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Please join us in welcoming @Irene to the staff team as a moderator for the Politics forum. Please consider her the first contact for any issues that arise in that section for the foreseeable future. Show her verdicts the same deference you show the current members of staff.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe General Thread

Discussion in 'Movies, Music and TV shows' started by Andrela, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Headmaster

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    It's been quite a while since I watched it, but I personally felt that quite a bit of the conflict in Civil War was manufactured. In my head, the essence of the argument was (to use a real world analogy) civilian control over the military vs the military controlling itself. It genuinely felt weird that Captain America was unable to understand that bit and they were unable to really hash it out in a grown up manner. It seemed out of character for someone with America in the name to feel that civilian control over military assets was intolerable, whatever the reason. It's something drilled into every American soldier, especially ones of his generation. It seemed like a manufactured way to get Tony and Steve to fight.

    In addition, Captain America defending the Winter Soldier from Iron Man later in the movie made me feel that the long freeze definitely did something to Steve's remaining brain cells, though that was more excusable than the setup itself. Had Steve tried to reason with Tony by giving him his word that Bucky would stand trial for his crimes or something to that effect, it might have worked. Instead it served to lessen Steve's character by making it feel that justice was something reserved for people who were not Rogers's friends.

    I'll agree that once the sides were drawn it was a great ride, but the setup left a fairly bad taste in my mouth.
     
  2. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Absolutely agreed with Genghiz. Civil War had an extremely weak premise, but if you are willing to ignore that then its a fantastic film and a great watch. Just really weak in the setup department.
     
  3. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I'm going to push back on that some.

    First, we have to remember that Civil War isn't happening in a vaccuum. You have to look to the three previous films (Namely The Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron and Iron man 3).

    Cap was the loyal soldier post the first Avengers. He teamed up with Shield and was going on missions. And he got burned...hard. He found that the government was basically controlled by his archnemesis. It couldn't be trusted.

    Furthermore, I'm sure being a man out of time had dissillusioned him. You go from fighting the obvious evil of the Nazis to modern America where you're not sure who's the good guys anymore.

    Then you have Tony who had tried the whole "heroes in charge" thing. And he got burned...hard. You have his numerous army of suits that got used. You have Ultron. He found that them being rogue and the "heroes in charge" mindset caused pain.

    So, we have to remember the internal setup for these characters going into Civil War.

    As for the final fight Tony vs. Cap/Bucky, I remember Tony literally saying "I don't care" when Steve tried to talk him down. Tony was basically bloodlusted.

    I'll agree that, taken in a vaccuum, the setup is a bit weak...but this film had three other movies directly leading to it.
     
  4. Viewtiful

    Viewtiful Groundskeeper

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    I just found the basis of the conflict between Tony and Steve, and the construction of the accords, to be so illogical and poorly defined that I couldn't enjoy everything. Both sides of the argument just felt shallow and weakly justified - if the central conflict of the film and the fracturing of the Avengers was going to rest on this there needed to be far more actual discussion and actual debate. Instead you just had things like Tony arguing for oversight and then randomly recruiting a minor to fight a super-solider assassin, and Steve dropping any ideological argument and just being motivated to help his friend. And maybe it's my lack of comics knowledge, but I never felt like Tony and Steve were actually friends, so there was no emotion to me in them fighting each other.
     
  5. Heather_Sinclair

    Heather_Sinclair Chief Warlock

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    In relation to the "not in a vacuum"...

    If you aren't following all the side stories: web episodes, comics, shows, and whatever other thing they've thrown out there, you never saw the build up to the Accords that started initially at the end of Avengers. It's literally been years in the making. They just named it after their latest debacle. Christine Everheart (the girl Tony boned and tossed aside in the original Iron Man movie) was the one that pushed hard on her TV show, always trying to discredit him and stirring the media and public to do the same.

