So, it’s been over a week since I saw Captain America: Civil War and I finally have the time to pen a few of my thoughts to paper: nothing too in-depth and certainly not covering everything that happened in that glorious 2.5 hours.
Besides Fantastic Beasts, this is the other movie that I truly could not wait to see. All of the releases this year look amazing, but when it comes to ones from the MCU, especially if it’s Avenger-centric, are the ones that really get my fangirl gears turning.
My poor nephew; he’s my date to most of these movies and he doesn’t not know how to handle me and my reactions. Obviously I’m pretty sedate when in public but if my hand is hovering near my mouth (which is my default reaction when things get tense or I’m surprised) it isn’t long before he leans over to whisper ‘are you okay?’. Bless.
I’m going to do my best to avoid them, but here is your obligatory spoiler alert.
As with most action movies, there was a slow buildup leading to knock-down, drag-out fight scenes (which did not disappoint in any sense of the word). I loved this part of the movie for two main reasons. First, the character development and exploration. We see Steve acting in stark contrast to what would normally be considered as “acceptable” behavior for Captain America. We see Tony trying to work through some pretty heavy emotions, but his flaw is that I don’t think he really knows how, so we how that transpires and evolves into something much bigger. We’re able to see more of Falcon’s tech and how it works. We see the insecurities that Wanda still understandably had. We see Natasha in an almost more motherly role, the person who in her own way is trying to keep the peace and the family together. In general, we get to these heroes on a more personal level, both as individuals and in the group dynamic. And as someone who lowkey loves sociology and anthropology, it’s fascinating, even for fictional characters.
Keeping with that train of thought, can we please give a huge shoutout to T’Challa aka Black Panther! You want to talk about character development? Then take a good look at this guy. The progression we saw with his character in the span of two hours was staggering but completely significant. Add to that the kick ass suit and killer fighting skills, and you now have yourself a character that is going to go down in the record books as a favorite. And what I mean is that what was already a wonderful character from the comics is now has the exposure it deserves by being brought into the MCU. I’m super excited to see how they expand his character and storyline in the stand alone movie and other releases. I really hope they do it justice.
You can’t talk about the main guys without at least mentioning the cameos. Oh, those cameos; just the right amount of screen time, perfect line delivery, and showcase of what they’re capable of (with a surprise or two). With as much as there was going on in the movie and with as many characters as you see coming and going, the cameo superheroes were pretty much perfect.
#TeamCap vs #TeamIronman
The second reason I loved the build-up was because it essentially was what the movie was all about. Life is not black and white; most of day-today life takes place in that gray abyss that exists in-between. It’s no different for superheroes than it is for real people, because while this is a fictional universe, it is written as an extension of our own.
The conflict in Civil War wasn’t black and white; it was gray. There was no good versus evil, no imminent threat against humanity. It was just them, them against each other, them against the rest of the world.
They were being forced to make a decision that would affect not only them as individuals but them as a team (read: family) but their ability to do what they had pledged, to make the world a safe place. And when faced with that choice, Tony chose one way and Steve chose another. As with any family, arguments were had and sides were picked. As the conflict evolved and deepened, ebbed and flowed, it shows that even when you are on the same team working for the same cause, you sometimes have to choose what you feel is right rather than choosing easy (gray), as there is not always an absolute right (white) or absolute wrong (black).
Just let me throw this out there. I love Steve. I love Bucky. I love Sam. Steve and Bucky, of course. Steve and Sam, why not. Steve, Bucky, AND Sam, yes please! What I’m talking about is the epic bromances that we we’ve been blessed with. You can officially consider this my brotp.
Steve and Bucky. Aw man, these two! From kids in Brooklyn to soldiers in WWII to becoming enemies of the state together, these two have been true blue since day one. Steve never gave up on Bucky and Bucky never forgot Steve. Despite their years apart and the traumas suffered in that time, it was so utterly satisfying to see them team up again, falling effortless back into sync with one another and protecting each other’s backs. In the end, they each make a sacrifice for the other, and damnit if that didn’t bring a tear to your eye then I don’t know if we can be friends.
Steve and Sam. Aw man, these two as well! I’ve loved the character of Sam Wilson from the beginning but he has become one of my favorite heroes. I feel like he is one of the more “normal” of the bunch, that he retained more of his civilian mentality despite his years of combat and working for Shield. In that aspect he reminds me a lot of Clint. He came out of retirement when his help was needed, eventually staying on and joining the Avengers. When all hell broke loose, he stuck by Steve’s side, doing what he could to help protect Bucky despite the fact that he didn’t know or trust him at that point. Sam is a resolute yet selfless, a mirror to what Steve embodies as Captain America.
Bucky and Sam. All I have to say is them, in that car, the little grins that Bucky and Sam simultaneously sported. I want more!
But really, there are definite parallels of the relationship that Steve has with Bucky compared to the one his has with Sam. And at the same they are unique from the other as well. And I think this is something that Sam and Bucky began to realize. Sure, at first they had to test the waters and give each other a hard time, but I feel like in turn it become more of exasperated jesting than true resentment. There began to be an unspoken understanding between the two; Bucky appreciated that Sam was there for Steve when he himself couldn’t be and Sam is showing Bucky that he’s just as protective of Steve but that he is not trying to take his place.
Steve, Bucky, and Sam. I can’t even. If I could get a movie that solely features them, it would make me a very happy little geek. In fact, it’d send me into fangirl overload. Just remember, on my tombstone, write ‘She came. She saw. She Squee’d.”
I don’t know if it comes across or not, but I absolutely loved this movie. It’s a contender to top the list of favorites to have come out of the MCU at this point. It’s renewed and deepened a love I already had for these comics and these characters, and that is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. There’s so much that can be talked about and speculated on with this movie and this franchise. If you have any ideas or thoughts, please, as always, share them in the comments. I’d love to discuss!