Every Bullet Point Wrong With Captain America: Civil Cop Out

Captain America: Civil War has released to almost unanimous positive reception from critics and much hype from fans, which always makes it fun to be in the minority with an opinion. That’s exactly where I am: in the great minority as I disagree with the reception the movie has got.

While it may be a wonderful time to be alive to see movies like this, it’s an unfortunate reality that because of rampant fanboyism you have to be careful and make sure to ‘state your allegiances’ and whatever would-be agendas you have before offering any sort of opinion on anything.

Here would be my credentials and disclaimers as is necessary.

My favourite heroes are Batman and Spider-Man, so I genuinely love both Marvel and DC. I don’t care about choosing either. Before watching the Civil War movie I rewatched my two favourite Marvel films, namely the original Iron Man and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I also happened to read the entire Civil War comic event. That’s about 106 issues of pure Marvel madness if you’re not a comic book reader. I thought it was so damn good it made my head spin for days digesting it and reflecting fondly over it.

Yes, I may have written a defence piece over Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on my blog, and that’s because I thought critics were unfairly harsh on it and biased given that many of their complaints could directly apply to Avengers: Age of Ultron, a movie I intensely dislike. After watching Civil War I’m pretty much certain that there’s a bias going on.

The last disclaimer I’ll make before getting into this is that I reviewed games for over five years, so I know exactly how to put my hype aside and just experience something with an open mind before getting an opinion on it. I don’t go into these lovable comic book movies with any checklists of what they need to do to be good or with a negative attitude. I simply walk in, drink my Slush Puppy, watch it and then get an opinion.

Historically I’ve had my moments in the extreme minority, but as both the Civil War comic and movie suggests: even if the entire world tells you to move, you plant yourself like a tree and say no, you move.

Massive SPOILER warning. If you haven’t watched Civil War yet please do not read the following bullet points. I will be discussing every element of the movie that I had an issue with, and pretty much spoiling everything. Save yourself.

Are we ready to discuss Civil War? Awesome! I will do it in bullet point form because of the freedom that gives, and so I don’t end up with a 5000 word article which I’m very capable of doing if no one snaps my neck in time.