    The way I saw the sides:

    Tony: came to the realization that "everything" he's involved in winds up killing people, so in his guilt he needs someone to hold him accountable, and doesn't understand why any has a problem with the Accords. They don't really follow the politics of dealing with the problem. Tony does.

    Steve: The Accords were stocked with blatant rules that were obviously unconstitutional, treating even people that aren't enhanced as subject to UN rule (Romanoff, Barton, etc.). Looking at it from that rule alone, there would be no more armies or spy agencies allowed in any country that aren't under UN rule. So close down the CIA,NSA, and all of our armed forces unless they sign up as well. That alone was stupid beyond belief. Eventually, through Cap was willing to sign under the expectation that eventually the rules would be amended.

    I do agree that the last straw (Wanda) being under house arrest was handled awfully, by both sides. Cap should have just planted his feet until the rules were amended to be more humane, and making a little more sense.

    The hunt for Bucky: What people seem to be forgetting (or at least not mentioning) is that Cap's loyalty has been, and always will be, to Bucky first. That's never been in question, and people (pretty much anyone that isn't Sam) don't understand why they come up with the short end of the stick.
     
  6. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Headmaster

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    @Arthellion I never really got that impression from those movies. Captain America: Winter Soldier did see SHIELD compromised, but SHIELD was not the government, it was a military organisation. I'd think Steve would be able to tell the difference between his chain of command getting compromised and a bunch of unrelated UN politicians. Again, it's been a while since I saw the movies, but the impression I have is that Rogers was more of a stodgy "I don't trust politicians to make the right choices" type of person which... I dunno, I guess I never got, given his origin story. On the other hand, I agree about Tony Stark's arc: we see him start out defiant and then unable to cope with the guilt of doing what he's been doing.

    The problem is that it still doesn't explain why Captain suddenly goes from "my chain of command is compromised" to "I don't trust anyone's authority but my own". That setup doesn't make sense at all.

    In addition, I totally sympathised with Stark when he finds out that Cap's been hiding the fact that Bucky killed his parents. The bloodlust there was earned: Steve handled that revelation as badly as could have been possible under the circumstances. It managed to humanise Cap, and I do appreciate it for that, but the fact that Rogers was unable to accept that brainwashed or not, Bucky was guilty of something (if not murder definitely manslaughter or something like that I guess) made me wrinkle my nose a bit. It felt high-handed of a soldier to think that he could decide someone's guilt or not, and it also felt, well, wrong for someone who stands for so many principles to lay them aside because he couldn't bear the thought of losing a friend. As I said earlier, the long freeze managed to kill a few brain cells.

    @Heather_Sinclair I've never seen anything apart from the movies, but I seem to remember the accords only being applied to enhanced individuals and we focus on their effects on the Avengers in particular. Maybe it was explained in a TV show or something but a quick wikipedia search doesn't seem to suggest it applied to anything apart from enhanced soldiers and the Avengers in the MCU.
     
  7. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony ~ Prestige ~

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    Have to agree on the conflict in Civil War working. Cap has good reasons to be wary of anyone trying to control the Avengers after Hydra was able to take over SHIELD, and he’s always followed his own moral compass first and foremost. As others have said, Tony’s not listening to reason during the final battle, and Steve has good reason to defend Bucky considering the guy’s crimes happened while he was brainwashed and had no free will.
     
  8. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    @Genghiz Khan I feel like that's misunderstanding the core of Cap's character. Steve was never a follow orders soldier. He was never the perfect soldier.

    When you go back to the First Avenger, you don't see Steve joining the military because it's some patriotic duty, he's joining because "he doesn't like bullies." And over again in that film it's hammered that Steve was chosen not because he's a perfect soldier, but because he's a good man.

    You see it when he rescues the prisoners and disobeys the orders to stay in camp. Steve, as a character, always valued his own sense of morality over the orders or authority of others.

    Basically, Steve Rogers in the MCU is very much a chaotic good character.

