CAPTAIN AMERICAN: CIVIL WAR, A Spoiler-Filled Retrospect

by on May 24, 2016

in Entertainment, movie reviews

Just in case you missed the title, this is a mostly spoiler-filled conversation about Captain America: Civil War. I will leave some things out just to tease or whet your appetite. The opening paragraphs are safe.

So we’ve had time to digest the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe offering, Captain America: Civil War. Unlike the last Avengers movie, this one had the humor toned down while delivering adult situations. The direction Russo brothers did a great job this time around and I’m not afraid that Joss Whedon is out of the picture.

Civil War literally felt like it could be the next Avengers movie or the fourth Iron Man film. Easily. Most of the gang is all here and they are all featured equally.  But no, this is Cap’s third film. A film that showcases his character so much better than the previous two films. It shows us who exactly the man, Steve Rogers is. Not to mention a fine role that helped propel Chris Evans into the spotlight beyond the quirky stupid Johnny Storm from those Fantastic Four films.

As is the case, in Civil War, events occur that split the team down the middle in opinion.  To be honest, it’s a pretty tough call whose side to pick. I think.  But this film plays into the comic book fan’s pipe-dream to see how our heroes would stack up if they had to go head-to-head against each other.  Heck I remember when I played Dungeons and Dragons, I would clone the characters and have them face off with their (evil?) doppelgangers. We are always curious.

Any way…

In the film something happens that ignites the world’s opinion in wanting to be able to control The Avengers so they don’t just decide, willy nilly, where to go and who to beat down. They leave too much collateral damage in their wake.

Some of the Avengers think it is a good idea, plus, inevitable, considering their track record. Others think they need the freedom to go where they feel they are needed.

“If I see something happening, I can’t stand idly by.”  Or something like that in this paraphrased quote of Steve Rogers.

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Deadpool's Warning About Spoilers

To be honest this is a tough one to call. Stank, I mean Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) (You will get that reference if you saw the movie) thinks they need oversight and tries to get ahead of the curve by signing on so that he can help formulate the rules that will govern the Avengers more to their liking as time goes on.

But Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) cannot go along with it. He almost does but every time he considers it, something pops making this agreement look more like big brother than a mature assembly of overseers for the group.

Personally, I see wanting to sign up and getting on board to get ahead of the game, but to be honest, how would things be any different when the Earth is threatened by other evil forces? Wouldn’t this controlling committee go ahead and send the Avengers in any way?

And even if this oversight committee is there, one quote in the film questions that if the Avengers are in such total control of their group, do they even know where Thor or The Hulk are right now?

Oooh, good question. But then again, who would be able to tell either of these what to do, if they are needed?

And then there’s the threat that Steve Rogers is trying to head off, but because Tony and his lemmings are so intent on playing along with this superhero accord that they completely ignore the fact that there are five more “Winter Soldiers” out there that Rogers and his troupe are going after. Plus knowing there were five more Winter Soldiers out there truly upped the ante at first.

Come on, seriously?

Any way, as a comics reader, I loved loved loved Iron Man and did not care at all about Captain America. But these films have made Captain America more than what he was in the pages of the past, making him a true hero. Rogers is someone I am starting to like more than I do Tony Stark.  But read on and I’ll explain that in a bit.

Here’s a bonus bit… I like how ABCs Agents of SHIELD had a connective story piece that tied it to the movie.

I also love how they’ve taken several characters who had raw talent in spandex and updated them for the movies with armor of one kind or another. It’s been done tastefully so as to not overshadow the change itself from the original spandex-wearing characters in the comics.

So here’s what I felt about each character and a few moments that popped up, alluding to other things I saw.  Ready? MAJOR SPOILERS coming at you.

Chris Evans     …

Steve Rogers / Captain America

Evans brings Cap to life unlike anyone else that I could imagine. He believes in what’s right, does not back down and he even shows a deep since of pride even when he’s in handcuffs. Yes, he gets arrested for defending his buddy, Bucky, from an all out assault on him.  Bucky was framed for a terrorist act and no one stops to figure out it was not him.

Kudos to Evans and that shield that “does not adhere to the laws of physics,” as Spider-Man puts it. And kudos for showing that no matter what, you do not back down from the bad guy. You just keep digging, and digging and digging. He embodies all there is about Capt America.

More people need to take that to heart when they pursue life goals.

Robert Downey Jr.     …

Tony Stark / Iron Man

Is it me or is Stark losing it. Through out most of the movie he panders to the government, seems less than confident among his peers and even gets whiny in the end, when Cap kicks his ass and starts walking away, Stark whines, “That’s not even your shield.”

This was NOT the Tony Stark I’ve seen in previous films. Is he hitting the bottle again and we don’t know it? Is something else going on in the background? Or have the Russo brothers mis-portrayed him?

But then again, when he’s shown something that makes him literally go berserk on Cap and Bucky, well, that almost makes sense looking back. On top of everything else, we learn that he and Pepper are taking a break.

It could all be signalling something else on the horizon for Stark.