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Everything Wrong With Civil Cop Out
  • Captain America: Civil Cop Out. That’s the name I’m going with. Every chance the movie had to go all the way, namely with Crossbones’ Civil War comic-esque ‘Allahuakbar’ moment, the Rhodes Must Fall opportunity and the ending, it copped out and retreated from risk. Even Rhodes’ paralysis is automatically soothed with cyborg legs.
  • I certainly didn’t expect the level of darkness present in the comics to be in a Marvel film, but this film took no risks at all, had zero shock factor and made zero attempts to shake up the formula. It’s not meant to be a bitter sweet, optimistic-ending, bro-out story. It’s meant to be the sad fall of heroes and the emotional wreckage they leave behind.
  • The movie barely felt about the registration act, which is the core point of conflict in the comic. It was not a battle of ideology. There was nothing to chew on or think about after viewing. Very few actual good points were made from either side after the heroes’ initial discussion about the accords. This central conflict took a backseat.
  • As a result the central conflict is muddled and watered down. The Sokovia Accords never really feel like the core part of the movie. We don’t see the destructive force Iron Man becomes in his arrogance and through his freedom to act publicly due to being registered. We don’t see the heartbreaking end of friendships. The war itself is transient and lasts for a shorter time than Ultron’s supposed ‘Age’.
  • There was no evidence of what the public thought of their champions. No input from street level. No evidence of a world really gone to hell. It was extremely self-contained. Batman v Superman, flawed as it is, still spent quite some time with the public’s reactions and their polarising opinions towards Superman. It felt like the people were to a little extent involved in and paying attention to the conflict. Civil War badly missed that.
  • The retroactive obsession with Sokovia is jarring as hell. In Age of Ultron the Avengers evacuated the city and visibly saved everyone who was in any on-screen danger. That gave the sense, along with the ending, that the good guys won, no casualties were suffered and nobody minds. Yet apparently lots of people died and it’s a big deal now. But when Man of Steel actually showed you the death and destruction without censoring it or misleading you, and then built its sequel entirely about that, it’s suddenly too real and dark and there are tears about 9/11 imagery?
  • Whoever decided it was a good idea to plaster big, obnoxious power point white text over the screen to inform us of the locations every few minutes, and rip you out of the movie in the process, deserves to be shot.
  • Someone please kill The Falcon A.K.A Clarence from 8 Mile. He is literally Tyrese from The Fast and the Furious franchise at this point.
  • Just like in Age of Ultron romance seems to brew from absolutely nowhere between Rogers and Sharon. Then Marvel heroes do what they do best and send their women off-screen while they take care of business. That isn’t any pro-feminist viewpoint. It’s just a funny thing by now.
  • Hardly anything in the opening hour is memorable or provocative aside from the heroes discussing the Sokovia Accords, which was great, and Black Panter’s first, amazing appearance.
  • The movie is tonally confused. When Rhodes is almost killed there is time for a joke about Falcon. One moment we’re all cheering about Spider-Man entering the fight and having a laugh, and literally a minute later Stark is close to tears arguing with Cap. Another moment like this comes at the end of the final fight where Stark berates Rogers with “You don’t deserve the shield”, yet two minutes later Stark is reading a heart-warming message from Steve like he’s just a friend who quit the job.
  • I don’t mind genuine witty humour, everybody likes a laugh, but it really felt like some of it was terribly placed in this movie and completely diffused any tension or emotional weight that was getting built up.
  • The main action setpiece at the airport is over-hyped. Spider-Man, Black Panther and Ant-Man absolutely stole the scenes they were in and made up the awesome moments there, but the fight really lacked tension, involvement from the other characters or an epic scale at all.
  • Black Widow did a Spidey-esque (in the comics) switch between sides except with none of the substance behind the change.
  • There’s so much manufactured conflict. There’s basically a Lex Luthor-like villain called Zemo behind the heroes fighting it out. Right down to the uncontrollable monsters he creates, except in a bit of a twist he kills them before they get out. How different though is his convoluted plan to lure Tony to see the true death of his parents – assuming Steve already knew this whole truth and kept it a secret – and make him fight his friends versus Lex Luthor pushing Batman to kill Superman?
  • Many times the movie doesn’t feel like it has organic conflict. A big example is Stark’s parents, who no one has given a flying duck about or known about even in the solo Iron Man movies. In Civil War it just so happens that they were killed by the mindless husk that was The Winter Soldier, and this gets Stark and Rogers fighting again minutes after they literally decide to call a truce and be friends again.
  • The ending is by far the biggest cop out and the most disappointing area of the movie for me. Stark and Rogers ending on an uplifting, positive note was a cringe-worthy decision. I didn’t exactly expect Rogers to get gunned down like in the comics. I also get that Infinity War is coming, but it’s a two part movie so surely Thanos could be the catalyst to unite the torn-apart heroes under one banner again? That’s what I was hoping to see. Friendships destroyed and a fall of heroes at the end. Left to rue the mess they made like in the comics. Civil War was too afraid to shake up anything in the MCU other than the Avengers as an official team being over, which we saw when the movie was first announced.
  • Captain America spends literally the entire movie fighting to defend his pal Bucky only for the after-credits scene to cryogenically freeze The Winter Soldier (some irony there) because his fragile mind is dangerous. It cheapens the fight for him and made little sense as an after-credits scene to begin with as it seems like it should be part of the movie.
  • Civil War the comic has so much meat to chew on your head will spin for days after reading it. I’m not saying the movie needs anywhere near that level of complexity – it would need two movies for that – but I don’t even need to watch this again. Everybody seems fine. I’m not concerned with anyone’s fate. I don’t have any lingering debates to iron out regarding the conflict. I’m not torn between anyone’s perspectives, or inclined to mull over them. I doubt I missed anything a second viewing would clear up.
  • This was the worst Stan Lee cameo out of a growing list of irritating ones.

I won’t end this without praising the real MVPs of the movie, that being Spider-Man, Black Panther and Ant-Man. They were absolutely golden. They were beautiful. They were literally the reasons I had huge smiles on my face in this movie and ended up giving it a higher rating than I would have if they had been absent. My true Spider-Man is back. He is glorious.

