** Warning Spoilers to follow, proceed at your own risks **
Ok, now that that is out of the way, I wanted to give my review and thoughts of Captain America: Civil War.
I have always enjoyed the Marvel Universe. I was never a huge comic book guy growing up… but when I picked one up, it was usually an X-Men, Avengers, or Spider-man. My cousins were a lot more into it than I was, and I kind of fed off of them. We played the Marvel version of Dungeons and Dragons, so we created our own superheroes in the Marvel Universe. I can accept the idea that there are multiple iterations of the Marvel Universe, so Captain America, doesn’t necessarily live in the same New York City as Professor Xavier and his X-Men do, which is different than the one that Peter Parker lives in. Imagine a world with all of the Marvel superheroes and supervillains in the same city at the same time. It would be kind of awkward for normal people to live, but I suppose you would get used to it. I like to think that I have a better than average idea of what is going on there, but some of the obscure plotlines, I am not as familiar with.
One of those plotlines I don’t know much (or anything, really) about from the, comic perspective, is the Civil War. For this review, I am going to go off of how the movie was done, not how it should have been done.
I like how they have woven the Avengers’ individual movies (Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, etc.) together with the Avengers movies, and look forward to them continuing to do so. There are aspects of the previous movies that are helpful to have seen them (but probably not imperative, I haven’t seen the Antman movie yet, so I probably missed some inside jokes, but I don’t think I missed anything from that movie in this one).
In a nutshell, the world’s governments are conflicted when it comes to the Avengers. On one hand, they are able to stop the supernatural forces of evil, but there is (sometimes excessive) civilian collateral damage. Sometimes it is extensive. The UN has decided to create guidelines as to how and when the Avengers can assemble. As you can imagine, when you take a group of people who have become accustomed to doing whatever they felt was needed to get the job done and give them a set of rules they now need to follow, there will be some pushback.
This is called the Sachovian Accords, after the events in the last Avengers movie. The group is split between whether or not this is good for the Avengers, and there are some strong opinions on both sides. Ultimately, a few sign the accords, while others refuse.
(Warning, spoilers coming... you have been warned...)
As the accords were being implemented, the UN is bombed, and blamed on Captain America’s friend, Bucky, the Winter Soldier. An all points with shoot to kill goes out and Cap goes after his friend, and the battle lines are drawn. The Avengers are divided. Those who are in favor of the oversight follow Tony Stark and those against the regulations follow Steve Rogers. A huge fight breaks out at an airport with Avenger fighting Avenger. It is another example of why the Accord is important. In the scuffle, planes are destroyed, as well as ground units (belt loaders, tugs, etc.) and even the tower and terminals are subject to extensive damage.
Ultimately, Captain America and Winter Soldier escape, the remaining Avengers opposed to the Accord are rounded up and sent to a super-secret maximum security prison. The Captain and Soldier go off on their own to try to prove that he (Winter Soldier) was innocent and ultimately tag team to beat up Iron Man, then go break the rest of the Avengers out of the super-secret under water prison they are being held in for violating the Sachovian Accords. The movie ends with Tony opening a letter (delivered by Stan Lee) apologizing to him and giving him a phone (really? A flip phone? I get it that you are a WWII vet, and you don’t grasp tech like Tony does.. but a flip phone?) that he can use call if and when he needs their help. What is this? The A-Team?
Here are my thoughts. I know it was a ‘Captain America’ movie, so he is going to have to be the one that comes out on top. I wonder how different it would have been if it was an Iron Man movie, or if it was a more generic Avengers movie. That said, I didn’t like the way it ended.
I can understand where they are coming from. No one likes restrictive rules, especially new rules. That said, there needs to be a checks and balance system in place. It is the same reason that our Constitution established 3 parts of the government, each with checks on another.
Overall, it was an entertaining movie. I would rank it slightly above the middle of the pack among the Avengers movies (including the individuals). The Stan Lee cameo is one of the better ones, I still think the best one was in one of the worst movies, Fantastic 4 2, when he is trying to get into the wedding, but he wasn’t on the list. The extended scene at the end after the credits foreshadow a new Spider-man reboot, do we really need that right now?