    I'd have to rewatch, but it's i thought it was pretty clear that Tony was going to kill Bucky if Cap didn't stand in the way.
     
  9. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony ~ Prestige ~

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    Heck, Captain America not being a perfect soldier just got hammered home in Falcon and Winter Soldier: John Walker was the perfect soldier, and look how that worked out.

    As far as Bucky’s guilt goes, the fact that he had no free will is a pretty huge deal. There’s no real world precedent (because mind control isn’t real) but going by what we saw in Falcon and Winter Soldier he got a pass on everything he did as the Winter Soldier as long as he goes to therapy.
     
  10. Heather_Sinclair

    Heather_Sinclair Chief Warlock

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    At the end of Avengers there was a scene where they were showing different news stations and interviews of people on the street as well as talking heads doing their thing. One of the talking heads was complaining about all the damage the Avengers did and who should be held accountable. That was the first instance.

    Agents of Shield: There were a few episodes where the same thing happens as well as throw away one or two liners from the agents themselves. Not to mention the fallout from the Winter Soldier/Hydra situation. Lots of talk during that time. This was when AoS was considered canon.

    As far as who it applies to: Romanoff and Barton were both compelled to sign if they wanted to keep their jobs. Barton wound up in the Raft (a prison specifically for enhanced individuals) at the end of Civil War. He later took a deal to stay under house arrest. like Ant-Man, in order to get out.

    Yes, it specifically targets the Avengers in certain passages, and enhanced people all over the place, but all it takes is someone with an alternate viewpoint to apply the accords to whatever they feel like to support their agenda. They were stupid.

    Bucky being guilty of something: LOL WUT? He was tortured, experimented on, and brainwashed. Seriously? The guilty people was Hydra, nobody else. About the only thing he's guilty of is evading arrest once he was of sound mind... so that means after his stint in Wakanda. Of course he was dead then. I don't know if they covered his accountability in FatWS
     
  11. Fatality

    Fatality Order Member

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    My two cents - I agree that the core tension of Civil War works pretty well on the whole (people are able to make good arguments for either side years after the fact, I think that’s indicative it’s an interesting debate if nothing else) but I think it’s major failing isn’t as a singular movie but as a chapter in the larger MCU.

    I mentioned in a previous post but it seems like the accords and their repercussions have just been largely abandoned since that movie (except a couple of moments between Cap and Iron Man that don’t get much time to breathe in IW/EG, and the team being split likely leading to Thanos’ victory which isn’t much reflected on).

    For example, Black Panther is supposed to be set just a week after Civil War. One of the first things the primary sponsor nation of the Sokovia Accords does is send their enhanced supersoldier to have a huge destructive shootout in Seoul without even mentioning the legalities. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised considering T’Challa was doing exactly the same in Civil War itself (chasing down Zemo as BP while pushing for the Accords). The same applies for Spider-Man, another pro-accords team hero with movies set after they were introduced, who constantly does stuff that should probably go against them but it never gets mentioned.

    Maybe there’s a consistent explanation of what the accords actually mean in practice that shows they’re still in compliance, but I guess that gets to the heart of the issue with the Sokovia Accords - we have very little idea of what they actually entail. Probably because they didn’t want to drag down their superhero movie with too much politics, but by this point the lack of specifics is starting to hurt the overall universe.

    I actually thought they might have just abandoned the accords at some point post-Thanos but apparently Woo mentions them in WandaVision, so they’re still around but just don’t seem to actually mean anything or ever really get considered? That does make Steve’s reaction look worse in hindsight (and I’m Team Cap all the way).

    Tony’s reaction was a bit extreme from what we’d seen previously of him, but I think the “I don’t care, he killed my mum” line from him was so great/acted so well that I could buy it. I probably would have preferred if there was some closure between Bucky and Tony later where he comes to understand what being the Winter Soldier was like, and tries to forgive/help Bucky out of guilt for trying to murder him. There was simply no time for that though I suppose.