At the end of the day, for the record, I don’t think Civil War is a bad movie. Maybe it seems that way because this was literally a list of my issues with it, but it’s really nowhere near as bad as Avengers: Age of Ultron. I simply think it’s alright. It’s above average. It won’t break any of my top 5 lists of best superhero movies. It’s a 6/10 for me if I have to be forced into providing a numbered rating to go with it. I have little desire to see it again in theatres, but I don’t necessarily regret watching it to be honest.

If you love it, hate it or want to assassinate me for this opinion that’s your call. Live and be free. Your opinion is your own. I would love to hear from anyone. I’m always happy to talk in a civil (get it?) manner.

I’m just very disappointed being a major fan of the comic as well as the Russo brothers’ previous work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

12 thoughts on “Every Bullet Point Wrong With Captain America: Civil Cop Out

  1. I’mma try give my opinion on every point you brought up since I disagree with most of them. :P

    Your main issue seems to be that the movie took no risks, but really it just sounds like you’re asking the Marvel movies to be something that they’re not. They don’t exist to push films as a medium forward – they’re fun action romps a la the Transformers or Fast & Furious films, except they actually have a serviceable, meaty plot and excellent acting. Maybe it’s a matter of perspective, but I don’t go into a comic book movie expecting them to take risks or massively change the formula.

    I’ll agree that there wasn’t quite enough of the registration act and public reaction shown. They could’ve done better there, but for me it was a minor niggle. We *know* it’s the issue. “Show, don’t tell” is better in just about every situation, of course, but you’re not gonna fit 100+ comics into a single movie without leaving some of it out.

    On Sokovia – there were fucking killer robots and buildings falling over left and right, not to mention a Hulk. Of course people died. And there’s also the little problem of Ultron’s existence being *entirely* the Avengers’ fault.

    Funny you should mention the text on-screen, the friend I was sitting next to also got irrationally angry at it. I thought it was lovely typography and actually preferred it to Winter Soldier’s tiny location text in the bottom left corner. Opinions, I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Falcion was great m8. His action scenes were fun (using the wings as a shield is genius) and I genuinely enjoyed the comedy he brought, especially with Bucky. Cap’s two best bros working together despite their disdain for each other was hilarious. Also, dat scene in the VW Beetle.

    Cap and Sharon have great chemistry, even since Winter Soldier. DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT LOVE IS AZA? Just kidding, but seriously, they’d been building towards it for a while now and her giving the “no, you move” speech that cemented Cap’s stance on the Sokovia Accords likely made her even more attractive to him. Although it is kinda funny and/or slightly weird how Cap’s gone for two generations of Carter now.

    Hardly anything memorable? Tony being confronted by the woman who lost her son in Sokovia. The Crossbones mission going balls-up. Everyone dealing with the fallout of previously mentioned mission. It’s a big movie. It needed lots of setup. Still lots of memorable scenes IMO. And let’s not forget that Tony giving shitloads of money to an entire class of MIT students isn’t gonna bring some new tech to the MCU. Whether that’s for better, worse, or both, we’ll have to see. :D

    I thought the tone of the movie was spot-on. They’re not fighting to kill each other. Both sides believe they’re in the right, but they also know the other side isn’t the enemy. Wanda’s 100% correct when she takes out Black Widow for Clint – they’re pulling punches. They use humour to cover up their insecurity in fighting people who were their allies as much as a day ago because of whether or not they decided to sign something.

    And I think you missed the meaning of Steve’s letter to Tony. It was more along the lines of “I know we’re not friends any more and we can never go back to the way things were, but if shit goes down, HMU and I’ll have your back.”

    I also feel like you might’ve missed the reason for that final fight. It wasn’t over ideals, like much of the movie. Tony’s in a blind rage – he’s lost Pepper, he’s been trying and failing to deal with the fallout of the Avengers’ actions, he’s spent all day fighting his friends, realised that fighting his friends landed them all in a bloody underwater prison and it could’ve been avoided if he just stopped and listened for a minute, and now he’s found out that Bucky killed his mother and Cap knew the entire time? Damn right, he’s not rational.

    Black Widow didn’t switch sides. She still believes in the Sokovia Accords, but she also knows Steve well enough to believe him when he says the bombing wasn’t Bucky and there’s another threat that needs to be dealt with immediately (even if that was just them being strung along by Zemo all along).