Scarlett Johansson     …

Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow

When Johansson shows a quirky twitch in her facial features, that’s almost like an Easter egg of sorts. It seems to signify that even though she says I am on your team, she gets this quirky, momentary frown or curious look. It’s a dead give-away that something else is up. And she’s in a pickle, that’s for sure, as she signs on with Tony’s side. But I’m not sure she has much of a choice, considering her past.

HUGE EASTER EGG TEASER:  In one scene she and Bucky are skirmishing and while he has her on her back, his hand around her throat, she chokes out something to the affect, “Don’t you at least recognize me?

Wait? What? Does Natasha and Bucky have a past? Well, there’s been rumors that Marvel is looking at a Black Widow movie! That would be cool and maybe that little nugget will come to life there.

Sebastian Stan     …

Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier

Bucky gets the shit end of the deal, period. He’s framed for murders and has several people coming after him. Their intent is to kill on sight, considering how dangerous he is. But Steve intervenes, keeping Bucky from killing anyone or anyone killing Bucky. This puts Rogers in the center of the cross-hairs of law enforcement!

But at least Bucky is alive. Well, except for that catch phrase that triggers his evil Winter Soldier persona that Zemo digs up.

For now his future beyond this film is up in the air, or, on ice.  (Again, those who have seen the film know what I’m referring to.)

Anthony Mackie     …

Sam Wilson / Falcon

I used to love The Falcon in the comics and I absolutely love what they’ve done with the Falcon in the films. His wings have been updated, he now has a mechanical hawk drone, and has a few more tech toys to boot. They’ve also colorized his “bird suit” wings to start matching the Falcon of old. I am liking this film version of The Falcon more and more.  Heck, why don’t we give him his own Netflix series folks!?

Don Cheadle     …

Lieutenant James Rhodes / War Machine

They haven’t really given us much more on Rhodes for this film, but it’s great to see him in action. In the movie trailer where you see him laying in the field in a wrecked War Machine armor is quite the scene that has what could be considered as far-reaching ramifications. It depends how they play this out.

Jeremy Renner     …

Clint Barton / Hawkeye

Clint tried to retire, but he can’t seem to make it stick as he’s dragged back into the mix to help Wanda and the rest of Team Cap. And he needs to stretch more. At least that’s what he says.

Chadwick Boseman     …

T’Challa / Black Panther

I am so impressed with how the Black Panther was introduced to the MCU. Up until now we’ve only heard mention of his country in previous movies, but to see the character come to life was spectacular. Boseman is a refreshing presence on the screen while delivering our new film character to us. The Black Panther is driven and good at what he does.

Oh, and they upgraded his spandex to a suit of vibranium armor. How sweet is that?

Paul Bettany     …


We get a glimpse into Vision’s attempt to acclimate to society and humanity, while he once again demonstrates how awesome he can be. But that humanity has an initial learning curve, or price. Ask War Machine!

Elizabeth Olsen     …

Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch

I’m liking Scarlet Witch more and more. In the comics The Vision and Scarlet Witch end up becoming a couple and it looks like they might be veering down that path too. Which explains Vision’s grievous human error by being distracted.

Or did that distraction just end that line of thought?

Paul Rudd     …

Scott Lang / Ant-Man

We haven’t seen Scott Lang since the last Ant-Man movie but he’s pretty funny and has a few new moves for us to enjoy. Some BIG new moves.

Emily VanCamp     …

Sharon Carter

Wow, did they drop a bomb on us about who she’s related to! But dang, it’s not a surprise either, if you do the math or rewatch the previous Marvel films where she’s appeared, as “Agent 13.” And we finally get to see them (Steve and Sharon) break the ice and lip-lock. Bucky and Sam approved. Almost one of the better scenes in the film.

Tom Holland     …

Peter Parker / Spider-Man

Talk about an absolutely perfect introduction. Stark vetted him out, we got to see exactly what he can do and we got the best introduction to his being in action while helping out in this scramble between opposing sides.

In this presentation of the character, Tom Holland is perfect. I cannot wait to see what they do for his next solo film.

As The Falcon says during a skirmish with Spider-Man, “There isn’t this much talking during a fight!” (I’ve paraphrased.)

Daniel Brühl     …


A bad guy is a bad guy. Nice job, well done.

Frank Grillo     …

Brock Rumlow / Crossbones

Well, it seemed like he was going to get what he wanted. He seemed pretty focused on Rogers, but alas, he got what he deserved.

William Hurt     …

Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross

What you see of him in the previews is pretty much what you get in the film.

Martin Freeman     …

Everett K. Ross

I’ve never seen Freeman in a serious role before this and he pulls this one off wonderfully.

Marisa Tomei     …

May Parker

Kind of young for being Aunt May, but it’s a nice pick. It suggests planning ahead so Aunt May could be portrayed by the same actor for quite a while in the Spider-Man franchise.

Her addition will be a nice part of the Spider-Man franchise since her presence will make older, male film-goers happy. And Tony, hands off!!!

John Slattery     …Howard Stark: So that’s what really happened to Stark’s parents!

Hope Davis     …Maria Stark

Alfre Woodard     …Miriam: A short but powerful role.

Stan Lee     …FedEx Driver

Too funny. He shows up late in the film.

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