Welcome back to the MCU Photo Recap Countdown! This week we’re diving into
Avengers 3 Captain America; Civil War. Cap had a lot to live up to after the unexpected raging success of Winter Soldier, and the subsequent team-up in Age of Ultron. And while yes, the movie seemed like another Avengers romp, it still had the depth and emotional gravity we’ve come to expect from a Captain America movie.
Look. I know this movie has flaws. The villainous plot is… whooboy, it’s a doozy. And maybe what I’m about to say is bonkers, but… I don’t care. I just plum do not give a hoot about the plot contrivances and holes. Yes, Zemo’s strategy was wacko. Yes, it took A LOT of shit to line up exactly right for his evil plan to succeed. But… WHATEVER, MAN! Iron Man made a weapon out of his watch, and Cap and Bucky fought off a whole unit of police in a stairwell, and BLACK PANTHER, and that airport fight, I mean… who even cares that it was superfluous, who cares that it was contrived, it was AWESOME, and I loved it.
The movie opened in 1991 Siberia, with a hydra agent reading Bucky his diary.
It turns out that after defrosting him, hydra needed to read him some words to kick-start his brain-washing and make him amenable to certain tasks. This specific task was to steal some blue serum from a car and murder the people inside. Dun dun dunnnnnnnn…
Back in the present, the team was after Rumlow (the hydra goon who got his ass kicked in an elevator, and then failed to vacate a crumbling building). It was a pretty awesome opening sequence, with teamwork and quips and kickassery. Cap fought his way through a whole whack of henchmen, and Wanda sucked poisonous gas out of a building, and Nat fought her way out of a truck-tank with a grenade, and Sam… did stuff too!
The team split up to chase down the biohazard that Rumlow’s dudes had stolen, while Steve fought Rumlow himself. It ended with Rumlow talking about Bucky to distract him long enough to set off a bomb. Luckily Wanda caught the blast with her witch-powers.
She tried to fling the blast to the heavens, but lost control and instead blew out the side of a building, killing a bunch of people, including some Wakandan representatives.
At this point I would like to point out that the whole world blamed Wanda, but if she had done nothing, everyone on the ground (including Cap) would be dead instead. She’s not the one who set off the bomb, WORLD!
In case you forgot about Tony’s sad family history that he still very much holds onto emotionally, his opening scene was sure to remind you. Tony invented a way to recreate memories so he could manipulate them to be less painful. In this case, the last time he saw his parents alive (because remember, Tony’s parents are dead).
After the presentation he ran into a lovely gilt trip disguised as a human being, who told him about her son’s death in Sokovia.
In case anyone was wondering how Tony Stark, the guy who basically told the government to eff the heck off in Iron Man 2, was on the side of the government on this one… guilt can be a crazy bitch sometimes. Let’s not forget who was mostly responsible for Ultron in the first place.
Wanda was getting called out hard on the news (and by the Wakandan king), so Steve gave her a pep talk that boiled down to, “you win some you lose some, kid.”
Another guilt-trip disguised as a human, General Ross, popped by the Avengers clubhouse to pitch them The Sokovia Accords – a document that would bind them to government oversight. One could say the Accords were spurred by what happened with Wanda, but that document was THICK. There’s no way they weren’t working on it from the moment Tony announced himself as Iron Man.
Oh, and if they don’t sign, they have to retire.
It was preeeeeeeeetty rich when Ross was all, “tell me Captain, do you know where Thor and Banner are right now? If I misplaced a couple of thirty-mega-ton-nukes, you can bet there’d be consequences.” BUT, didn’t he… create… the Hulk?? And then lose him??? EAT A DIRTY SOCK, ROSS!
Meet Zemo, this movie’s… main… antagonist? He broke into this hydra fellow’s hidey-home to steal Bucky’s brainwash-book, of which he knew because of the SHIELD/HYDRA files Nat released that one time. It’s funny that they all need this one specific book. No one managed to memorize the 7 words? No one thought to jot it down somewhere else? And why is it a whole book? Shouldn’t it be more of a list? Those words could fit on a post-it.