    I thought Zemo was a nice change of pace for Marvel. A villain motivated purely by revenge, knows he can’t take on the Avengers with his own strength, and whose plan actually succeeds (no denying he tore apart the Avengers from within) instead of a villain that fails to destroy and/or take over the world? Sign me up for more Zemo (they didn’t choose to keep him alive for nothing).

    I already covered this before, but I don’t feel like it ended on all that positive a note. Tony and Cap as friends is over. Donezo. The only “official” Avengers left are Tony, Vision, Spider-Man, and a crippled Rhodey. The Sokovia Accords are still in effect, so the rest of them are criminals on the run in the eyes of the world.

    Cap was fighting to SAVE Bucky the entire movie. Did you miss the whole “shoot on sight” order? He wants to be the one to bring Bucky in, isn’t allowed to thanks to the Sokovia Accords he refuses to sign, so he takes matters into his own hands. I don’t see how Bucky being put on ice cheapens the fact that Cap made sure he didn’t get killed.

    I dunno, I found the movie left a LOT to discuss. Both Cap and Tony being right and wrong at the same time without any bias on the creators’ part is incredible. While watching the movie, I was amazed at how they were making Iron Man such an obvious villain, but after talking to a friend who had the exact opposite view, I realised just how well they pulled it off. I’m still siding towards Cap being the “most right”, but I can understand Tony’s motivations as well. I really, really want to rewatch this as soon as possible.

    I (and the entire cinema I was in, apparently) really enjoyed that Stan Lee cameo. The only thing that earned more laughs than Tony Stank was Spider-Man’s Star Wars line.

    Keep in mind, this is all coming from a fan of superhero movies that can’t stand superhero comics. Maybe reading the Civil War comics left you with expectations that weren’t met?

    But yeah, that’s about it. Feel free to pick apart my weaksauce fanboy arguments and tell me if I missed anything out. <3

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    1. Thanks Dom. I love a good conversation.

      1. I feel that way about most of the Marvel films. Fun romps I don’t have to think much about. But I don’t feel that’s a good defence for this movie. It’s the thirteenth entry *and* it’s based on one of the most intense and complex stories Marvel has. You can’t keep going at the same rate forever. You have to shake it up at some point. This is the year of risks and/or freshness in the superhero genre, which we need to keep it from going stagnant like the vampire and zombie crazes. Deadpool with its R rating and accurate depiction of that character, BvS with its fucked up content and firsts (WW), Suicide Squad as the first villain-centric movie since Sinister Six died, and Dr Strange with its magic (not science at all) entering the MCU.

      2. I totally disagree with you here. You said “show, don’t tell” right? Age of Ultron showed us the city being evacuated, the Avengers saving literally every on-screen person in danger. Sure we can *assume* some died, but that’s just cheap to me. That’s a cop out. Ultron was the definition of positive energy at the end. I also can’t see the registration act’s absence as minor. It’s the core of the conflict in the comic. I do agree that we certainly can’t have all the complexity of 106 issues in this movie, but the people are important too. In some small way. It gives the world more flesh, more meat. It affects more lives than 10 heroes.

      3. Opinions I guess! Even my friends who loved the movie found that text very strange.

      4. Opinions again! I intensely dislike Falcon constantly diffusing moments with humour that wasn’t even witty.

      5. Great chemistry is maybe overstated a bit. I recall Rogers and Natasha (Black Widow) having far more of a meaningful connection in The Winter Soldier.

      6. “Tony being confronted by the woman who lost her son in Sokovia.”
      Goes back to my problem of retroactive Sokovia.
      “The Crossbones mission going balls-up.”
      Here the comic broke it for me. They do not hold back in the comic. Having Scarlett Witch contain the level of disaster was meh for me. But I appreciate that at least it was there.

      7. ““I know we’re not friends any more and we can never go back to the way things were, but if shit goes down, HMU and I’ll have your back.”

      This is precisely a butchery of the comic ending. Tony realises how much he royally fucked up in his own arrogance and self-justification. They are left to rue the mess they made of their once great friendships. My complaint isn’t that I didn’t understand the ending between them. It’s that I disliked it copping out by ending on a bitter sweet but still optimistic tone. Civil War is anything but optimistic. And I couldn’t enjoy it for that. It’s just another way to keep things friendly and safe.

