“Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree and say, ‘No, you move.’” –Sharon Carter
When stated in the film, this quote seemed to state one of the major themes that drove the actions of Captain America in the latest Marvel film Civil War. It was originally stated in the Civil War comics by Cap, but the way it was given here gave Cap a chance to hear it and reflect upon it. The quote summarized one of Cap’s guiding philosophies: always stand for what you believe in, no matter who or what is pushing against you. This philosophy pushed the film forward as Cap fights against not only the Avengers but the world in an effort to save his friend Bucky Barnes.
This film was an ambitious project for Marvel, and for the most part they pulled it off well. Each Avenger was given a decent amount of screen time, even Spider-Man, who I expected to be a simple cameo. In fact, it was Spider-Man and Ant-Man that made the scenes they were in so fantastic. They were both so thrilled to simply be a part of something important, and it showed in their enthusiasm during the battle they both fought in.
Black Panther was another excellent addition to fantastic line-up of characters—and quite possibly my favorite character. Not only was he a total bad ass, but he had one of the greatest single-film Marvel character arcs I’ve seen yet. I was completely blown away by his journey, but I can’t say too much about it without giving away some pretty major spoilers. Although I can say that I can’t wait to see what Marvel does with his character in future films!
The third and final thing that impressed me the most was Tony Stark’s character arc. Matthew Bowman mentioned on his other blog that we’ve been shown Tony’s growth as a character since the first Iron Man film, and I think that out of every Marvel film, Tony grows the most in Civil War. He started and ended the film incredibly broken, but as the story progressed, there was a visible shift in his motivations and what drives his character.
I think that the biggest (non-spoilery) complaint over the film that I have is the characterization of Captain America. While his philosophy of standing firm held true throughout the course of the film, it was that standing firm that seemed to detract from his character. I can’t say much in terms of specifics since I’m trying to avoid spoiling this for everyone who hasn’t seen it, but I thought the film could have done a better job handling the internal conflict provided by both the Sokovia Accords (the document that was supposed to regulate the actions of the Avengers) and Cap’s quest to save Bucky at any cost.
I see why Marvel decided to make Civil War a Captain America film, but it seemed more like Avengers 3 than Captain America 3. The overly-large cast was managed well, both within the Avengers team and in the supporting characters. Although while the plot did ultimately focus on Cap’s interactions with the rest of the team and his determination to save Bucky, the conflict over the Sokovia Accords, which caused the Avengers to split in the first place, seemed to hold more importance over the big picture of the MCU than Bucky. One of the hallmarks of a good Avengers film has been the far reaching consequences of the events that took place. The world of the MCU has always changed on a rather large scale after an Avengers film, and the implications of Civil War shares that gravity. I personally can’t wait to see where Marvel takes the broken Avengers next.