Since Iron Man launched the Marvel Universe as we know it in 2008, 10 more MCU movies have built up to this moment: Captain America: Civil War.
After the destruction brought down upon various cities during The Avengers’ battles with bad guys – New York in The Avengers and Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron to name but two – Tony Stark (Iron Man/Robert Downey Jr) begins to feel guilty as he is accosted by the mother of a bright young man killed when a building was dropped on him. And so Tony advocates the Sokovia Accords, a bill endorsed by the United Nations which would control when The Avengers are utilised.
However Steve Rogers (Captain America/Chris Evans) takes umbrage with the removal of free choice for The Avengers in their missions and refuses to sign. The division becomes more pronounced when he helps wanted fugitive and childhood best friend Bucky (the Winter Soldier/Sebastian Stan), ending up with two teams of Avengers going at it, each believing they are right.
This massive plot doesn’t feel overwhelming because of the amount of groundwork done in the earlier films. With the amount of main characters involved (at least 10 of importance) Marvel has managed to impress.
Because of the earlier films we understand Steve and Tony’s relationship and what it means for them to tear the group apart. And, for example, we understand the serious nuances behind the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) choosing Team Iron Man because of the time spent on her friendships with both Steve and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in earlier movies.
Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) are both introduced seamlessly into the plot with an ease and confidence only Marvel has in its characters. Anyone who watches superhero movies really should know the latter’s origin story by now, and the little knowing nods sent the audience’s way are fantastic. And Spider-Man’s quips during the big fight are one of the best things about the movie.
Steve and Tony are both right in many ways and that’s what makes the conflict so tantalising; neither is totally wrong, but neither should be so righteous either. However I landed on Team Iron Man. Tony is on the side of the law. He wants to fix his past mistakes and stop any other innocent people dying – just like when he became Iron Man in the first place and wanted to stop his weapons being used for evil.
So Tony had best intentions with the Sokovia Accords and if so many countries want to band together and endorse The Avengers in certain situations that is good.
Steve was understandably upset when Bucky was implicated in a fatal bomb blast at the UN building in Vienna. But suddenly he goes rogue and starts fighting legitimate agents who are trying to lawfully help and do their job; that fight could not be justified quite like New York or Sokovia. He went too far, and then wouldn’t back down. Admittedly he was right about Bucky, but he definitely could have helped out there in a more measured, diplomatic way…
That’s why I’m with Tony. Cap then dragged his teammates into the mess with him and it just went downhill, with them all ending up criminals. That means The Avengers are out of action, instead of just limited by the UN.
Whoever you think was right, that final red vs blue battle was quite something. And there should be some more spectacular showdowns coming in Avengers: Infinity War to look forward to.