At first, I had a very clear plan for watching this film. I was going to wait a while until the crowded theaters calmed down a bit, and see it on May 20th. This specific day was decided upon because as the release day of the Jane Austen comedy Love and Friendship, it would enable me to see one hell of a double feature. The order would not matter on this magic day, only the components. Captain America + Jane Austen + Alamo Drafthouse + Margaritas + Green Hatch Mac and Cheese = My Ecstatically Happy Self.
This did not end up happening for a couple of reasons:
1. The Bucky and Plums Meme
It drove me nuts seeing all this fanart pop up about Bucky really wanting some plums. I needed to know what on earth that was about.
2. The newest episode of S.H.I.E.L.D
A few seconds in I realized there would be spoilers for Civil War, so I needed to suspend all Agents of Shield episodes until after I saw the film. Boooooo. This was the last straw after all the spoiler and plum dodging, so I paused the ep and went out to watch the josh darned movie already.
Tense. That is the best word to describe what Captain America Civil War made me. Super tense, like a ball of tangled wires that will never unwind no matter what you do. At the end of the showing, I felt curled up in a ball, even when walking out to my car, and I really wanted to punch someone in the face. Namely, Tony Stark, but I would have accepted a proxy at that moment.
What the hell, Tony? Why you gotta do these things to me? I mean, to a point, I get you, but damn. All of those people and ideals that you supposedly want to protect, you went a long way here to destroy. And in the end, it’s heartbreaking because there is no way back.
Let’s break it down.
We have two players here, Captain America and Tony Stark. From the beginning, Tony is broken. Casualties, guilt, and lack of Pepper have left him hollow. Yet, he’s still in charge of The Avengers, and maybe that was a mistake. In this state, he should probably not be in charge of anything; that’s how bad stuff happens. When the U.N. comes to him with an agreement to basically take that responsibility and load off his shoulders, Tony agrees. Because of course he does, and seeing things from his perspective I really do not blame him. But then, he loses me. When Tony signs away any power of actually thoroughly negotiating the Accords or how they are enforced. When he listens to Cap’s concerns, which are very valid and reasonable, and tells him to sign it anyway. When he leaves the “rebels” of his team locked up without even attempting to speak to General Ross about it. In all of the many, many ways that Tony done lost his sense of self or view of a bigger picture beyond the guilt of the past. Past that unfortunately can not be changed, and all you can do is move forward and try to be better. Tony wallows in all the things that cannot be controlled, and I could forgive this if he did not drown everyone else in it.
Then we have Captain America, and by extension, Bucky. How Cap feels about Bucky’s situation really drives home to me how he views the whole enchilada.
How Captain America sees Bucky:
- Bucky was stolen by the Russians
- Russians brainwashed and programmed Bucky’s brain a’la Manchurian Candidate
- Russians sent Bucky, now turned into The Winter Soldier, on missions of evil
- Bucky kept trying to buck the programming, and fought to get away
- When Bucky finally got free, he just wanted some plums
- Therefore Bucky was used as an instrument, not his fault
It is very simple to Cap, because it is not just about protecting a friend. It’s about the right thing. Bucky taking the hit for those truly in charge is wrong. Period. He’s a great scapegoat, but that’s about it.
How Captain America sees the Avengers:
- Bunch of crazy and/or superheroes with issues coming together to do good
- Sometimes this means people get hurt or killed in the crossfire
- Sometimes a moment of stupidity or hesitation can also get people killed
- Sometimes while just fighting about a plan of attack, people get killed
- They will mourn these people, after the threat is down
- As long as they try as hard as they can, not their fault
You can not control an outcome or a team, but you can drive them. The Avengers will fight until the evil is taken out or passes out from exhaustion running away from The Hulk. They will never be perfect, but they will do what they can. That has to be enough, because no amount of legislation or oversight will make it more than what it is.
****End of the moral breakdown, time to fangirl:)
Omg, did you see Paul Bettany as Vision hover around Wanda in his sweaters and polo shirts?! That was so freaking adorable. I am trying to forget about their not so happy ending in the comics so that I can fully enjoy all that is Scarlet Witch and Vision. Please do not go on the comics in this instance, Marvel Studios, they are so perfect together and I need more.
Black Widow’s trenchcoats were so on point. Loved it. Especially since the Captain America trilogy has been very 3 Days of the Condor with all the noir feel, it is very appropriate. It’s also nice to see a bit of a costume change, just as a refresh for Scarlet, and it looks badass in her fight scenes.
The new casting was perfect, and I definitely join with many others in praising Black Panther and Spiderman. I have not heard a lot of props for Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, however, which is a crime! She was not in very many scenes, but damn if she didn’t steal them. I love the chemistry with Robert and Marisa, hoping for more of that in the future. By the way, there is a nineties era romantic comedy called Only You with these two as the leads. So if you’re feeling their sparks like I am, this movie begs to be seen:Also, Daniel Bruhl playing Baron Zemo was the absolute right choice. The only other thing I have seen him in was Inglorious Bastards, and he does very well with this type of role. I really felt for Zemo, and I could not help but admire the efficiency with which he put his revenge in play. He was also a very plain dealing villain. Zemo laid out what he did and why it was still going to work in very clear terms.
The Steve Rogers/Sharon Carter kiss was a bit underwhelming for me. I knew it was coming, but I did not feel the romance there. I am glad that I watched Civil War before the news broke about Agent Carter being cancelled, cause that would have pissed me off. Oh, really, guys?! Peggy is fresh in her grave both literally and serieswise, and her niece is going to up and kiss her Steve? Dudes, not cool! Peggy deserves better. Maybe they’ll do some more flashbacks with her on Agents of Shield. I can hope:) Actually, you know what was weirdly much cuter and had more feeling that the Sharon Steve kiss? Bucky and Sam’s reaction to it.
And that’s all I have to say on the subject. Great movie, and I am sure there are bits that I am forgetting. It was chopped full of goodness. Tense making goodness. I will say that watching the new Shield episode afterward and seeing where Coulson stood with everything was the cherry on top that made my world right again, so I recommend doing the same.
Not as wholly good as Winter Soldier, but there were some moments burning with the pure feeling light of The Avengers.