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My wife wanted to go see Captain America: Civil War on Mother’s Day. Because she is awesome.

I don’t have the time for a full review, but had lots of thoughts I wanted to put out there. And hey, what the internet really needs is one more place for people to discuss the latest Marvel movie, right?

If you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want to be spoiled, turn back now…


Civil War Meme

  1. After seeing Batman v Superman, Captain America: Civil War is freaking Shakespeare, man.
  2. Am I the only one who just wanted to give Wanda a hug? And also maybe a kitten? (And an appointment with a good therapist?)
  3. Actually, therapists for everyone would be a good idea.
  4. From a storytelling perspective, I appreciated that both Steve and Tony were particularly raw and vulnerable. Tony was broken up with Pepper, and Steve lost Peggy Carter. Neither man was thinking clearly, and it helped build sympathy for both of them.
  5. “That shield doesn’t obey the laws of physics at all.” I love Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, but this line in particular was one of my favorites from the whole movie. Possibly from the entire Marvelverse.
  6. Black Panther was a great character, particularly in the final act. The “I will kill this man based on a grainy photo” thing was rather meh, but seeing him in action, and seeing his development over the course of the movie — I like this guy a lot.
  7. Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter felt a little squicky … but I loved the reaction shot of Bucky and Sam.
  8. “But he killed my mom.” Oh, Tony. You’re so broken, and I still wanted to give you hugs and kittens and a therapist.
  9. This movie hurt. We’ve spent so much time getting to know these characters, and their decisions were generally in character and understandable and it just felt like a punch to the heart every time things went downhill. Well done, moviemaker people.
  10. General Secretary Ross makes a comment about Thor and Hulk, talking about how much trouble he’d be in if he lost two nukes. *Cough* Abomination *Cough*
  11. Black Widow is excellent, as always. I love her changing sides at the end. It felt in character for her, and helped keep it from being a simple black-and-white conflict.
  12. Why does Ant-Man get so much slower when he’s giant? He doesn’t seem to get faster when he’s small.
  13. I love that even in the midst of fighting, you get that these characters love and respect and care about one another.
  14. The end with the break-out and the letter from Steve to Tony felt a bit rushed, like they were trying to wrap up too many loose ends in too little time. It was a long movie already, but that felt a little off.
  15. I thought Bucky was going to die. I like the alternative they came up with.
  16. Baron Zemo’s plan worked better than pretty much any other villain plan we’ve seen. He basically accomplished most of what he intended to do. But as a character, I had very little sense of who he was. Which worked for the movie, I guess, but it was unsatisfying.
  17. Thank you, movie people, for giving us humor and levity.
  18. “Underoos.” “Tic Tac.” Heh…
  19. This would have been a much shorter movie if Nick Fury had just shown up and started cracking some sense into people’s heads.
  20. All in all? Not perfect, but very well done. One of the better Marvel movies, in my opinion.

What did you think?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.



( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2016 06:27 pm (UTC)
+1 to pretty much everything in here. Additionally, I'm really, really glad they didn't tie up the entire disagreement in a neat little bow, because any attempt to do that would, I think, have been irretrievably facile. Instead you get to the end of the movie and Cap still won't sign and Tony still wants him to and it's going to take more than two hours to resolve that. It's a conflict where both sides have good points: on the one hand, superpowered people running around doing whatever they feel like and we just have to trust them to do the right thing is really goddamned scary and problematic; on the other hand, letting somebody else dictate where you go and what you do without reserving any decision-making power for yourself is basically the situation of the Winter Soldier, and that's not good, either. I was worried that, since this was a Captain America movie, the answer would simplistically be "Cap is right and Tony is wrong," but it isn't really a Captain America movie, whatever the poster says; it's The Avengers: Civil War, and it does a pretty good job of being that. (Though I do sympathize with my Cap-loving friend who is disappointed that it wasn't really a Cap story.)

