I could write a dissertation about Captain America Civil War, but I’ll spare everyone and just do a blog post. Warning, here be spoilers for most of the MCU and some of DC.
Team Cap all the way, right? In my reluctance to read spoilers I went into the movie with the wrong idea about Tony Stark’s side. On top of that, I didn’t realize that Civil War and Batman V Superman (BVS) are founded in the same plot theme… Who Watches the Watchmen?
BVS was all kinds of awful that I only saw because it was my friend’s birthday. However, the idea of a Superhero movie focusing on how many lives must have been lost during a super battle is relatively new in movies as far as I can remember. Audiences were quick to point out that in Man of Steel Superman’s failure to move the battleground to a less populated area had to have resulted in a vastly higher bodycount of innocent bystanders. I was surprised that BVS was addressing it so deeply. Unfortunately, that plot got lost somewhere in the middle of the movie in favor of watching Batman and Superman punch each other.
Civil War touches on the same idea, and I’ll save you the suspense, they do a much better job of delving into it than BVS. As I sat in the theater watching the initial meeting that set off the two factions I came to two startling conclusions:
- Holy shit this is the same plot from BVS
- Tony Stark is not wrong
Which led me to the dilemma: Team Cap. I just couldn’t side with Tony no matter how well I could see his point. Even Chris Evans could see his point as in an interview he said who wouldn’t be Team Iron Man?
It took a while longer in the movie for me to understand why I was still Team Cap even though I’ve never hated Tony Stark, I don’t disagree with him in this movie, and I’m watching this movie and shaking my head at everybody. It’s not that I believe Tony is wrong, it’s that I trust Steve Rogers more than any governing political body. Especially if that government is in the MCU.
Steve’s point is that he knows he will do what he believes is right whether or not it coincides with what whatever government has decided. And I think a lot of people understand that there was no way Steve was going to risk anyone killing Bucky Barnes. And that’s a great story about their friendship.
By the end of the movie Tony has gone too far, and Steve doesn’t know when to quit. As he gets beaten into the ground by Iron Man only to hobble back up with a smile and say he could do this all day, I gasped at the circle back towards the young scrawny Steve Rogers standing up to bullies in a fight he couldn’t win. My compliments to the writers and Chris Evans for what was probably my favorite moment in any MCU movie.
But as I was driving home I realized Steve Rogers motivations for standing against Tony’s initiative go so much deeper. He said it himself in the meeting room. He asked Tony, what if the United Nations declined to allow the Avengers to intervene in a situation where he knew they could help. It seems like a throw away line at first until I focus on the fact that Steve Rogers is a World War II veteran.
Whatever Pearl Harbor US saves the day story we might have been fed as children, reality is a lot more complicated. If we pretend Steve Rogers was an actual person at enlistment age during WW II in New York it means he would have watched the division in this country as to whether or not the US should join. Could that have been what was going through Steve’s head in that meeting with Tony? Was he remembering watching as the US stood by while the Nazi’s slowly rose to power and started attacking their neighbors?
Captain America : Civil War is well made and kind of heartbreaking. It’s easy to see Tony’s point. It’s easy to imagine that people living in the MCU would want what Tony Stark and his team were advocating. But if I was Sam Wilson, I’d also have followed Steve. And if I were Steve Rogers, I would have made the same decisions he did. And it hurts to have to pick a side that’s against Tony Stark. Not to mention all the other horrible things that happen because they couldn’t find a middle ground.
Watchmen image from: http://watchmen.wikia.com/wiki/Who_Watches_the_Watchmen%3F
Meeting image : http://screenrant.com/captain-america-civil-war-stills/
Hail Hydra image http://blog.fredericknewspost.com/blog/2014/04/15/internet-culture-and-memes/hail-hydra-a-meme-from-captain-america-the-winter-soldier/
Steve, Tony, Bucky hug : http://rebloggy.com/post/my-art-fanart-iron-man-tony-stark-captain-america-steve-rogers-marvel-bucky-barn/133982927810