    On a similar note, listen to how cutting Clint’s speech to Tony is when he’s locked up in the raft. This is basically one of the last exchanges between these two OG Avengers and it never really comes up again. I think it cuts to the heart of some of the conflict of Civil War (and relates to what Heather is saying about how messed up it is Hawkeye is in there). Followed up by Tony hacking the Raft’s systems and going off on his own to Siberia, essentially undercutting the arguments he’s been making the whole movie. There’s definitely a message in there about billionaires supporting the status quo because they’re more capable of bending the rules, or choosing which/when laws apply to themselves.

    I think in an ideal world another Avengers movie before Infinity War to focus on some of the fallout and particulars of the accords would have been nice. It is kind of interesting going from that debate to an existential threat to the globe like Thanos though.

    Also, slightly off topic but my disappointment in Falcon and the Winter Soldier lead me to check out Amazon’s new animated series, ‘Invincible’. Highly recommend if you’re a fan of superhero stories, it’s awesome and feels like they really get the genre.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
  12. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony ~ Prestige ~

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    It definitely seemed like the MCU wasn't too interested in exploring the Accords after Civil War. As far as the broader plot goes, it wouldn't have made a huge difference if Civil War ended with someone saying the Accords wound up not going through, but the two sides aren't on speaking terms because of a lot of bad blood and hurt feelings after the fight.
     
  13. Erotic Adventures of S

    Erotic Adventures of S Denarii Host

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    Was talking to a friend today about the MCU and how opinions on how the movies have changed over time.

    For me Iron man 2 and 3 were originally weak, but now I enjoy them more as part of Tony’s story. Civil war as well is right up there for me considering the part it plays in the whole story, perhaps the single most important movie for meta story.

    My quick and dirty ranking after thinking back after a year of no MCU (aside from TV shows I haven’t got into).

    1. Thor Ragnarok
    2. Spider-Man Homecoming
    3. Infinity war/Endgame (either together or as 3/4 but I count as 1 unit)
    4. Guardians of the Galaxy 1.
    5. Civil War
    6. Spider-Man Far From Home
    7. Ironman 1
    8. Winter Soilder
    9. Guardians of the Galaxy 2
    10. Avengers 1

    Others are all jumbled in middle. Only ones I don’t really care for currently are Thor Dark World, Hulk, Captain America 1 and Captain Marvel. Not bad, but seem to lack the Marvel spark.
     
  14. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    For me the problem in Civil War is that the arguments are hilariously one sided - in Captain America's favour. As a result, you just roll your eyes at all the bad, fake conflict - your sense isn't that there's a genuine different of opinion between the characters; rather your sense is that Tony has been made irrational solely for the purpose of making him a villain for the movie. This is then reinforced by the whole "Tony can't distinguish between a person's free actions and their actions as a brainwashed automaton" aspect re: Bucky.

    With the broader "political" disagreement, the problem was that Marvel hadn't done any real groundwork to create any real sense that there's a good justification for regulating the Avengers, whose actions were consistently correct and good. We were never given an example of "Avenging" going badly wrong. They tried to do that with Wanda in the opening sequence, but the problem is that - in order to keep the audience sympathetic to her - Wanda's actions were all completely correct and the only objections to what she did are bad ones.

    The only wrong action which would justify regulation was Tony's creation of Ultron. But (i) that wasn't an act of the Avengers generally, it was Tony specifically, and (ii) it was an act of technological innovation, not an act of vigilante justice, and so the Accords are targeted entirely at the wrong activity if they are intended to prevent it. If you wanted to prevent another Ultron, you'd need an international agreement regulating research and development of technologies (like there is IRL re: cloning) not a series of rules regulating when heroes are allowed to save the world.
     
  15. Heather_Sinclair

    Heather_Sinclair Chief Warlock

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    There's a media problem here. There's only so much they can stick in a 2-2.5 hour movie, so they relied on all the other mediums to do the more defined work for them, at least when it was all considered canon. So, there was actually a lot of ground work involved. It was just cheaper to do it off the big screen for the most part. The MCU isn't something you can simply watch the movies and hope you get everything.

