I’m not usually in the habit of publicly disagreeing with my fellow writers, but I feel it a service to warn you that both TK’s review and Rotten Tomatoes have lied to you. Captain America: Civil War is a garbage movie.
Sure, it had its amusing moments. It had some terrific acting, and some amazing action sequences. And a plot so filled with holes I could use it to water my plants. I could tell you that the shaky camera employed to film those intricately devised fight scenes robbed them of any cinematic beauty or explain how the “terrifying Soviet bunker” at the end of the film looked more suited for Diagon Alley, but instead I’d like to focus on those plot holes and how they made everyone in the movie wrong or stupid. If you want to enjoy the film, don’t think about why any of the things that happened happened, or else you might discover:
1) Captain America Was Wrong About Everything
Literally every single thing. There wasn’t a decision he made that was right. The decision not to sign the Sokovia Accord? Wrong. In real life, we understand that individuals can’t take the law into their own hands. Wrapping yourself in an American flag and superpowers doesn’t make it any better. The decision to keep Bucky out of the hands of the authorities? Wrong, but more on that later. His instance that his beliefs were right, and that he had to defend those beliefs regardless the cost? BULLSHIT. He wasn’t the hero of the movie, he was the villain. At best he was the tragic hero, but I’m not seeing his impending fall coming in the next movie. Even though his very actions proved the need to have oversight of the Avengers. Because if he hadn’t been such an asshat, he would have realized …
2) Bucky Needed To Die
Yeah, fine. There was that time that Bucky and Steve had to ride home from Rockaway Beach in the back of that freezer truck. They used to be besties, but in the meantime Bucky’s been turned into a bionic, super solider with a metal arm who can be brainwashed into committing heinous crimes. That dude needs to be put down. Or at the very least, kept in custody. Which is not the worst thing that can happen to him. After Bucky, Steve and Sam are captured in Bucharest, Bucky’s held by the authorities until he can have a psychological evaluation and possible counseling. That sounds like pretty decent treatment for a man accused of blowing up a U.N. building. And given that Bucky was clearly in no immediate physical harm, after pulling him from the helicopter wreckage in the river, Captain America probably could have brought him back to the authorities and said, “Here’s this guy. Hey, you think we should check into that weird psychologist who interviewed Bucky and then dipped out right after chaos ensued?” Wouldn’t that incredibly not-rash decision have helped stop Zemo’s plan before it got started? Not that it really mattered because …
3) Zemo’s Plan Was The Fucking Worst
Rebecca covered all of my complaints about Zemo’s overly-complicated, convoluted plan, but I’ll add the caveat that his plan hinged on everyone fucking everything up as much as possible. Captain America needed to refuse to sign the Accord thereby fracturing the group, Stark needed to take that refusal to sign personally and stop trusting Rogers, every single authority needed to not give a single flying shit about locating the missing civilian U.N. psychologist who was the last person to speak to Bucky before he broke the fuck out, some poor electrician needed to believe it was a good idea to install a security camera in the middle of the fucking woods. In fact, the only people who did their jobs well were overlooked by the airport showdown even though …
4) The Big Fight Was Terrible
Just as a side point before I dive in, but congrats to the security staff at that airport because you evacuated the shit out of that place. You cleared out a fully functioning airport in the time it took some dudes to change their outfits. I’m impressed. The rest of that fight scene?
It just didn’t work on several levels, the first of which is squarely on Captain America’s stupid shoulders. I know he and Stark were beefing, but he knew that he was about to go face off with five HYDRA super soldiers who were as badass, but way crazier than Bucky. Wouldn’t that have been a great time to call a truce just to discuss what was happening? Maybe Tony would have still been a dick and not believed you, but now you’ve got nine other people who could maybe mediate that shit for you. Not only was the fight done for no reason, but it was the most overstuffed, low-stakes bullshit I’ve seen outside of WrestleMania. Of all the people fighting, only Black Panther actually wanted to inflict any harm. In fact, the only time someone actually got injured it was a goddamn mistake. Everyone else was either friends with the person they were trying to punch or showed up because what the fuck else were they going to do that day? Everyone pulled their punches, which might have made it a fun brawl, but one that lacked any kind of jeopardy. And just in case you weren’t sure if it was a fun brawl, they made sure that every last goddamn character made a quippy one-liner. DID YOU ALL NEED TO DO THAT? ALL OF YOU? WE CAN’T ALL BE COMEDIANS, PEOPLE. SOMEONE NEEDS TO PLAY THE STRAIGHT MAN. IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY IF YOU ALL DO IT!
And for fuck sake, Hawkeye, you can make people address you as “Hawkeye.” It’s the most badass of all the code names. Stop telling people to call you “Clint.”