Vision, who is apparently the moral compass of this rag-tag group of weirdos because he can lift Thor’s hammer, was all, “being awesome attracts assholes.” He’s not wrong, per se, but he’s also not right. Figure THAT one out, nerds!
Then Tony put up a picture of Guilt Trip’s son and pretended like it was their fault he was dead, and that’s why he’s signing. But Steve, who seemed to be the only one in the room who knew he was in a superhero movie, was like, “in the real world, yes, obviously having oversight would be the best option, but this is the MCU, so this is dumb.”
Peggy Carter passed away in her sleep, and it was VERY VERY SAD, and Steve was such a sad little guy, because let’s be real – dude never got over her. But a fun surprise was that his current sort-of-tacked-on love interest was his first girlfriend’s niece! Because that’s not weird!
Nat came to support Steve, and also to tell him that she’s signing the accords. Have I mentioned how much I love their friendship? Because I love their friendship.
Nat had the honour of being the first character to interact with the Black Panther, who I feel has become a sort of celebrity within celebrities, you know what I mean? Then we met the King of Wakanda, who seemed like a really chill, cool dude. Can’t wait to really dive into his story-
WHOOPS NEVERMIND, he was blown up. The explosion rudely interrupted the summit, killing the king, and reeeeeally pissing off the Black Panther. And, according to the news coverage, it was done by none other than the Winter Soldier himself, Bucky!
This boy loves dramatic monologues and we love him for it.
Meanwhile, Sharon Carter gave Steve information about Bucky’s whereabouts because it was the right thing to do, NOT because she has a crush on him, you guys! OMG stop it, you’re embarrassing her!
Steve was all, “we’re best buds”, and Bucky was like, “are we though?” and Steve was like, “YES, obviously,” and Bucky reluctantly nodded with a sly grin (in my head).
This bro-union was cut short by a squad or seven of police coming to kill Bucky (under orders from the American government). What followed was a DOWNRIGHT AWESOME fight scene in a stairwell where both men fought off a wack-load of police while managing not kill anyone. I mean, sure, there was some maiming, injuries and likely some brain damage, but no one DIED, and that’s what counts.
Then all of a sudden Black Panther was there! He tackled Bucky on a rooftop and was very set to exact some old fashioned revenge killin’, but that would have taken the movie in a whole different direction, so instead they proceeded to fight/race through a car tunnel.
War Machine (Iron Patriot?) showed up to put a stop to a fight that was already stopped (haha, oh Rhodey), and I guess all the cops forgot that the order was to kill Bucky on sight because the boys were arrested. After T’Challa told them his entire backstory in a van, they were asked once again to sign the accords.
Steve was very close to signing, but then Tony let it slip that he’s detaining Wanda, and they got to bickering like the old married couple they are.
Meanwhile, Zemo had shown up posing as a psychiatrist in order to use the brain-wash-book and get some info, with the added bonus of turning Bucky into a mindless killer hunk.
Bucky almost busted out of his little bubble in time to stop Zemo from saying the words, but alas, this is a movie about superheroes fighting other superheroes, so he had to go on a fighting spree through a government facility.
Steve stopped Bucky from (literally) taking off, and they both took a dunk in some water (where Bucky got a cognitive recalibration), then they vamoosed.
Bucky spilled the beans on some super soldiers that hydra made, and blah blah blah countries will fall yadda yadda yadda, and Cap was like, “but WHY were they made, if hydra already had you?” and Bucky was like, “so we would have a reason to fight in an airport later,” and Cap nodded all sagely like, “that checks out.”
Tony negotiated 36 hours from Ross to bring Cap and his ruffians in before Ross… I don’t know, sends his soldiers? Like, what is Ross gonna do without Iron Man?
Anyway, both teams started recruiting as if they were told in advance that there’d be a big ol’ brawl in an airport.
Sweet Lord it feels so good to have our boy back home, doesn’t it? Tom Holland is perfect. Perfect, I say!