      8. I didn’t miss the reason for the final fight. I got all that. But my argument is, nobody in that cinema can justify caring for Tony’s parents. One flashback scene in the 13th MCU movie is pointless. Furthermore they declared a truce moments earlier. Then a moment pulled out of a hat takes it back. In the comics when they declare a truce to discuss their differences one last time, it results in one of the most brilliant Marvel comics I’ve ever read. Bucky and his mind control problems cheapened what should be Stark and Rogers’ conflict.

      9. My argument for Zemo was that he plays a Lex Luthor role in this movie, forcing the heroes into conflict in a convoluted manner, but BvS was picked apart for that, while Zemo wasn’t much better or different. And more so, I also felt it was retroactive Sokovia, and I didn’t like that there was some puppeteer behind the conflict because Civil War is a mess created largely by heroes. That’s what makes it so significant. It’s Iron Man’s arrogance and Rogers’ stubbornness and aversion to authority and comprise that is their serious, permanent undoing.

      10. I already covered this about their friendship ending. “If you need me, I’ll be there.” The only thing that happened here is the Avengers ending, which we knew from the first announcement. But they’re still allies in some sense, which I felt was a total cop out. It doesn’t matter who is on the run. When Infinity War hits they’re all going to team up and they’re pretty much still allies, whereas it would be much more meaningful in the future if they were enemies having to put aside differences to face a larger threat. (Magneto, Charles, in Days of Future Past vibes)

      11. That’s fair. He was fighting to save Bucky. I appreciate your comment here. But the manner in which it was done, an after-credit scene rather than part of the actual film, was nonsensical. Only made to give you a glimpse of Wakanda, which still could have been in the movie since Panther is already revealed. But icing him just feels like going back to square one with The Winter Soldier character. Been there, done this.

      12. I agree with you. Reading the Civil War comics gave me so much of substance that my head was spinning for days. I couldn’t rest. I just wanted to absorb all of it and think and rethink it all. I certainly didn’t expect the movie to ever contain that much complexity and depth, but I feel it missed even the central areas of conflict and that disappointed me. And I also really disliked the ending. Civil War was the movie to shake this Marvel formula up, but it’s just too comfortable.

      Enjoyable popcorn film only works for me so many times. If others enjoy that, I’m cool with it. I can only account for myself.

      13. I laughed with glee at Spider-Man’s Star Wars line. Just brilliant. My friends and I collectively groaned at that Stan Lee cameo. Then again I’ve grown to hate most of his cameos, so there’s that.

      I absolutely don’t consider your arguments weaksauce or have any problems with you enjoying the film. That’s awesome. I’m just hoping to explain myself better coming from the comic book background as well as my tastes of what I enjoy in these movies now that we’ve had like 20+ of them across the competition.

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  2. I’m inclined to agree with Dominic. You can’t say that DC are allowed to be dark and gritty, and then turn around and bag on Marvel for doing what they’ve done quite well: be light-hearted popcorn movies.

    I’ll admit, I too was a little perturbed by the lack of real devotion to “killing off” of anyone, and some stuff does seem to just fabricate out of thin air, but I disagree with you on nearly all of your points. Falcon was actually really effective, and showed his usefulness multiple times in this movie. Bucky did go cryo at the end but the important part is that it happened in Wakanda aka THEY JUST SET UP THE STORY FOR BLACK PANTHER SOLO MOVIE. And the Captain America movies have always been self-contained outings that revolve around switching things up in the MCU *specifically for the Avengers* which is why there was no SHIELD here, despite Maria Hill being a big part of Civil War – because SHIELD was eviscerated in The Winter Soldier. Here, the Avengers have splintered and what seems to be getting teased is a “Secret Avengers” and a “New Avengers” but that remains to be seen.

    I thought the ending got dark enough, by having two heroes fighting each other. There’s a moment, a particular pay-off right at the end, where Cap gets the upper hand and plants his shield into Tony’s chest, and you think: “No… surely not.” And the camera pans back and Tony realises what the audience realises: Even though he was out for blood, Steve was not. Steve was defending himself. Steve was the better man. And Tony knew it.

    In the end, filling the boots of the Civil War comics would be impossible. I think they did a great enough job by fitting all of it into the meta of the MCU, and I’m happier for it. I don’t think it’s fair to compare it to BvS, though. They’re ultimately two similarly-themed movies going about their business in pears-and-apples ways.

