Editor’s Note: WAVE 3 News Photojournalist Jeff Knight is really looking forward to the release of Avengers: Endgame. So much so, that he’s decided to revisit the previous 20 films in the series. Jeff is watching each movie again and sharing his thoughts about them with us.
By: Jeff Knight | WAVE 3 News Photojournalist
After a building in The Winter Soldier fell down and thumped him on his head, Crossbones returns to cause trouble. In the process, Wanda thumps many people with a building. Secretary of State Betty Ross’ Dad wants The Avengers to sign over their abilities to The United Nations. Stark is on board with this idea. Rogers isn’t. Factions form. The king of Wakanda is killed in the process. Bucky is blamed. That’s about the first six minutes of this movie. Then things really start happening.
Captain America: Civil War kicks off Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since writing about Iron Man 3, I’ve come to a greater appreciation of MCU phases. They are delineations. They are milestones, separating one thing from another. They are as indispensable as state boundaries are for the weather, and should be appreciated as such.
Anyway, Phase Three begins with the biggest crossover yet. Actually, “crossover” no longer does this universe justice. It is now a tapestry. I count 15 returning characters. Instead of being a Captain America movie, it could just as easily have been an Avengers movie. “Avengers Disassemble”, perhaps.
Often villains drive plots. Thanos drives Infinity War with a clear destination in mind. Ultron drives Age of Ultron, but he takes a circuitous route. His ride wasn’t as enjoyable because he had too many detours along the way. I talked about this (hopefully) more coherently in Part 11 here. How does Zemo’s plan in Civil War fit into this paradigm?
His goal is to split up the Avengers. Zemo’s abbreviated plan: get his hands on Bucky’s brainwashing book, pretend to be Bucky, know what resolutions the UN will write,
blow up the UN, get Bucky arrested, steal an EMP, pretend to be Bucky’s therapist, get Bucky to escape custody, have Steve find him, trust that Bucky will tell Steve about more Winter Soldiers in Siberia, get Steve and Bucky to go to Siberia, have Tony follow them, show Tony (alongside Steve and Bucky how his parents died.
Zemo’s plan is pretty complicated. It’s almost as complicated as Pym’s plan for Lang to break into his safe. This movie has many more characters and agendas than Age of Ultron. T’Challa wants vengeance. Do/don’t sign The Accords? Kill/save Bucky? Help/don’t help Cap stop five new Winter Soldiers? Etc./not etc. etcetera.
But Civil War works. Here’s why: remember that scene in Age of Ultron when Ultron ran off with Loki’s scepter? Thor got mad at Stark and picked him up by his neck? That might have been the most intense moment in Age of Ulton. Civil War keeps that intensity of emotional in-fighting up for the whole movie. Friends vs. friends is powerful stuff. Friends betray friends to protect other friends. The writers found a way to emotionally mine these characters for all they are worth. As the story unfolds, that mine keeps getting dug deeper and deeper. Apart from being the catalyst, the villain is almost incidental.
- William Hurt is the only actor from The Incredible Hulk to be seen again, so far anyway. Well, and Robert Downey Jr.
- Ross blames the Avengers for many things:
- from The Avengers: the attack on New York
- from The Winter Soldier, the DC brouhaha
- from Age of Ultron, Sokovia
- from Civil War, Laos
- Of this list, only Sokovia is really their fault because they created Ultron. Johannesburg, when the Hulk and the Hulkbuster tore up the town would also be their fault. He doesn’t mention that for some reason.
- IMBD has Alfre Woodard listed as playing Miriam in this movie. She’s also in Luge Cage as Mariah Dillard. Both of these were released the same year. Why does she have two different roles? Is there an actress shortage I don’t know about?
- Some Wakandans were killed in Nigeria so Wakanda spearheaded The Accords. But Black Panther does not sign on to The Accords. Those Wakandans are pretty shifty, ain’t they?
- Does Black Widow sign onto the Accords? Is she eligible? Is she an enhanced individual?
- When Bucky is trying to kill Natasha, she wants him to recognize her. That might not be a good idea. Have they seen each other since the last time he tried to kill her?
- Hawkeye is basically the “average joe” of the Avengers. There is a confrontation between him and super-duper, Infinity Stone powered Vision who can change his molecular makeup and shoot lasers beams out of his forehead. Hawkeye jokes, “I knew I should have stretched.” That joke is reminiscent of Batman vs Superman, which was released a month earlier. It has a scene with Bruce Wayne lifting weights to train for his fight against Superman. That scene was not a joke, intentionally.
- Tony asks Steve if he knew the big surprise— that Bucky killed Tony’s parents. Steve says, “I didn’t know it was him.” Tony asks again, “Did you?” Steve answers, “Yes.” First of all, isn’t the knowing, knowing it was him? What is there to know if he didn’t know it was him? Secondly, is “him” Bucky or Howard? Thirdly, it doesn’t matter because I don’t understand that answer either way.
Solid movie. It is filled with exciting action scenes, some fun, some visceral and some heartbreaking. Solid, solid flick.
Stan Lee Cameo— Fed Ex deliverer
Mid Credits— Bucky freezes in Wakanda
Post Credits—Spider-Man gets a Light projector
Returning Characters— Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon, War Machine, Peggy Carter, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, General Ross, Bucky, Vision, Sharon Carter, Crossbones, Howard Stark