Anyway, after Tony flirted with Aunt May a ton (which made my 90s heart swoon), she let this grown man go into her teenage nephew’s room by himself, where he sat on his bed, pat his back, showed him videos, and indoctrinated him into a cult.
Strangely, Peter’s speech about why he does what he does sort of proves Cap’s point, doesn’t it? With great power DOES come great responsibility. “When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things happen, they happen because of you.” Sooooooo… if you can do the things that you can, Tony, and you let the government tell you that you can’t, and then the bad things happen, they happen because of you.
*smug ursula gif*
Vision went to flirt-town with Wanda, but it wasn’t as sweet as it could have been considering he was ordered to keep her inside the compound.
Clint came out of retirement to rescue Wanda from a place she maybe sort of wanted to leave a little bit. But then, as is always the case when someone tries to help Wanda, girl just did it herself. I mentioned in Age of Ultron how much I love this unlikely friendship, and it is 100% still true. Also a nice shout-out to
Natasha recruited Black Panther who only gave a hoot about the accords because of his father, and now only gives a hoot about getting revenge for his father. And we gave a hoot because gahhhhhhhhhhhh it’s Black Panther!!
Before fighting, they needed all their stuff back, which Sharon risked her job to give them. Then she and Cap smooched, and it was fine, but then they panned to the car where his two besties were watching approvingly, and it was MAGIC.
I will NOT let this bug me! I won’t! Even though the whole plot of his movie was to keep him legit so he can spend time with his daughter, then he just throws that away… ugh, we all know I don’t care about that, because having him there was awesome.
[They recruited him in the first place to fight the hydra soldiers, right? Just so my brain doesn’t completely explode. That’s… that’s why he was there? That’s why he would risk his freedom? For his country, right? Not for Cap and the Accords. Right? RIGHT?!?! Please someone tell me I’m right.]
Fight! Fight! Fight! You guys, don’t even pretend like this didn’t tickle you pink in the movie theatre, watching all these favourites fighting like the super badasses they are. Spiderman quipping all over the place, Sam and Bucky bickering at each other, Nat and Clint sort-of pretending to fight, Iron Man doin’ stuff, and Cap’s shield a be-boppin’ everywhere, Ant man turning huge and CATCHING RHODEY MID-FLIGHT! Baaahahahahahahaha I LOVE IT.
Everyone on team Cap was like, “you have to get to the MacGuffins! THAT’S the REAL fight! You go! We’ll hold them off! The MacGuffins are more important than anything! Remember me fondly! I regret nothing!” So Bucky and Steve raced to the jet, only to run into…
Nat threw a zapper at Black Panther and let the dudes skedaddle.
Quick question – did Steve try to explain the Hydra Super Soldier situation at any point during this fight? I feel like if he had said, “guys, there’s an actual emergency going on,” Tony would have been like, “oh shit, for real? Okay, let’s take care of THAT first, then deal with all this crap later.”
Tony and Rhodes were following the quinjet when Sam started to annoy them, so Rhodey asked Vision for some help. He was distracted by Wanda, so he shot, Sam deeked, and Rhodes was hit. He plummeted to the ground, and it was VERY DISTRESSING.
After taking Rhodey to the hospital and telling Nat that she’s a fugitive now, Tony learned the haps on Zemo, and the plot to frame Bucky. So naturally he went to a floating jail in the middle of the ocean with egg on his face, and a few questions for his pals.
Sam told him where Bucky and Cap had gone, and because I assume Tony has access to a time machine, he was able to get there just after them.
So they were a team again, and all was right with the world, and that’s where the movie ended, and nothing bad happened, the end!
Scratch that. Zemo played a tape from a security camera on the side of a… country… road? (LOL) It showed perfectly the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Stark by the Winter Soldier. This, coupled with the fact that Steve knew hydra had killed them, peeved Tony off enough to start a very lengthy brawl. There was punching and zapping and climbing and flying and throwing, and at one point Bucky tried to rip Tony’s reactor out of his suit and his ARM CAME OFF INSTEAD.
