Captain America: Friendship Is Magic

The Avengers: Civil War would have been a much better title because, really, it wasn’t a Captain America movie.  It was an Avengers movie.  It was also disappointing.

When they announced that they were going to do Civil War I can’t say I was pleased.  Mainly because I was afraid that they’d ruin either Cap or Iron Man.  Cap is, hands down, my favorite character in the cinematic universe which is kind of amazing since Captain America: The First Avenger is a train wreck. (How did the director who brought us The Rocketeer completely fail to capture the feeling of the 40s?  And the plot is terrible.)  It’s also surprising seeing as Iron Man is my favorite Marvel superhero.  I was a fan long before the first movie came out.  They didn’t ruin either character–ruin is too strong a word–they just turned Tony into an annoying pill.

The Avengers get torn apart because Steve doesn’t want his friend Bucky to be shot. Tony doesn’t care if Bucky gets shot or not because he feels guilty because someone died by accident when they were dropping cities on things.  But the movie kind of forgets that it made a big deal over people feeling guilty at the beginning and makes them hate each other instead.

“He’s my friend,” Cap will say to Iron Man.

“So was I,” quoth he.

Were you?  Out of all the movies that these two have shared was there anything that indicated that they were friends?  Tony and Rhodey are friends.  Tony and Bruce Banner are friends.  Tony and Steve…?  You can work with someone, you can even respect them, and not be friends.  Tony and Steve in other movies are great foils for each other because they’re so different.  But they’re not friends.  You see as Steve becomes friends with Natasha, with Sam, and you can believe that people would want to follow him because he’s a great guy.  Bucky is his friend; Cap is loyal.  Of course he’s going to try and save him.

So then the Avengers beat on each other in a huge fight.  And they threw Spider-Man in there for the hell of it.  It was kind of an awesome fight… except there wasn’t any tension in it because a) if Cap didn’t get away the movie would pretty much end and b) no one seemed to mind getting smashed with exploding trucks or being thrown into buildings.  Why weren’t the nonsuperpowered characters not smushed and beaten to a bloody pulp?  Then BAM somebody gets crippled! After all the non-injurious mayhem preceding it that’s quite a shock.

Are they still friends at the end?  Any of them?  The movie takes a cop out “I hope someday you’ll understand” and just gives up.  Yeah, I’ll totally understand that you betrayed me and helped a murderer get away, thinks Tony as the credits roll.  Status quo magic will happen in the next movie I guess because it’s not realistic for characters to duke it out this violently and then be able to just brush it off like nothing happened.  (What’s that?  Isambard says it’s just male bonding.  Okay, we’ll go with that.  Sure.)

Only at this point they could remove Iron Man from the cinematic universe and I wouldn’t care.  He’s a nitwit.  Tony grabbed that idiot ball and hung on for dear life.  He doesn’t get a chance to let go, he doesn’t get a chance to redeem himself, or make peace with the other Avengers.  Feel bad about causing Ultron?  Well, to make yourself feel better why don’t you destroy the Avengers too?  Alienate half your teammates and get one of your friends crippled.  What are the odds that Tony’s an alcoholic wreck by the next movie?

Spider-Man was annoying and shouldn’t have been in this movie.  I’ve said it; I won’t take it back.  Spider-Man will return?  Yay.  I’m so excited.

It could have been a worse movie.  It certainly wasn’t boring and it’s a nice change to have a villain who isn’t trying to destroy the whole universe.  But there were too many characters.  T’Challa feels wasted.  Never a huge fan of Spider-Man but I didn’t think I’d be quite so annoyed by his existence.  Two characters doing “My name is Inigo Montoya; you killed my father; prepare to die” is one too many.  The argument between Cap’s side and Tony’s side is, well, one sided.  There’s no compelling arguments offered for Tony’s position.  Cap is right.  The end.