Annlyel revisits the events of Civil War and discovers the emotional moments that fractured The Avengers…
Avengers: Infinity War has pretty much dominated my year when it comes to Marvel since it premiered in theaters in April. I haven’t been able to barely think of anything else as it wowed me with its incredible use of all of its heroes, Thanos, and the jaw-dropping ending that I could’ve never seen coming. But, after not having watched the film in months, I decided to revisit Captain America: Civil War and was quickly reminded why I enjoyed the movie so much the first time I watched it.
Captain America: Civil War is no Infinity War and yet somehow it feels almost more important than the incredible third instalment in The Avengers series, for it’s the movie that holds the most emotional significance.
On one side you have Tony Stark whose rock, Pepper Potts, the one person that keeps him, well, stable, has momentarily dumped him after he refused to stop being Iron Man. Like I said before, Pepper is his mental stability so without her we see Tony in the darkest place he has ever been since he had to face PTSD after The Battle of New York. He’s fragile, vulnerable, and he’s prone to make some drastic decisions to win back Pepper’s affection, such as help create the Sokovia Accords which would ultimately end The Avengers and turn them into the government’s puppets, for better or worse.
And then, on the other hand, you’ve got Steve Rogers who’s facing the hardest challenge he’s been dealt with; compromising his beliefs to make the world a “safer” place and fall under the blanket of the Sokovia Accords or go rogue (like he did in The Winter Soldier) and fight the system. After discovering that his best friend Bucky potentially blew up the UN and killed one of the most powerful leaders in the world, King T’Chaka, it isn’t long before Steve chooses the latter.
We watch as Steve and Tony metaphorically circle each other in the ring, the organization they helped create, The Avengers, crumbling all around them. Heroes take sides, punches are thrown, and the very bond of companionship that brought these people together feels broken.
But not all hope is lost as Tony begins to realize his mistake, learns that Steve was telling the truth about the fake doctor who framed Bucky, and rushes to aid him in potentially the greatest fight he, Captain America, and Bucky have ever faced as they prepare to fight the other Winter Soldiers.
Of course, because the Russo Brothers love a good plot twist, that’s not Zemo’s real mission. He instead had purposely lured Iron Man and Captain America into the same room so that he could show Tony the very thing that would officially fracture The Avengers for good; the cause of Tony’s parents’ death. And what made it worse was that Bucky had tagged along for the adventure.
Years of friendship goes up in flames as Tony fights Steve and Bucky with a ferocity that can only be described as pure hate. He doesn’t care what happens to either of them. All he wants to do is to brutally punish the man that had choked his beloved mother to death. Captain America just happened to be in the way.
I still remember when I watched the final fight scene between Tony, Steve, and Bucky for the first time. I was legitimately horrified. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I remember thinking to myself at the time, “Is this how Iron Man is going to die?”
Now, two years later, and that scene still affects me. It’s so deeply impactful in seeing two characters who were such good friends going to blows in such a violent way. Especially when Captain America destroys Iron Man’s chest reactor but Tony thought instead that Steve was going to swing the shield down into his exposed face. That’s just…terrible.
Seeing Tony wounded on the ground, his broken helmet on one side, Cap’s shield on the other, nearly brings me to tears every time. There’s something just so remotely heartbreaking about that moment as Tony watches Captain America walk away with his wounded friend in tow, the piano playing softly in the background to make the moment that much more saddening. That was the last time he saw Steve Rogers.
There are also so many other smaller but just as important emotional beats to the film as well. Wanda and Vision’s budding romance which ends tragically after Vision is forced to place her in custody. Black Widow‘s evolving stance of where she wanted to place her loyalty, which eventually coincides with Steve Rogers, making her a fugitive. And T’Challa‘s heartbreaking character development as he ends up losing his father (who he loved very much) in that explosion fits perfectly with the rest of the emotional beats of the film.
Infinity War is sad too because everyone died, but I still believe Captain America: Civil War is the franchise’s most emotionally impactful instalment. And that’s why it’s one of my favorite Marvel movies.
How would you handle a Civil War rewatch? Share your thoughts in the comments section…
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