All my friends know what a fangirl I am. I have to go to the bank everyday for my job, therefore all the tellers are like, “Are you going to see the movie??” HELL YEAH! But once they ask me, “What did you think?” I have a super hard time answering.
Major spoilers for Captain America: Civil War to follow.
Let’s start off nice and easy.
WHY IT WAS GOOD
First off, Sebastian Stan. Because the film came out everywhere before it was released in the US *grumble grumble* reviews were coming out of everyone’s noses for weeks. People were divided over #TeamCap and #TeamIronman but the overall consensus was how Seb truly mastered this role. It’s evident from the various
heart-breaking and soul crushing gif-sets good old tumblr is churning out to see the incredible film comparisons of The Winter Soldiers WS, to Civil War Bucky, To TWS’s “But I knew him” Bucky to, flashback Civil War dead-eyed WS. This is ONE CHARACTER that Seb has managed to play at least eight different ways since The First Avenger. Seb’s and the film’s creative team’s obvious love and interest for the character was clear.
Second, I have never seen Cap be so Cap. I’m no expert on the character, but I do know that people in the 1940’s cursed regularly and veterans, even more so *cough cough throwing some shade*. Sharon’s quote from Peggy (“No, you move.”) was actually said by Steve and totally sums him up. When Cap thinks something is wrong, the entire universe could tell him otherwise and he still won’t budge. His moral compass and strategic mind define him as a great leader. In the case of Bucky, Cap is immovable because Bucky was robbed of his ability to chose (why does this sound familiar? the accords will take away the avenger’s right to chose!) therefore he is not responsible for his actions (which is why I believe Steve WOULD be a-ok with Bucky going back into cryo. more on that later). Let’s not forget that by this point in MCU continuity, nearly everyone in Cap’s new life has lied to him; Nick Fury, SHIELD, Natasha, Sharon (“Kate”) and now Tony (Wanda being ‘locked up’ in Avengers tower or the penthouse, whatever). Agenda’s change, and Cap would not run headfirst into this thing just because Tony said so. The last remnant of his life, Peggy Carter, has just died. The only good thing you could argue he’s got is Sam. You bet he’d drop everything to find and help Bucky again, not only his best friend, but his tortured and hurt best friend, especially over some made up “friendship” with Tony.
Third, that last scene (‘Stay down. Final warning.’ ‘I can do this all day.’) with Cap beating the crap out of IM’s face was brutal and absolutely AWESOME. Not because I hate Ironman or anything but because helloooo Steve’s dark side. Cap has the strength to punch IM’s helmet into pieces and the look on RDJ’s face was terrifying (way to go, man). You can see him thinking, “Is Steve going to kill me?”. Up until this point, including in Ultron, it’s obvious Tony doesn’t think much of Steve (FIGHT ME ON THIS) and Tony has an air about him that he is the best. He’s the “father” of the team, looking out for everyone including Steve. A level of respect is there for sure, but they don’t feel like equals at all. In this final fight scene, Tony finally sees Steve is dangerous and very powerful. To be frank, don’t f*ck with Steve. I strongly feel this was the turning point in their MCU relationship. Nothing will be the same now. I applaud Markus/McFeely for pulling this off after having nothing but snide jokes to work off of.
WHY IT SUCKED
My major disappointment and overall feeling of this film can be summed up like so: Ironman 4.
At first I laughed at that joke someone posted (as well as this one). But after seeing the movie, it’s so true. I’d made a post in 2014, when RDJ was announced to have a role in the film, about how I felt he would take it over and Steve and Bucky’s story would be a side note. Even though I wished otherwise, I was not wrong.
As I sat in the midnight showing, all I kept thinking was, why am I watching Tony speak to Peter? Why am I watching Tony speaking to Ross? Why am I watching Tony cry over his parents? Why and I watching Tony in a plane by himself? Why am I watching Tony speak to Ross AGAIN? WHY HELLO THERE, IRONMAN 4, I HAVE BEEN HOODWINKED INTO THINKING THIS WAS CAP 3! If these kinds of articles are true, it just makes my blood boil, and based off purely what I’ve seen, it sounds pretty plausible.
Here’s major conflict No. 1: I love RDJ, if I were to ever meet him, I’d cry in his face about Chaplin and how that film is perfect and HE was perfect especially for pulling it off during such a tough time in his life. In here we find out RDJ offered to help Chris when he hurt himself on set. I also read RDJ negotiated his costars ALSO get a raise for Avengers, not just him. So it’s SO ANNOYING THAT for a long time, RDJ has been boasting he *is* Tony Stark. Whether he’s playing this out or really believes it, it’s kinda childish and annoying at this point. You are a grown man, enough. Every MCU film does not need to include you or Ironman. There’s also this bullsh*t that “actors need to act” (IE Benedict Cumberbatch playing Doctor Strange, he’s gotta work! he can’t say no!) they can turn down these roles, they can say enough, ESPECIALLY RDJ who apparently is worth $150K. But I suppose getting paid is more important that what your fans think.
The bitter truth is a film studio is a film studio; if a project makes money, you bet your ass we’re getting 10 sequels. And RDJ’s obnoxious characterization of Tony Stark being so horribly loved by the public is just salt in the wound (Tony Stark is NOT MCU Tony Stark by a long shot. Seriously, if you don’t believe me, I will be more than happy to point you in the right direction as to WHY.)
As a film by itself, it was really great, up there with the original Ironman. As an Avengers film. Clint Barton was more Clint Barton than ever. Natasha was given agency and her own point of view which changed as the film went on (characterization? wHAT??) Daniel Bruhl was a better villain than Ultron, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T’Challa was breathtaking (thank god he’s already set to get his own film), Paul Rudd was hilarious but more importantly, everyone felt useful. No character was present for “sh*ts and giggles*
well maybe spider-man but ehhh they were setting up his film I guess everyone had a part to play however small, and that’s how you do an ensemble piece.
As a film with Captain America’s name in the title, however, HUGE hit and a miss. Cap’s scenes were painfully short and the ones with Bucky even more so (which were apparently CUT DOWN ). My good old mom watched The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier over the course of a couple days just after the film came out with my sister and I. Even SHE, not knowing a THING about the comics, was like, “Porque esta la plancha ayi? Ya encontro a su amigo!” Translation: Why is the iron there? [Cap] just found his best friend! She came to this marvelous conclusion based solely on the first two Cap films.
END OF PART ONE, INTERMISSION