T’Challa, having heard everything Zemo said while detailing his evil plan to the others, tracked him down on a snowy cliff, being sad. T’Challa was all, “ya’ll dumb-dumbs, and I am not a dumb-dumb, so, byeeeeee.” Then he stopped Zemo from killing himself, because that boy deserves some punishment!
The fight ended with Cap shoving his shield into Tony’s reactor, then limping away with Bucky. But not before Tony, in a fit of spiteful rage, made him leave his mighty shield behind, seeing as it was Stark property and all.
This was all very upsetting. Also upsetting – the smug look Zemo gave Everett Ross (did they run out of names?) when Ross was all, “you didn’t win even a little bit!” and Zemo was all, “didn’t I though?” and the audience was like, “… what was his plan again?”
The movie couldn’t cue a mega-happy-ending because everyone was sad, but they tried their best, with Rhodey slowly learning to walk again, and a friendly letter from Steve to Tony, that said something like, “I can’t stay mad at you, or your soulful eyes, do you want to go to the movies with me, check yes, no, maybe.”
Basically he was saying they’re still pals if Tony wants, the ball is in his court. Oh, and that he’s not going his friends rot in jail, thank you very much!
Boom! Haha, stupid Ross. You don’t call the shots around here, chump! So sure, now Team Cap are fugitives, and that’s a bummer, but at least they’re together! Right guys??
The mid-credits scene saw Bucky being put back into cryo until they figure out how to fix his broken brain, and T’Challa ordering Cap another shield because they were in, you know, WAKANDA. *happy little wiggle*
The end credits scene served as a cute reminder of how adorable Spiderman is.
What did you guys think?? I remember loving this movie the first time I saw it. I was super distracted from the plot holes by all the awesomeness. I didn’t have a think about how bizarre Zemo’s plan was until my second viewing, and by my third (yes, in the theatre, I’m a wacko for these movies), I still didn’t care about the plot holes because PEW PEW PEW, OHHH WATCH OUT CAP, HOLY SHIT DID SCOTT JUST GO ALL HONEY I BLEW UP THE KID??? IS CAP CRYING OMG, HAHAHA PETER IS SO FUNNY.
How about you guys? Does the weirdo plot bug you, or were your rational souls bought by awesome fights and friendships and emotions and quips?
- Does Bucky’s arm need maintenance? He’s been awol for 2 years. Do you think he’s in need of a tune-up?
- K but, are the stakes high enough for this much damage of public property? That airport will not be functional for a while.
- Sure, Ultron was sort of on Tony, but… New York? If the Avengers weren’t there, the government would have bombed it, and then the aliens would have won anyway. So, once again, EAT A DIRTY SOCK, ROSS!
- ‘Member when Bucky was killing Tony’s dad, and Howard was like, “Sergeant Barnes??” because HOWARD AND BUCKY WERE FRIENDS DURING THE WAR. Just thought I’d point that out because if I’m feeling this, you have to too.
- I love Sam. I do. But it’s honestly cute the stuff they give him to do. Like when Wanda picked a guy up with her powers and was like, “Sam!” and tossed the guy to him, and Sam just sort of caught him and threw him to the ground. Like… girl, you could have done that yourself. Stop placating him!
- I wish Vision was sassy like Jarvis.
- You guys do I… do I ship Steve and Tony? Those two boys have CHEMISTRY, and I am here for it. They can have a sexy staring contest all the livelong day.
- I’ll be honest, I had no sweet clue who Black Panther was before this movie, but you can bet your bippy I went home to research him afterwards because SWEET DAMN he’s so badass.
- Bechdale Test: Marginal pass, depending on whether or not you think a three-way convo including Cap, Nat and Wanda counts.
- If you had a fight with a friend, would you send a burner phone? Or, like, chocolate? Or maybe a life-size portrait of them riding a majestic beast through space?
OKAY LATER PALS STAY SAFE OUT THERE!