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stargate, DanielJackson

Captain America: Civil War Review

Posted on 2016.05.09 at 15:40
Tags: , , ,
Gah. Perfect film is perfect.

I would’ve liked more discussion of the to sign or not to sign argument, I wanted it to be longer, more intellectualized and more complex. It seemed over-simplified to me. But other than that…

Sometimes I love my ability to be gullible and thus surprised by things. My initial reaction to the car scene was disappointment that it wasn’t the Stark’s. And yet I still managed to be completely surprised when we found out it was the Stark’s. The whole thing of that was done perfectly in the film, brilliant drips of information with awesome timing in the culmination. And the entire thing with that was so moving and awesome. And that moment when Tony says his father made the shield and Steve drops it. Gah. My heart.

Loved the whole of Tony’s arc throughout the film. Loved the parallels with Tony and Black Panther. Black Panther is an AWESOME character, I adored his arc, the way he’s consumed by revenge but gets beyond it and decides to be better.

The scene where they were all fighting was done wonderfully. The thing I loved most was that it wasn’t the main centric thing to the piece; it was the distraction. And the way it was light-hearted and jovial and down-right hilarious. They show-cased the new characters well. Loved the way spiderman was running around fanboying whilst also kicking ass. (Side note: it seemed really off that his string was apparently stronger than the super-powered people (but apparently this is canon)). So much of the film was so hilarious while also being poignant and moving.

Loved that the guy was trying to tear the avengers apart from the inside. But while it was brilliant, it was also kind of stupid. Because, yeah, okay it gets Tony wanting to kill them. But it also gets Steve and Bucky completely understanding his motivation. Really it would’ve been better to show the footage to Tony without them there to know what was going on. And then show something  to Steve which also turned him against Tony. I mean yeah, it’s massive and ground-shifting and I can’t wait to see how it carries through to future films. (Is Steve really going to be allowed to walk away from the team? Are they all going to be on the run now?) But at the end of the day everyone will be entirely sympathetic to Tony’s POV.
The ending and the letter were perfect.

Some of my more in depth thoughts about what’s happening in the film.

1)       The timing of The Accords

I find the timing of the Accords intriguing. The Avengers running as a private organisation has evidently been a concern since Shield fell in The Winter Soldier. So why is it all coming to a head now? Was Lagos really just the final straw? Or was this just the excuse the people wanting this needed? Neither seem likely because of one thing: Ultron. Ultron was created by one of The Avengers, it was the perfect opportunity for the people wanting the accords to make their move. Though maybe Ultron was the thing that finally spurred them to action and they’ve been preparing since then. I don’t believe this is the case because they would’ve still used Ultron as their jumping off point and not waited for Lagos.

I think the key here was Tony Stark. Tony has already gone through a similar legal process with the hearings where they wanted to take the Iron Man armour. And he won. He has the smarts, money and power to outdo them again, not with a physical fight, but a legal one. And they know this. They also know Tony is likely going to be pivotal in getting any of the others on board. As much as Vision seems more of his own person, he is still clearly following Tony; he speaks first of what Mr Stark wants when talking to Wanda. And Natasha Romanov is far too cunning and calculating to jump onto that ship if she thinks it’s not going anywhere; which would likely be the case if she was the only one aboard (okay she’s awesome, but only having one person sign is kind of lame). Rhodes would still sign but I’m not sure how much weight it carries, he’s with the military and already under their command, so the gesture with him is more symbolic in nature. Possibly they thought Tony could convince Steve and the others also.

In addition to this is the demonstration of what can be done. Okay so the others have a lot of power and some are arguably more powerful than Tony. But in Age of Ultron it’s established that not only can Tony create a being such as Ultron, which the capacity to destroy the world but also a being such as Vision. He can also apparently hack nuclear codes. There’s also inherent instability in Tony that’s troubling. And he’s got too much money and power for them to be comfortable. Basically, Tony is the one they want signing the Accords, he’s the one they want control over.

My theory is they had already gone to Tony, explained about the Accords and were waiting for him to come to them. This is definitely suggested by the fact that Tony spoke to that woman about her dead son (I suspect she ‘state department human resources, it’s a boring job’ may even be a plant, no doubt her son actually died, it could be disproved otherwise, but they’ve decided to use that) and then he was the one who brought the Secretary of the state to the Avengers Mansion, rather than the guy just turning up on his own. Which implies Tony was the one saying, ‘Okay, let’s go ahead and do this’. At this point it may be an idea to give him time to convince the others, what’s the urgency, why a three day deadline? Surely they want the others to sign however long it takes? Possibly they just want to make sure Tony signs before given time to change his mind. 

2)      The debate of The Accords

I loved the way the debate over the Accords was intrinsically woven throughout the film, not only through the verbal debate (which I thought could’ve lasted a bit longer) and through the action and the balance that played out of both sides being right in their own way. I really like how no one was the bad guy. Okay onto the playout of the actual debate itself:

This is the crux; oversight is needed, but how can the overseers be trusted?

One of the most important things here is who is chosen to be on the oversight panel/taskforce for The Accords. It’s the make or break of whether it can actually work. This is where the problem begins. So there’s this guy who found The Hulk hiding out with no incident, not causing any harm and then decided to go after him inciting an untold amount of destruction. This is a panel the assess damage control for The Avengers. Who in their right mind put this short-sighted a-hole in charge of the panel, seriously? Are we seriously supposed to believe someone else couldn’t have done better because a big part of the failure here, as far as I’m concerned, is that they picked pretty much the worst dude for the job.

