movie back from being amazing, superfluous additions and some dry politics but overall it was a solid outing and hopefully we get to see some more action packed adventure in Infinity War. Anything else you'd like to add? Agree, Disagree? Hash it out in the comments, and keep it civil!