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    1. “You can’t say that DC are allowed to be dark and gritty, and then turn around and bag on Marvel for doing what they’ve done quite well: be light-hearted popcorn movies.”

      This is a fair point. I suppose it comes from loving the Civil War comic so much, and knowing what the Russos have done in TWS and the first cap movie. It’s also the fact that 13 movies down the line…at what point does the formula get shaken up? TWS was highly successful and widely loved, and I would have preferred that kind of approach.

      I don’t mind anyone who likes this movie. That’s cool with me. But Civil War is such a game changer in the comics. I was really hoping to see some kind of permanent change. I imagine if TWS was just another popcorn film too and didn’t elevate my expectations of the Russos, I probably would have been less harsh on this movie.

      I mean, I did highly enjoy Ant-Man after all. I knew what it was going into it. Civil War was a different game for me.

      I got the Wakanda thing. It was visually brilliant. But I was miffed that the resolution to the Bucky story was in an after-credits scene. We already saw Black Panther, we know Wakanda exists. That could have been part of the main movie. There was no need for two post-credits.

      I quite like your interpretation of that final moment. That’s a great one. It improves it for me. What cheapened it for me though was the final letter left to Stark. I really, really didn’t like that bitter sweet, optimistic tone. I wanted to see Tony left to rue the mess he made, having caused real, serious damage due to his arrogance. It felt too ‘let’s keep the band as allies because Infinity War’ for me. It felt more hopeful than it should. I was hoping for that comic meat of what power games do to heroes.

      I agree, bringing out the entire comic would have been impossible. But I would have liked to see more drawn from it.

      As for comparisons to BvS, I typically don’t like to do that given that Marvel and DC do have their own ways of doing things and it’s great. Where I bring comparisons is mostly to show what I feel are double standards from audiences and/or critics.

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  3. Right. So a few overarching comments just to lay an overall impression before I jump into nitpicking territory. It’s not a bad Marvel movie, and I’d probably place it higher than Age of Ultron. Spidey was perfect, Antman was great, Panther was…well…good in the suit shall we say? The pacing was much better, the action sequences were great, and it was fun to watch.

    Why the need to get my thoughts out then? The reaction, at least for the most part in my social circles and from what I’ve seen online, has been that Civil War is just outstanding, greatest Marvel movie ever. And I know this has been exacerbated by it’s release proximity to BvS and the general opinion of that movie, so I do think some of the positivity is a knee-jerk reaction to BvS.

    Civil War has some serious issues, and it’s somewhat baffling to me how little these issues have been spoken about, especially in light of the fact that they mirror some of BvS’s biggest criticisms. I won’t say that Marvel fans can see no wrong, because that’s just not true – Ultron was for most rather ‘meh’ so I would be unfair to accuse them of being blind to faults, but I do think there is a degree of hypocrisy.

    Let’s start with agreeing completely with your biggest gripe, Civil War lacks impact. It’s as if the writers and directors just couldn’t handle making anything directly an Avengers fault. Rather than Rhodes’ crashing at the hands of Cap’s team, it’s an errant Vision laser that downs him. No one ever goes ‘too far’, and the film is worse off for it.

    Why did they even bother to market the film as ‘which side will you choose’? It was so clearly weighted in Cap’s favour and Stark was so clearly written as an asshole – I’d be floored if even 10% of viewers thought Stark was in the right. I can’t understand how they could hope to build any genuine sense of moral ambiguity on such a shaky foundation.

    As awesome as Spidey’s performance was, it makes absolutely no sense for him to be in this movie, other than that he plays a pivotal role in the comics. Not only is there absolutely no build up to the fact that Tony knows about him, but after he’s confronted by the woman whose son died in Sokovia, the entire reason he decides to sign the accords is as a result of his guilt. And now he wants to recruit a young boy and place him in harm’s way immediately? WTF?

    Zemo’s plan. Holy shit where do I even start? It makes absolutely no sense and relies on far too many ‘well that worked out perfectly’ moments. So his entire plan is to get Cap, Iron Man and Bucky to some remote base so they can beat the shit out of each other? In order to do this, he needs to find the location of this remote base, and the only way he can do this is by infiltrating Bucky’s interrogation? Like, there are no other relatively easy to to find remote areas that would have required far less intricate planning? Ah, but the bait is the other Winter Soldiers you say. I don’t buy it, is that really the only thing he could have used to bait them? Nonsense. Why bother killing the soldiers in the first place?

