The third installment in the Captain America series, as well as the thirteenth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: Civil War is already hailed as the biggest blockbuster of 2016. It is also the longest Marvel movie made as of yet. From the directors of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, you can expect it to be a “superhero movie with grounded elements, rather than a grounded movie with superhero elements”, as said by the Cap himself (Chris Evans).
Enough meta-talk, let’s get into the plot of the film: So, Captain America is leading the newly formed team of Avengers to fight against terror and save humanity. All was going great until an incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure increase on avenger’s team to set some level of accountability headed by government bodies.
And, this is where the two group formed between Avengers. One group led by Captain America who wants the Avengers to be free from government and politics and other by Iran Man who supports the idea of government oversight and accountability.
The battle between Captain America and Iron Man draws a political line in the sand. You have Iron Man, looking to protect the world from super-powered individuals who’ve proven in the past to be more destructive than helpful. On the other, you have Captain America who is against the idea of accountability headed by government bodies. It’s the age-old debate of safety coming at the cost of freedom.
The thing about Civil War is that it actually makes you understand the characters’ reasons for fighting; their motivations are understandable. It’s not as if a character is present on-screen just for the kicks, each character in it has their distinct reason for being there, and that is part of what makes it great. Some have even gone far enough to call it a Psychological Thriller because it explores the psyches of the characters so well.
I mean, of course, there are awesome fight scenes that could make you drop a jaw and a half, but like our own Cap said, it’s a superhero movie with grounded elements and so it appeals to that side of us that seeks some realism from the characters and their actions. But, then it pushes that up a notch by giving them these badass powers. Great formula indeed.
So, for that reason, let’s focus our discussions on the characters of the film. The funny thing about the cast of characters is that it’s so large that people have actually started calling the movie Avengers 2.5! Let us start with the leaders of each faction:
Captain America (depicted in the MCU by Chris Evans) is a patriotic super-soldier, and also the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a young man enhanced to the peak of human perfection by an experimental serum to aid the US government in World War II and frozen in suspended animation before waking up in the modern world.
In Captain America: Civil War he is going against the Government’s decision to oversee and regulate the activities of superheroes, becoming a very Un-American Captain America. The Captain prefers to place his faith in people, and not the system. After what happened in The Winter Soldier, he feels that the safest hands are his own.
Iron Man is the leader of a faction of Avengers in support of the government’s decision to regulate and oversee superheroes; and a self-described genius, billionaire, playboy and philanthropist with electromechanical suits of armor of his own invention. In this movie, Iron Man is brought to a point in his life where he was willing to submit to an authority, where he felt it was the right thing to do – because of the visions he saw in Age of Ultron, he now has a guilt complex which drives him to make very specific decisions.
See? I wasn’t kidding when I said that this movie really gets into the motivations of the characters, and why they are fighting. These motivations have been developed masterfully over the course of the previous MCU movies and go well with the timeline.
Now, let’s proceed to discuss two of the fan-favorites that were actually introduced (or in the case of one, re-introduced) in this movie:
The prince of the African nation of Wakanda allies with Iron Man. T’Challa’s introduction in Civil War is important because they needed a character with fresh eyes who wasn’t embedded with the Avengers and who has a very different point of view than either Iron Man or Captain America.
T’Challa is there for a very different reason that brings him into conflict with Cap and his team. This is also the first live-action appearance for Black Panther, which was a treat for comic book fans everywhere.
We all know spiderman right? He is a teenager who received spider-like abilities after being bitten by a genetically altered spider.
In the movie, he allies with Iron Man, despite entering the conflict after the two factions have formed and not having much political investment, Parker’s choice developers on basis of the personal relationship he develops with Iron Man. This portrayal of Spider-Man has been cited as a fan-favorite, probably because it hits as close to home as it can about the comic book Spider-Man, who was also a teenager – much like Tom Holland.
The great thing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that it doesn’t fall short of delivering badass female heroes (dun dundun, the Jessica Jones series). The women in Civil War are portrayed as interesting, complex, realistically flawed characters who — most importantly — all have integral parts in the story.
So let’s give our women a little love and talk about two prominent female characters in Civil War.
Wanda Maximoff is an Avenger who allies with Captain America, who can engage in hypnosis and telekinesis. In a way, one could say that she caused the start of the war itself!
In the beginning of the movie, she accidentally destroys a building, causing an immense amount of damage. The incident causes world leaders to reevaluate the Avengers’ purpose, and draft up a legal document called the ‘Sokovia Accords’ that allows government’s oversight of the group and a limitation of their powers.
Natasha Romanoff is an Avenger who allies with Captain but formerly worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. as a highly trained spy.
Her subplot focuses on her torn allegiances, where her head is on Iron Man’s side of things, but her heart is with Cap in a lot of ways.
Now, for beloved characters that were missed in this movie:
No, I am not adding this because Samuel L. Jackson is my all-time favorite actor but because Nick Fury is one of the important characters of Avengers that ideally should be the part of civil wars.Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, the screenplay writers of the movie do talk about his absence in the movie. Take a look!
“We didn’t want him to take one side or the other,” Markus says. “Because that’s not his place in the universe.And then we didn’t want another, ‘Is he still with the government? Is he opposed to the government but supporting the government?’ It got to be the potential for a lot more polemic discussion that the movie did not have room for…He’s the guy who put it together. He’s been the sort of parent figure to the Avengers. Let the parent go away, and see if the kids can handle this. See if the kids can be who they’re supposed to be without that governing voice. Um… and they didn’t do that good of a job.”
I do miss Thor and Hulk but trust me I will agree with every signal word by screenplay writers of the movie. When asked about these two characters, they said:
“You put those guys in a fight, it’s over quickly,” said Markus in reference to the green behemoth and the God of Thunder. “It’s like, ‘Well, we have the Hulk on our side.’ Oh, fine, then.”
The discussion is bound to be interesting for such a character-heavy film. It sure was enjoyable learning more about these characters and understand their personal goals, but we sure did miss a few Avengers.
Comic Conventions dates throughout the year have already announced. Are you joining the comic con in your state? Which Civil War character you are going to play?