So last night I went to finally go see Captain America: Civil War and just have so many thoughts about the film. *Spoilers for the film.
This felt like the most relatable Marvel movie that I’ve seen because it felt less like a sci-fi thriller and aliens attacking and more like humans fucking up because they’re in pain. The bad guys weren’t outer worldly but instead the conflict came from real and honest pain. We see Steve grieving over not only losing Peggy but also grieving over how the last few decades have treated Bucky. It was really after watching this movie that I wonder how much of Steve’s fight for Bucky comes from their friendship and how much it comes from feeling responsible for why Bucky is in this position in the first place. Tony works through his shit with losing his parents at multiple points throughout the movie and it’s really interesting to see how his grief and anger compare to others.
You think you’re right. That makes you dangerous. – Spider-Man
Overall, I really liked the movie, primarily because it was about the characters, their humanity, and their pain. It felt like we got to know more about the characters we’ve seen on the screen for quite some time more in this movie than any other both through the fight scenes (and there were a lot) and through the down moments of conversation and decisions they made. I will say that while the reactions of Bucky and Sam were amazing, I did not like the kiss between Sharon Carter and Steve. For one, it felt really out of place. Two Peggy had literally just died. Three, it seriously felt incredibly weird. Even Hayley Atwell thought it was weird.
King T’Challa, aka the Black Panther, was easily my favorite new addition to the Avengers because he showed incredible strength by deciding not to let vengeance overcome him. He still had pain and grief from his father’s death but he saw the pain of letting vengeance overtake him in Zome and made the conscious decision to not become that. For me, that showed true strength because he could have done the incredibly easy thing and kill the guy responsible for his father’s death. But he didn’t. I’m not entirely sure I would have made the same decision if I were in the same spot.
I do have a few things to say about Spider-Man. First, he was super adorable compared to the others mainly because he had such a baby face but also he was so excited to be there. Second, is Aunt May just straight up aging backwards in this universe because what the hell?! Third, why are we getting another Spider-Man movie when there are so many amazing people who haven’t had the spot light?! Fourth: why did we need to spend that much time on him during this movie?! I mean I get it because they were trying to set up the next Spider Man movie but it just felt so out of place and unnecessary. It just felt like the scene when Tony’s recruiting him was unnecessary to really understanding the rest of the plot.
While I questioned a whole lot about Spider Man, I was seriously digging Black Widow in this movie. I love Natasha – she is strong as hell without being masculine in the Captain America Movies. (Her MCU beginning in the Iron Man movies was a little weird but that’s not the point right now.) There have been too many cases in which people have been interpreting strong women as meaning like a man. But Black Widow manages to find that balance between being both strong and still feminine.
There’s nothing wrong with masculinity or masculine/butch women – I do want that to be clear. But there’s rarely a chance in which femininity is seen hand and hand with strength. In this movie, like many others, Black Widow takes that chance and gladly runs with it. Instead of another Spider-Man or more movies about Iron Man or Captain America or Thor, can we please just have a Black Widow movie?!?
I could go on and on about the characters but I also wanted to write about the cinematography of the movie. Having so many different directors, editors, production teams, etc work on all the different movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes it incredibly difficult to have one sort of cohesive visual narrative throughout the different films. The closest we get are the two Avengers movies that were both written and directed by Joss Whedon but even then, you can tell what changes were made in the narrative by executives.
Anyway, my point is that with this movie, I thought it was weird to put the locations of the different place in big bold letters before each corresponding scene. It was definitely helpful to know where in the world we were but felt out of place compared to the other Marvel movies. That seems like a really weird thing to complain about but it just really bugged me.
But ultimately, I really liked this film. It spent less time focusing on Steve than the other Captain America movies (and a lot of time on Tony for a movie that wasn’t Iron Man) and kind of felt more like an Avengers 2.5 than anything else. Not that it was a bad thing but it just seemed a little weird. But I did feel like that the movie really built on the relationships between the characters and on who the characters really are. It took all these people with extraordinary skills and aspects and grounded them in their own humanity and flaws.