    And it wasn't regulating the Avengers so much as enhanced people in general. The Avengers were just the most prominent organized team that screwed up and gave the UN something to latch onto at the moment, so they wind up being the sacred cow.

    Avenging going wrong depends on your viewpoint (in canon) arguably every action they took was wrong according to someone for one reason or another, usually the government (Ross), media (talking heads), and eventual bad guys (Zemo) in general. Yes, for the most part, they did the right thing and chose the lesser evils in some instances, but that doesn't stop people from bitching and demanding control.
     
  16. Fatality

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    I mean, we know how all of that went down from the audience’s perspective, the wider public in the MCU probably just sees a bunch of crazy shit and people dying started happening semi-regularly ever since Stark put on that suit. There’s all the people Stark pissed off going after him, Hulk tearing up Harlem, Thor’s own brother attacking a town in New Mexico and then New York shortly after, Cap shooting down multiple giant helicarriers right above Washington DC. I’d probably be pretty scared if I’d lived through those few years, especially if I knew aliens were real and first contact involved them trying to genocide us. The public may even know they came looking for the Tesseract and think it’s a good idea to keep a low profile on the “signalling you’re ready for a higher form of war” front, to quote Thor.

    Plus, Ultron was much more of a team project than you give credit for. Banner worked on it as well, meaning a full third of the Avengers at the time were responsible for his creation. They also used the Mind Stone to create him, meaning it’s not a purely human technological invention and I think the Sokovia Accords could very well have mentioned something along the lines of not using Infinity Stones for research considering how many of them seem to end up on Earth.

    I do agree making Wanda’s actions the impetus for the accords was a bit weak since what she did was so easily justifiable, but I think the issue there was more of a situation of “who watches the Watchmen?” Sure, Wanda probably wouldn’t be convicted by a court - but she wasn’t even going to go before a court because she was an Avenger. Nigeria certainly wouldn’t be able to hold her accountable if she/the Avengers didn’t allow it.

    On Tony, I think creating Ultron (and his run in with the mother of one of those who died as a result at the beginning of Civil War) is definitely sufficient motivation to feel the need for some oversight on his behalf. It’s somewhat more out of character that he tries to push his decision on the others, but it tracks that Tony kind of considers the Avengers as his to do what he wants with considering he funds the whole thing. Plus he’s the futurist who knows what’s best for everyone like Clint says in that video I linked before.

    As for him trying to kill Bucky - can you honestly say you wouldn’t do the same if you’d just watched a video of the guy standing next to you beating your parents’ skulls in? It’s definitely the worst thing Tony ever does (or rather, tries to do) post-IM1 but I think we’d seen enough throughout the years of how much his parents deaths fucked him up that it was a believably human moment.

    That’s not to mention Steve withholding the knowledge from him, which is up there with not bothering to get Sharon a pardon for shitty offscreen choices the MCU made Steve make that sound out of character. I guess he decided it would only hurt Tony to know after so long, but I wish they’d delved into that choice more. Also that relates to one of my biggest sticking points with Civil War, that Zemo’s plan relied on a hell of a lot of luck, and I still don’t know how/if he knew that Steve knew about how Tony’s parents died.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
  17. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony ~ Prestige ~

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    I think Zemo’s plan in Civil War works a lot better if it’s less “my elaborate 45 step plan all played out perfectly” and more along the lines of Zemo being good at making it up as he goes along.

    As far as Wanda’s actions being what prompted the Accords, to me it came across as more of a tipping point. An embassy getting blown up is gonna lead to calls for scrutiny, even if the ultimate conclusion is that she did nothing wrong.
     
  18. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Not quite the thread for it, but we've talked about it in spoiler talk in discord. It's so good. I have to stop myself from going and getting the comic and spoiling myself.
     