Steve has a point about everyone having agendas though. The panel needs to be selected carefully, different people with different agendas, which is clearly not what they did. So of course some changes were needed to The Accords. A good idea would be to have an Avenger on the panel, with an element of power but still in a minority position, and possibly with veto power over accepting new panel members; that may make it better for everyone.

Tony has a point too. If the task-force had all been working on the situation they would have more intel. They would know about Remo’s history. They would know the assassins weren’t actually going to be a threat. They would know about Tony’s parents. It would have been dealt with in a controlled environment where people could hold Tony back from his very understandable and justifiable reaction. And it wouldn’t have devolved into avengers trying to kill each other.

3)      The breaking of The Accords

The fights were magnificent. I really enjoyed the way the fight at the airport with all the characters happened; especially it being about one side trying to capture the other due to one person’s alleged crimes and the other side trying to get away to save the world from assassins, and that it was not a direct confrontation just because they were on opposite sides. I loved the jovial aspect and humour. But also the aspect of them going all out at each other whilst trying to make sure not to hurt each other; loved the moment when Scott accidentally causes a big explosion with the truck and the others look at him and he says he thought it was a water truck. Rhodes telling Vision to turn Sam into a glider, not drop him. Sam flying down trying to reach Rhodes. Whilst still throwing trucks and cars and buildings onto each other, felt very heartfelt and amusing.

(One sticking point I had with this scene: how did Sam, Scott, Wanda and Clint actually get captured? Rhodes is down; pretty sure Tony is too occupied trying to get Rhodes to a hospital to try to take them down; Spiderman is down; Natasha has switched sides; Vision is looking at Wanda like he’s about to switch sides.
Do they all just politely let themselves be arrested because Rhodes is hurt?

To be fair it looks like Scott is down and possibly Wanda is down (or does she just need a moment to recharge?). There’s a possibility Clint is down too as was kicked out of shot and we don’t see him again. But still.

Someone pointed out to me that possibly Vision took them all down solo. I suppose he’s powerful enough. But then there’s the question; why didn’t he do so earlier?)

Anyway, I love the contrast between that scene where they don’t want to hurt each other and the final fight scene between Tony, Steve and Bucky where they’re actively trying to kill each other. This is where their fighting strengths really shine.

Tony finds out Bucky killed his parents and is very intent on killing Bucky. Bucky may’ve been brainwashed but this is irrelevant here (at least as far as Tony is concerned) because that would be trying to add logic to a reaction based on grief and emotion. Tony’s reaction is perfectly understandable. Steve tries to get Bucky to run but Tony blocks his escape. At this point it’s clear that Tony will kill Bucky if he’s allowed to do so, and he’s determined enough and powerful enough in the suit to succeed. Steve and Bucky know they aren’t going to be able to stop him unless they fight on par; he’s not going to stop unless they stop him. I think this explains why Steve and Bucky fight back so hard.

Their strategy is amazing to watch. One of Tony’s biggest strengths in this situation is his flight capability. He could fly above and just keep shooting; he could lift them high and drop them etc. And this is the first thing Steve takes out, to keep him on the ground with them. And I love the way Tony does analysis of Steve’s fight pattern to then beat him. At this point Tony tells Steve to stay down; he just wants to get to Bucky and won’t hurt Steve any further unless he has to. But Steve can’t let Tony kill Bucky. But Tony has just beaten the crap out of him in ten seconds and Steve knows he needs to stop Tony immediately because he may not be able to stop Tony getting to Bucky after another round like that. And thus Steve’s added aggression in stopping the fight the only way it can be stopped; by taking out the arc reactor.

Tony pointing out that Howard made the shield and Steve dropping it was the perfect ending for this scene.

Then there is the beautiful letter scene, ending with Tony leaving Ross on hold as The Avengers escape- a final rejection of this current incarnation of The Accords.


dancing till the world ends
lynnenne at 2016-05-09 23:52 (UTC) (Link)
The scene where they were all fighting was done wonderfully. The thing I loved most was that it wasn’t the main centric thing to the piece; it was the distraction. And the way it was light-hearted and jovial and down-right hilarious. They show-cased the new characters well. Loved the way spiderman was running around fanboying whilst also kicking ass. (Side note: it seemed really off that his string was apparently stronger than the super-powered people (but apparently this is canon)). So much of the film was so hilarious while also being poignant and moving.

It was a brilliant move to have the big fight scene as the culmination of Act 2 instead of Act 3. Most action movies save the big fight to the end, but in order for it to really feel high-stakes, the tone needs to be grim and sombre. This battle was fun, and the audience wanted it to be fun, so it needed to be in the middle. It gave every superhero a chance to crack wise, show off their skills, and battle hand-to-hand with their "opponent" without anything really being at stake (other than Bucky getting away).

Then, they could save the real emotional punch for Act 3, making the fight truly personal and hand-wringing. Wisecracking and showing off have no place in that final fight, because it literally is life and death.
swirlsofblue at 2016-05-10 15:02 (UTC) (Link)
Oh yeah definitely, it was so much better in act 2 than it would've been if it was in act 3.
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