With a society growing in fear of enhanced people, the governments of the world decide to push for the Anti-Superhero Registration Act AKA The Sokovia Accords, a piece of lawful legislation that will limit a superhero’s actions. This results in a divided Avengers. Iron Man agrees that they need to be put in check. Everywhere they go to help, they end leaving bodies behind. Cap believes that in war, not everyone will be saved. Also, he believes that the safest hands are still their own. If the Avengers became a government team, the government will decide who the villains are and it’s also shifting the blame from one corporation to another. Iron Man believes that the Sokovia Accords is a must. This escalates to an all out fight between Team Iron Man & Team Cap. Team Iron Man support the registration and Team Cap oppose it. This is brought to the forefront when Cap’s new Avengers have a run-in with Brock Lumlow/Crossbones (Frank Grillo) in Lagos whilst a new villain emerges seeing a oppurtune moment to pit the Avengers against each other.
Since their introduction to each other in the MCU, Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) have always been at odds. Too often in the Avengers movies, have there been scenes where they are arguing about something or other. Tony’s father loved Cap more than he ever loved Tony. It was always Howard Stark (John Slattery/Dominic Cooper), Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Steve Rogers. Three friends working together to win the war. Then Cap’s plane went down so it went down to only Howard and Peggy who would later go on to found SHIELD.That’s where Cap’s story begins and he brings his righteous and moral ideologies to Civil War. He sees the long-term effects of The Sokovia Accords where Tony only sees the short-term. Cap sees the government as a corporation with their own agendas. Is he wrong? What if they need to go somewhere, but can’t due to government oversight?
The naming and shaming of the perfectly good movie, Batman V Superman will continue to run riot while Civil War is in the spotlight of popular culture. They are two very similar movies, pitting heroes against each other because of different opinions and ideologies. It’s that fear of enhanced people. It’s a fear of those that are different and what they can do with that power. I guess both movies are about dominant ideologies and some vigilantes being more dangerous than others depending on whose side you’re on. Batman is Gotham’s vigilante with unorthodox methods. He’s been described as “a one man of terror”. Cap is America’s golden boy and he’s gone rogue. He’s being called a criminal. Aren’t all superheroes criminals? They are operating outside of the law? The only difference being before, is that they had the backing of SHIELD as a private organization. Their acts are only criminal now because the government isn’t condoning their actions.
“You’ve operated with unlimited power and no supervision. That’s something the world can no longer tolerate” says General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross (William Hurt). This movie is more than just about Stark V Rogers. It’s about friendship and the main catalyst for Civil War is Bucky Barnes AKA The Winter Soldier. The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is a masterclass assassin who was brainwashed by Hydra during the Second World War. He conducted many kill missions but the most notable was in 1991. Bucky is a wanted man after an incident at the UN regarding Wakanda and many other nations, which puts his face back in the public eye. Governments want him dead and Cap decides to help him escape. I suppose this friendship never dies, a friendship that has lasted nearly a century. Despite all of Bucky’s past transgressions, Steve has stuck by him and doesn’t blame him for them.
The Avengers have been busy of late, dropping cities out of the sky and this is very much an Avengers movie with the absence of Thor and Hulk who are in Asgard fighting in the Norse Apocalypse AKA Ragnarok. I suppose this is an apt time to mention Chadwick Boseman (Get On Up) who made his Marvel debut as T’Challa/Black Panther. Black Panther is my favourite character in this movie. Boseman isn’t physically imposing as Black Panther but he makes up for that with his mad fighting skills. There’s a scene between Cap, Bucky and Black Panther in a tunnel chase. I certainly would not want to get on his naughty list. Boseman is a tour de force and he got the accent spot on. T’Challa is cool, collected and calm for the most part. But when he turns into Black Panther, that’s when you should be afraid. He was after Bucky because of what happened at the UN but towards the end of the movie he sees that this civil war was a ruse conducted by a grieving Sokovian and renowned Captain America villain from the comics, named Baron Zemo.
But in the movie, it’s just Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl). Let’s just say Zemo is the Petyr Baelish of the MCU. Although, he didn’t have any badass fighting skills or that purple mask, he made up for it in other ways. We also have Tom Holland (The Impossible) as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. We have Spider-Man as a teen and that’s the hero we deserve. Tom Holland played the sarcastic and cocky webhead to perfection which turns his predecessors into ancient history. We also had Lt James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle), Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabth Olsen), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Vision (Paul Bettany), Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) and Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) to make up the rest of Team Cap and Team Stark. They all give great performances. I now find it a bit weird that Cap has been in a relationship with Peggy and Sharon Carter. Like auntie, like niece I suppose.
“Everyone’s got a gimmick” remarks Anthony Mackie’s Falcon when the after school fight occurs…oh I mean airport runway battle. Civil War shows us what happens when gimmicks are pit against each other. It goes to show how much of nuisance Ant-Man and Spider-Man can cause. Spider-Man singlehandedly took down The Winter Soldier and Falcon whilst Ant-Man gave some trouble to Tony’s suit and put Black Widow on her arse. Not forget to mention nearly trashing the runaway even more when he became Giant Man.The Russo Brothers handle the fight scenes with great resolve and they’re really something special but those scenes don’t hold up against those in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.This film is loosely based on the Mark Millar comic book. But the film has grasped some of the original ideas from its source material. It changed Superhero Registration Act to Sokovia Accords, no Iron Spider no unmasking of Spider-Man, no death of Captain America, no negative zone, no bitchy Director Maria Hill, no Thor clone, but it did grasp the very ideologies of the original comic.
It raises eyebrows about freedom, responsibility, heroism and vigilantism. Between those, there is a fine line where black and white becomes grey and murky. Zemo is supposed to be the villain of this movie. But Cap and Iron Man could also be deemed as the bad guys depending on whose side you’re on. But in my opinion, the villain is Ross. Even after finding out Bucky is innocent of everything he was thought guilty of, Ross is still out for his blood. Tony says time and time again to Cap that he’s chosen the WRONG side but right and wrong is merely relative. Everyone is right in their own mind. It also shows the Cap values his friendship with Bucky more than anything in the world. He became a fugitive for Bucky. That’s a true friendship that stemmed from childhood and they fought side-by-side in The Howling Commandos. That’s a friendship Tony will never understand.
“Compromise where you can. And where you can’t, don’t” says Peggy Carter, and Cap puts this teaching into practice. He can’t compromise when it comes to Bucky and his beliefs. He planted his ideologies like a tree and didn’t waver for anyone. Evans and RDJ have put their heart and souls into their characters. They are ideological divided in this movie with a concentrated sense of conviction. This is a darker take on the MCU and it delivered. When Cap, Falcon and T’Challa and Bucky are arrested, one of them makes a reference to needing a lawyer which made me think of Daredevil. It would have been cool to have a cameo from Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock from Netflix’s Daredevil.
In conclusion, this is a well-made movie incorporating the main concepts and ideals from the original comic. The script was tight and the direction was on point with the whole cast delivering with great performances, especially from: Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man), Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier) and Chadwick Boseman stealing the whole movie as Black Panther. Also, this movie nicely sets up the solo movies for Spider-Man (2017), and Black Panther (2018) with that great midcredits scene. It’d be cool to see Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier team up with Black Panther in the Black Panther’s solo movie.
It has to be said Marvel, I’m with you until the end of the line