  19. Erotic Adventures of S

    Erotic Adventures of S Denarii Host

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    Lol, I think you may need to rewatch the movies. This was set up from the very start of the MCU.

    The reporter grilling Tony about Ironman in the first (And 2nd, 3rd) Ironman movies, the Senate hearing in Ironman two was a huge lead up to this, hell the entire plot was heavily leading towards this.

    After the first Avengers movie there was the clips of people in NY saying who will pay for damages and who is in charge of the Avengers.

    In Age of Ultron Hulks rampage, and just the Avengers blatant disregard for international laws and boundaries.

    The start of Civil war is yet another example of it, one of many.

    The fact you think it was left field, or that it is obvious that Cap is right is mindblowing.

    Captains side are vigilantes who have killed people through their direct actions with no oversight, how the fuck is that ok?

    The accords and Tony's side is basically saying, that the Avengers need to be answerable to someone, and the UN is probably the best bet as it gives access to 99% of the world.

    To think that a private paramilitary group should be allowed to operate with out oversight is insane.

    You can say you agree with Captain, but to say its one sides is so blind as to be amazing.
     
  20. Stealthy

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    It can feel out of left field because prior to Civil War the MCU hardly gave a shit about collateral damage or jurisdiction or anything like that. I mean, it still kinda doesn't because it's just part of the Superhero genre and we're trained to ignore it unless it's in a way that we can't ignore (looking at you, Wandavision) or aren't supposed to (deconstruction type super hero stories like The Boys). It's often inconvenient to deal with, and I'm not going to care about Superman's jurisdiction unless you make it relevant to the story. I'll just assume it's either dealt with in the background or that everybody gives him a pass for the greater good of his current mission. There are more relevant things to care about.

    Like, just looking at these examples, yes they're "there", but never portrayed in a "you should side against the heroes here" sort of way, which means they don't really count as setting up the Accords. But rather, they tell us the opposite, that the public cost of superheroing is not worth worrying about in this universe.

    In Iron Man 2, which does have this whole subplot, the Senate is portrayed as an adversary (with the senator later being revealed to be Hydra, no less) that just wants to get its hands on Tony's suit, rather than a body exercising reasonable concern. The senate scene resolves itself when Tony basically just whips his dick out and slaps everybody with it, glorifying him and saying that he is in the right. And the plotline resolves not with Tony giving in to oversight, but Rhodey stealing a suit and using it as a US operative (thus underlining that it was always more about the government getting a suit, not putting Tony under control), and Tony is okay with it not because he believes the government should have it but because Rhodey is his friend.

    The post-battle news clips in Avengers 1 are basically lip service that's not really followed up on until Civil War, at which point it's been four years and however many movies. Plus the real focus from the tv talking heads in that sequence isn't on the need for oversight, but on the waitress talking about how great Captain America is.

    Hulk's rampage in Ultron has Banner freaking out about it, but if there's any actual public backlash against Hulk we don't really see it. To us, Hulk had a bad day but Tony stopped him from hurting anybody thanks to the precautions that Tony and Bruce put in place. They even made a point of having Tony buy the skyscraper and verifying that it was empty before smashing the Hulk through it.

    And if we're going to include throwaway lines, then we may as well mention that at one point I know Tony talks about sending in the Stark Foundation to help cleanup, indicating that he takes personal responsibility in fixing the Avengers' messes and thus telling the audience to handwave any damage being done as being fixed by the infinite money pool that is Tony Stark.

    And nothing outside the movies really counts. Movies are central canon, maybe now Disney Plus too but that's got some risks. If I'm asking for fiddly nerdy details? Sure, put them in tie-in books and comics and whatnot. But if I'm asking what the hell is the First Order, where did it come from, and last I checked we beat the Empire so why are we rebels again? That should be in the goddamn movie.