    And that’s not even to mention the fact that Howard Stark’s death just HAPPENED to be captured on camera? And that no one else saw this video when investigating the incident? Did Bucky also track down the tapes, but instead of erasing them he kept them? And Cap just suddenly happens to know that Bucky called Tony’s parents? From out of nowhere? Did I miss something?

    And Zemo just happens to be interrupted by Black Panther when he’s about to commit suicide, something he could NEVER have foreseen, but we’re supposed to believe that he actually still has some other plan that he’s waiting to set into motion? Never mind the fact that this dude we know nothing about other than that he lived in Sokovia and had a family, just happens to have the resources to find key Hydra information and jet-set around the world following Cap everywhere?

    The Sokovia Accords. Again, in the comics the motivation behind them is easily understood. An entire block destroyed because the team were negligent. Makes sense. But here it’s because Scarlet Witch couldn’t control a bomb that would have no doubt killed even more had she not intervened? God, can the screenwriters grow a damn pair already?

    That ending. Hey Cap, we want to apprehend Bucky so we can lock him away because he’s dangerous. No! Don’t do it! Bucky goes, hey Cap I think they should freeze me because I’m dangerous. Sure Bucky! I’m being facetious, I know. But that whole ending seems like such a cop out. Tony reads a letter from Rogers (a letter? Seriously?) like this is a fucking Nicholas Sparks movie and they’re breaking up? Hey, I know Bucky killed your parents and that’s still not resolved, but we all good, right?

    Tone. There are major tone problems in this movie. From Stark zapping Falcon when he lands to see if Rhodes is alright (that moment had a comedic element that seemed completely out of place) to the constant wisecracks in the airport scene, Civil War just wasn’t sure how to handle the tone. They wanted the seriousness of former brothers-in-arms fighting each other and the grimdark fallout of that, but they knew they would potentially alienate their audience if they didn’t still keep in the jokes, and they just failed to find the right balance.

    I’ve waffled on way too long – the major issue for me isn’t whether I enjoyed the movie or not, I did. But all this unanimous praise just seems misguided in the light of how massively flawed the movie is.

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  4. The whole movie wreaks of last-minute changes because execs at Marvel were too scared of messing with a winning formula. Everything leading up to this moment, from Chris Evans’ contractual obligations to the focus on the winter soldier and the introduction of Sharon Carter pointed to the franchise following the major plotlines of the comics which would have ultimately ended in the death of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes picking up the identity of Captain America. Ultimately it should have been a story of sacrifice and redemption. It should have been an exemplification of an ideal embodied by a superhero outliving the individual hidden behind the costume. It could have been a heartbreaking but ultimately glorious moment. What we got instead are a bunch of very obvious workarounds to keep casual avengers fanboys happy by maintaining the status quo (let’s face it they never would have accepted the winter soldier as the new cap). It’s as if when shooting Romeo + Juliet Baz Luhrmann had decided not to kill off the titular characters because it’s too much of a bummer… Even then I would have forgiven a new take on the story since the Shakespeare novel has been rehashed so many times, but this was the first cinematographical adaptation of Marvel’s saga and I’m sorry, but they just blew it so badly. And the writers of the script have gone on record saying keeping Steve Rogers was the plan all along… Please. The fact that they just put Bucky back into cryostasis is basically just them blatantly saying “oh well, I guess we won’t be needing you after all, let’s just sweep you neatly under the carpet”. Too bad Marvel… It could have been epic.

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    1. I guess I’m one of those where Stan Lee cameos keep taking me out of the movie, and Civil War’s one just felt like Transformers humour or something. Unless you’re going to do some reaching and say it’s reaffirming that Tony was a stinker in the movie xD

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      1. it probably is in some way hinting at his being a stinker…Tony got so mad at Bucky over his parents’ death, especially his mother’s (“he killed my mom”), and he didn’t seem realize that it wasn’t necessarily Bucky’s fault and that it was Hydra’s brainwashing; he may be as pained by his mother’s death as Batman is by Martha’s

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