Considered to be the best Marvel film so far, Captain America: Civil War is a story of friends and of family, of conflict and cohesion, of vengeance and of forgiveness. Many underlying themes add to the significance of the storyline, making the overall plot of Civil War so relatable. The story becomes not quite so much a superhero movie but a movie about a family whose abilities and decisions are tearing them apart.
Before I actually start with my review, let me lay out the format of this review. This first half that you are currently reading will be completely spoiler-free. (I pinky swear.) The next half will not, but I will clearly label where it will start. From that point, spoilers will simply run amok and if you read them, you can’t say you weren’t warned.
Going into the theater, a million different questions consumed my mind, especially because I am not familiar with the comic books. Who is Zemo? What role does he play in the movie? What role does Crossbones play in the movie? Why was Scarlet Witch controlling Vision in the trailer? Who shot Rhodes down? Does Cap ever sign the Sokovia Accords? Does Bucky ever get caught? Who ends up being right? How is the situation resolved?
I can say that all of these questions are answered by the end of the film; however, Marvel leaves you with dozens more.
You all know how the trailer(s) go, right? So you have a basic understanding of the major conflict in Civil War? Yes? Okay, good, but allow me to refresh your memory. The United Nations wants the Avengers to sign the Sokovia Accords, which (and I don’t consider this a spoiler, but if you don’t know what they are, skip the rest of this sentence and maybe the rest of the paragraph) basically surrenders their right to choose what to do and when to do it. Some people sign it, some people don’t. As we know, Team Iron Man agrees that the Avengers must be put in check whereas Team Cap doesn’t; I’ll leave the guessing who signs it to you.
Steve Rogers has been trying to find Bucky since The Winter Soldier, and we learn in the trailer that Steve does end up finding him, though we don’t exactly know how. He becomes increasingly more desperate to find Bucky with the signing of the Sokovia Accords on the horizon, and the world is putting pressure on his shoulders to do the right thing. But Steve’s idea of the right thing greatly differs from theirs.
Tony Stark is motivated by guilt and by the responsibility that comes with age. He’s every bit as desperate as Steve is to do the right thing, but they obviously have opposing views. His own desperation clouds his logic the same way Steve’s does, in such that he is willing to go to extreme lengths to stand firm in his beliefs.
And meanwhile, both Tony and Steve wind up dragging their allies into their mess, creating a mess far larger than they understand.
I felt as though many of the small roles in the film could have had much larger roles and vice versa. Some people seemed completely useless or just there to pave the way for another unnecessary subplot. But intertwined into the overall plot were themes of love, loyalty, betrayal, and scheming.
Captain America: Civil War is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish, and I highly recommend everyone sees it while it’s still in theaters. It’s not something you can get the full experience of sitting at home on your couch.
And here, we begin the spoiler-y section of this review.
You have been warned.
One thing I loved about Civil War was seeing Steve take up a big brother role for Wanda and obviously showing that he cares for her and will look out for her. It really emphasizes a lot of Steve Rogers’s greatest qualities, everything that the people love about him. Plus, it brings an ache to my heart because Wanda’s real brother is dead. (I will still never understand why that had to happen.)
This whole thing with Vision though is kind of weird. Like… How old is Wanda? The other Avengers constantly refer to her as a kid, which really makes me wonder how old she really is. And Vision is… a year old? But biologically appears to be a man around the same age as the other Avengers. Kind of weird.
I fucking loved Spider-Man. Loved him. Tom Holland did an excellent job. He was so adorable and awkward. I’m really excited for the Spidey standalone (which Iron Man’s in so yay!).
Sharon Carter could’ve been a really great character. I think she had a shit ton of potential to be one of Marvel’s super kickass ladies, and it sucks that her primary role seems to only be Steve Rogers’s love interest. Like, that was just a shitty move for Marvel, to have her and Steve develop this relationship… Not to mention the fact that he was kind of in love with her aunt???????
And he found out about their genetics via Peggy’s funeral?? Like, geez. And Marvel gave her such an important, pivotal line in the movie (“When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — ‘No, you move.'”), which was originally said by Captain America in the comics. You could’ve turned her into such a great character, Marvel!!! Why did you do this??? I simply do not understand.
(But even I have to admit that Sam and Bucky being like fuck yeah after she and Steve kiss is hilarious.)
Plus, this means that Marvel will have to waste screen time to develop their relationship when Steve already has such a close relationship to one of his childhood friends (BUCKY), who cares just as much about Steve as Steve does him. And honestly, how incredible and revolutionary would it be for Marvel to have a gay superhero? And for it to be Captain America, of all people? Personally, I think that’d be pretty fucking cool, and it’s about time Marvel had one.
My heart aches for Bucky. I feel so awful that he’s really trying to change, that he wants to become who he used to me, but the truth of the matter is that he can’t. His fight or flight instincts tell him to run and save himself instead of staying to fight along Steve like he used to. He will do anything to stay out of trouble, to be normal again. Poor Bucky. He must be protected at all costs.
I apologize for this being kind of all over the place, and for likely not addressing many of the other things I would’ve totally pointed out. This review is long overdue and I’m still really emotional over the movie. I honestly can’t wait for Infinity War. All I want is for everyone to be happy. (And maybe an appearance from Deadpool.)