Zemo was indeed a bit of a cipher, but I very much liked that he was . . . just a dude. Not a superhero, not a supervillain. Just a guy who lost his family and knows he can't get revenge directly, so he gets the heroes and their lifetime subscriptions of issues to do it for him. (Seriously, Tony. Kudos to Robert Downey, Jr. for pulling off the expression of "I know this is what the bad guy wants and I don't care because MY MOM." Therapy. Therapy for everybody, stat.)
May. 10th, 2016 06:36 pm (UTC)
RDJ did an amazing job with that scene. He's just so broken, and he knows it, and nothing matters anymore... The actors and writers and directors and everyone involved did such good work allowing the characters to be *human*. Even Vision.

I'm very interested to see where they go from here. How much of the unresolved Civil War conflicts will continue to play out in future movies? I really hope they don't just pretend everything's reset back to the normal status quo.
May. 10th, 2016 06:50 pm (UTC)
I really hope they don't just pretend everything's reset back to the normal status quo.

The same directors-- Anthony and Joe Russo-- and writers-- Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely-- are in charge of the next two Avengers movies so I'm fairly confident that this won't all be forgotten. I was impressed at the level of 'verse continuity and awareness this had so I suspect a lot of the next Avengers movie will be about getting the team back together, and how it handles the new dynamic.
May. 10th, 2016 06:54 pm (UTC)
One of them is on the record as talking about how the roster of the Avengers can change without the actual Avengers mission being lost, so even "getting the team back together" per se isn't guaranteed.
May. 10th, 2016 07:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, I wasn't trying to imply that 'team' meant Cap and Iron Man. My personal theory is they're going to use this to phase Stark out of the Avengers, maybe a few others. Certainly in the comics "The Avengers" was as much a rotating door as any other business with personnel turnover.

But given 2/3 of the current Avengers are only implicitly busted out, and the Russos have not disputed Mackie's claim of calling CA:CW Avengers 2.5, I'm still fairly confident that the repercussions of this movie will follow through into Infinity War. The Avengers as a team are pretty fractured. That has to be dealt with, regardless of the specific members.
May. 10th, 2016 11:55 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Honestly, as much as the personal side interests me, I'm even more interested in how they rebuild the Avengers as a concept. Once you've gotten over the "whee, superpowers!" stage of storytelling and started asking the hard questions about the proper use and regulation of that kind of power . . . how do you resolve that?
May. 10th, 2016 07:45 pm (UTC)
12. I suspect Scott got slower because of a combination of factors. He commented that the only other time he'd done this he'd passed out. I also suspect it might have been due to not wanting to risk doing serious damage to anyone. (Or, since his mass should be the same, he might have been trying not to blow away.)

But, yeah, someone send The Avengers several baskets of kittens, stat.
May. 15th, 2016 04:05 pm (UTC)
Pym particles let you play games with mass as well as size.
May. 10th, 2016 07:57 pm (UTC)
This is why the MCU needs to introduce Doc Samson. The Avengers really NEED a trained therapist. People operating at that level, it's a good idea.
May. 10th, 2016 09:27 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...strike that. Apparently Doc Samson was introduced in The Incredible Hulk. It's been so long since the Norton film, I totally forgot that. So, now they need someone to remember he's there, and, well get him involved. Because, seriously, these people need a Dr.
May. 10th, 2016 10:07 pm (UTC)
#10. Yes. Holy crap.

May. 10th, 2016 11:55 pm (UTC)

. . . I did. <lol> (I found all the Hulk movies less than engaging, and so have mostly forgotten what happened in them.)
May. 11th, 2016 03:49 pm (UTC)
I wish LJ had like buttons just for this reply.
May. 10th, 2016 10:28 pm (UTC)
I came out going "When Black Widow is the voice of reason, everyone needs to take a step back and a deep breath."

I almost always see an underlying theme in each of the MCU movies. The First Avenger was "fight for what you believe in; Winter Soldier was "people are loyal, but institutions are incapable of loyalty." Avengers was "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts", while Age of Ultron was "what does it mean to be a hero?"

