Seeker of delicious noms
Captain America: Civil War starts off with your seemingly run-of-the-mill jam-packed action sequence yet manages to set the foundation for the movie in less than ten seconds – and organically, at that. What’s so great about Civil War is that sides are presented and alliances are formed, but the viewer ends up seeing each side’s ideologies and motivations to do the things that they do. There’s a lot of moral ambiguity demonstrated by the protagonists – not the first time this has happened, but certainly not on a scale such as this.
Character-wise, everyone got their moment to shine. Considering the expansive cast, this was a pretty remarkable feat. Neither Sam nor Rhodey were relegated to sidekick status and neither were the other supporting cast. The newbies to the ensemble were formidable in their own right as well. T’Challa was perfect for Black Panther. Ant-Man was nothing to sneeze at either, having provided a lot of levity to an otherwise grim movie. Spider-Man’s appearance felt a bit shoehorned in plot-wise, his character more than made up for it.
As the main villain of the movie, one could argue that Zemo was not compelling at all: he’s smart and manipulative, but he ultimately lacked the “Big Bad” factor – which is a perfectly valid criticism. But in my opinion, it’s what made him work as a villain – especially in a movie as emotionally-charged as Civil War. In the MCU, all of Captain America’s enemies were human – or at least started out that way. The Red Skull and Pierce may have been good at the pew pew explosions, but it wasn’t what they were best at. No, what they’re best at is finding weak spots in people’s psyche and exploiting the shit out of it. Zemo was the best out of the three, hands down. How so? He didn’t fail. Simple as that.
Has Civil War cured people of their superhero fatigue? Jury’s still out. But is it a movie worth watching? If you’ve watched any of the previous Captain America or Avengers movies, yes. Definitely yes. Go spend a few hundred pesos and have your heart torn out. If you’re anything like me who’s emotionally invested in these characters, the beauty is worth the pain.
Marvel’s Civil War turned out to be one of the most celebrated comic book arcs of the past decade, banking on a particular brilliance in dialogue, delivery and execution, which brought the Steve Rogers – Tony Stark dynamic into the spotlight of comic book history and changed the outlook of the Marvel universe for years to come. And with the fame of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the Avengers’ debut in 2012 providing a new look on Marvel’s most iconic character, fans have been anticipating the new version of the Stark-Rogers dynamic in the 2016 Captain America: Civil War.
Marvel continues to impress with its storytelling, being able to craft its own retelling of its most iconic stories with just the right amount of drama and action as would fit a film its length. There is just the right enough of conflict with the introduction of the Sokovia Accords, bringing the crux of the Stark-Rogers dynamic in full spotlight and tear the Avengers in half.
Fans would be divided between Tony Stark and his pushing for the Accords to reestablish trust between the public and the Avengers, and Steve Rogers who believes the Accords would bring unprecedented risks on their mission to save lives. More trouble ensues when the Winter Soldier is accused of bombing a United Nations congress that led to the death of T’Challa’s father, pushing him to don the mantle of the Black Panther.
In an effort to bolster his ranks, Stark also sought the help of teenager Peter Parker, who inevitably introduced Spider-Man into the Cinematic Universe. The Captain did the same and got Ant-Man in his ranks. Sadly, Marvel succeeded in its hype train but failed to build on the story as a whole.
There is commendable effort in the narrative, and it serves as an excellent marker to bring the Stark-Rogers dynamic full circle, where a brainwashed Bucky killed the Starks and brought the Iron Man-Captain America conflict to its full apex. The 30-minute mid-sequence fight was everything box-office rival Dawn of Justice was not, and is actually more well-choreographed than expected.
For a standalone film in the Captain America franchise, Civil War almost contains just as much impact as a full-blown Avengers movie, as splitting the team in two will definitely have repercussions in the upcoming flicks in the franchise, especially in the culminating Infinity War movies. The cameos of new superheroes, and the introduction of new villains such as Baron Zemo, is enough to generate more than enough theories for subplots.
Sadly, despite the expansive setting laid out for Civil War, it remained honest to its foundation: it is still in essence a Captain America movie. Unfortunately, the movie put more focus on the Bucky-Rogers-Stark conflict more than providing enough foundation for the Accords and its effects to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Either way, the film effectively laid out an excellent premise for a dual Avengers lineup – one “official” team under Tony Stark, and a “hidden” team under Steve Rogers. What does this say for the future of the MCU, with a SHIELD shattered to clusters, supervillains rising in the shadows, and the Infinity Stones carefully and meticulously gathering together? No one knows. But one thing is for sure: the war was indeed civil, but the Avengers will stand together.
Do you agree with the Sokovia Papers? Are you Team Cap or Team Iron Man? Sound off in the comments!