    The thing you dramatize is the thing that will matter. And the MCU spent a good long while never actually dramatizing the public cost of superheroes, at least not until Ultron/Civil War. It was full on the handwave express until it wanted to get off it for a brief stop, and would now kinda like to get back on it if nobody minds. Not like the Accords have mattered much since then anyway.

    But honestly I don't think that really matters as to why Civil War's conflict didn't fully work.

    Like, it does a little, but Ultron was a problem that was entirely of the Avengers' own making and also made a big enough destructive impact that it prompted the plotline nicely enough on its own. And it was the first time we got something with both of those factors. Yeah, it brings up past conflicts to re-contextualize them, but it's really just Sokovia that drives it. Would've been nice if they gave us some "there will be consequences" at the end of Ultron, but whatever, still works. Makes sense for the UN to make this demand. Makes sense for Tony to be for it, as part of his character arc. He's learned that his hands alone are not to be trusted, and there's a blown up city to prove it. Cap is a bit more iffy, because on one hand his moral compass may recognize that need, but he's learned in Winter Soldier to doubt the people he used to take orders from. Ultron wasn't his fault, that was a Bruce and Tony thing. And Steve's hands are trustworthy. He's Captain Goddamn America, after all.

    So the sides kinda work, and the fact that it's been like five years and people still argue over who was right means that on some level the writers did their job of making both sides sympathetic, if perhaps not universally sympathetic. All could've been done better, sure, but I can buy in.

    Problem is that when it comes down to it, is this really worth fighting over?

    Is this really worth breaking the team over?

    The Accords and Bucky? Really? Before the airport battle it's just like... this doesn't feel worth it. This feels like something they should be able to work out peacefully. I just do not buy that violence is the only feasible option here. They should be able to talk out a solution, so why didn't they dammit. But the airport battle was damn entertaining so fuck it, let's roll. MCU is (usually) great at getting you to just roll with it. Like, I get that this sort of story is hard. Hero vs hero conflicts are often a bit contrived to get around the pre-existing relationships and all the things a normal person would do before resorting to punching. It's why some flavor of brainwashing gets used a lot, but the MCU already did that to the Avengers (twice), so it can't pull it a third time. Especially not if you want it to have the dramatic weight of a real team split.

    But even if I was willing to roll with it for the fun of the airport fight, you can't seriously break the team with contrivance and manufacture. Just doesn't work.

    That said, there is one moment where it all works perfectly, and that's at the very end when Tony says "I don't care, he killed my mom". Great fight. Great emotion. Great motivations where we can sympathize with both sides. Sure, we side with Cap a bit more because Bucky was brainwashed (okay, so I guess we call it three times the MCU's done brainwashing), but we can at least get why Tony and Cap are fighting and are willing to break the friendship over the conflict. I get why Tony's going straight to violence. But that doesn't break the whole team, just Cap vs Tony. Team's already broken at that point anyway with half of them in Supermax, so while it gives the movie a great ending (which can always save you), it doesn't make the sundering of the Avengers feel any less fabricated.

    Because that's the problem, I think. It isn't that the Accords are badly set up, or that the Accords are nonsense, or that it doesn't make sense for the heroes in question to have picked their sides. It's that it doesn't make sense that they would've come to blows over this.

    The great irony here is that, despite being a vastly inferior movie, Batman Vs Superman did both these things well. It makes the public cost of Superman a central point, gives the pro-oversight people validity, and it ties it directly in to why Bruce wants to fight Superman. I don't doubt why Batman wants to fight Superman or vice versa, and I get why the public and government are concerned. Of course then they made the resolution contrived to the point of meme-dom, because the universe loves balance I guess, but oh well.

    tl;dr, Civil War is the epitome of Marvel's B Tier. Okay story buoyed by likable characters, a few great moments, and being a fun popcorn flick. How much you like it is based on how much you're willing to forgive the former because of the latter, or - if you want to be insulting about it - how much the latter makes you want to fill in the gaps for the former.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
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