Civil War seemed to be "actions have consequences." Each time someone did something, everyone reacted to those actions, and then there were the reactions to the reactions. No one could escape the consequences of what they did.

And yes, every one of the heros really needs a good therapist.
May. 11th, 2016 02:52 am (UTC)
May. 11th, 2016 03:07 am (UTC)
16. In some ways, this movie serves as Baron Zemo's Origin Story.
May. 11th, 2016 06:23 am (UTC)
I found it kind of heartbreaking that nobody actually wanted a fight, and they kept trying to de-escalate and compromise, and failing.

And this is a film, where the opponent almost completely won. He effectively destroyed the Avengers, and nearly got Steve and Tony to kill each other. But for all that, the ending felt very satisfying.

Also, this film MOVED. It was two and a half hours long, but it really didn't eel like it.

Edited at 2016-05-11 06:25 am (UTC)
May. 11th, 2016 03:48 pm (UTC)
So, that being in trouble for losing nukes thing? Not so much. Used to happen with alarming frequency. I had a friend whose job was to track all the nuclear material that couldn't be accounted for, scanning through reams of intel looking for where they might be.

Yeah, some lines get ruined for you when you know how the real world works.

And at that whole Ross speech: What? Were they just supposed to sit out the whole Loki/Ch'Tauri taking over the world thing? Should they have let HYDRA destroy a third of the population? And the only incident for which any of the Avengers hold any blame, is Ultron, and you've given the guy to blame for it a pass because he signed.

I hate Ross as a character, this one even more than the comic canon one.

And yeah, the Steve/Sharon kiss was squicky for several reasons.

I have feelings.
May. 11th, 2016 04:05 pm (UTC)
For me, the best lines were: "We're still friends, right?" "Depends how hard you hit me."

I thought they did a great job with the villain for this one. Yeah, they might have spent more effort on developing his character, but what was important was the fact that he was a non-powered human, working alone. When you're asking "who watches the watchmen", you can't have the guy across the gameboard be Thanos, because when the stakes are the extinction of the species, collateral damage disappears into the noise. Zemo's just zis guy, you know? And that means the collateral damage is *everything*.

I also felt like the movie lost the thread when Tony went behind Ross's back to find Steve and Bucky, and then chased them down without telling Ross where he was going. When your representative of "submit to oversight" ditches that oversight the very first time the oversight becomes a hassle for him, you concede the argument to "the safest hands are still our own". (On the other hand, I love that Tony had absolutely no realization that that's what he was doing.)
May. 11th, 2016 06:13 pm (UTC)
After seeing Batman v Superman, Captain America: Civil War is freaking Shakespeare, man.

I agree w/ everything you've said.

I wish this movie was called Avengers: The Civil War
May. 15th, 2016 02:52 pm (UTC)
One thing I also liked is that now there's a good reason that all the heavy hitters wouldn't show up to save the day in the spate of new character introduction movies we're about to get.
May. 18th, 2016 11:47 am (UTC)
Forget about Cap and Tony, I was Team Wanda all the way.

Apart from that, most of my reactions the whole movie was 'BUCKYYYY'. Except for Dean Pelton Jim Rash's appearance, which made me slap my thigh and laugh hysterically.
Jun. 1st, 2016 11:40 pm (UTC)
I know this is a late reply, but I didn't see the movie until recently. That said, I've decided that my headcanon is that Community is an alternate version of the Marvelverse where Dean Pelton didn't get the Yale job. ;)
Jun. 2nd, 2016 12:04 am (UTC)
Oh good gods yes, let it be so!
May. 29th, 2016 09:20 am (UTC)
Yeah, agree! Especially about Natasha and Black Panther - I'm pretty meh about You Killed My Father, Prepare To Die stories at this point but he was so well-acted and written I'm v excited for his solo film.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines


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