“I don’t need your civil war
I don’t need one more war
What’s so civil ’bout war anyway?”
Life, much like your step-sister’s relationship status, is complicated. Oftentimes, there are issues and situations when our beliefs and values are tested, causing us to fall prey to dualistic thinking, a fixed mental process, which is a natural response and defense mechanism we all deploy. This dichotomous mindset can blind us, causing us to only think in terms of: black or white, all-or-nothing, right or wrong, good or bad, strong or weak, success or failure, and even, hero or villain. The fact is, as uncomfortable as it may be, in life, between the polarities, there’s an abundance of grey. It’s all about perspective. However, we cannot stay neutral, and therefore we must ultimately choose a side. Either you stand for something, or you stand for nothing! See, there it is. In, Captain America: Civil War, superheroes, namely The Mighty Avengers, once friends and teammates, are forced to pick a side, except this time, it’s against one another, some for very personal reasons.
I saw the film last night and before I left, my oldest daughter asked me, “Daddy, why are all the superheroes fighting? Batman and Superman, now Iron Man and Captain America. I thought they were all friends?” My initial response was to immediately begin breaking down the plot-line of the original seven-issue comic series, from which the movie is based upon, however, after some thoughtful reflection, I paused, put my arm around her, and reminded her that, “people always do what’s important to them.” Despite what you may think, in Civil War, it’s clear what’s important to Captain America/Steve Rogers, and that is, friendship.
So you’re saying Captain America started a war over a bromance? Hold up chief, let me explain.
The film begins with mercenaries, led by Crossbones, former S.H.I.E.LD/HYDRA agent Brock Rumlow, storming the Institute For Infectious Diseases in Lagos, Nigeria. Aware of the threat, Captain America, with support from Falcon, Black Widow and Scarlett Witch, confront the terrorists in a battle which spills out into the streets and marketplaces of the city. Cap and crew neutralize the threats, but not before a sudden explosion rocks the city, killing the ne’er-do-wells, as well as a number of innocent aid workers from the African country of Wakanda.
Public sentiment, initially supportive, begins to sour for the men and women in tights, and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are slapped with the Scarlett “A” for Accountability, in the form of bureaucratic government regulation. The Superhuman Registration Act, known as The Sokovia Accords in the movie, is an international agreement set to be ratified, seeks to regulate and restrict the deployment of enhanced individuals, namely the Avengers, around the world. However, during the U.N. conference where the accords are to be confirmed, another incident occurs, this time killing King T’Chaka of Wakanda. His son, T’Challa, witnessing the attack, vows revenge on the killer. The bombing is later blamed on the elusive assassin known as the Winter Soldier, formally-known-as Bucky Barnes, the childhood friend of Steve Rogers, who was presumed killed over Washington, D.C. You got that? When you consider the rage stew brewing based on the aforementioned incidences in Vienna and Nigeria, flavored with the destructive events in Sokovia, (Age of Ultron), sprinkled with a dash of the Chitauri invasion of New York (Avengers), which resulted in trillions of dollars in damages and countless lives and almost ended in total nuclear inhalation, it’s a yea vote for sure. So sign the damn document! Not so fast hombre.
So if I understand you right, if I sign The Sokovia Accord Agreement, and my cat gets caught in a tree, Hawkeye can’t come over and shoot it down with one of his arrow do-dads? Yup. What if I want Iron Man to appear at my son’s 10th birthday party? You’re saying he cant do that now because of this document? That’s right. Dang, now I’m torn. That’s where the battle lines are drawn. Tony Stark/Iron Man, for various reasons supports The Sokovia Accords and while his “C’mon…it’s harmless, sign it” shtick works for some albeit reluctant members of the A-team, it doesn’t sit well with the First Avenger, namely because of Bucky. The devil is always in the details.
This movie works on so many levels. Pass me the mic, ” ARE YOU LISTENING DC?” “Thanks.” Compared to the brooding, bloated bruiser of a film Batman v. Superman, Civil War remains light on its feet, even at it’s darker moments. Despite running a bit long, it’s a fun ride, maybe even, dare I say, one of the MCU’s best. Newcomers, Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland steal the show, making their onscreen debuts in Civil War, as the stoic Warrior King, T’Challa/Black Panther and the charming, wisecracking, overly-talkative Peter Parker/Spiderman respectively. After seeing this film, I am even more excited to see what Marvel does with the Black Panther movie and the Spiderman reboot. Another scene stealer is Paul Rudd, as Ant-Man, surprisingly playing a much larger role in the West Side Story-esque airport rumble. His snarky charm and comedic timing shine in every scene. Noticeably absent are Thor and Hulk, who must be on sabbatical. Likewise, fans of Pepper Potts are out of luck, as her nonappearance could signal trouble for her and Stark. Give them some space would you? They’re simply conscious uncoupling at the moment. If I had any complaints at all about the movie, it would be the domestication of the Vision. The synthesized robot is an extremely powerful entity, yet in Civil War he’s reduced to a hip, stay-at-home dad, complete with his BONOBOS sweater vests and slim fitting, non-pleated pants. Dude has an infinity stone on his head for God’s sake, and he’s worried about paprika.
Should you see the film, or skip it? [SPOILER ALERT] Are you freakin’ out of your mind?!? Of course you see it! See it twice, because I’m telling you right here and now, you’ll want to pay close attention to Baron Zemo’s every word. I repeat, every word. “If you miss this, you’d better be dead or in jail, and if you’re in jail, break out. Be there!” Now, let me grab my baseball cap, aviator sunglasses and go all incognito-like into the weekend.
Seriously. Go see the film.