I'm a little late to the game, as the movie just came out on DVD today. I want to preface this by saying that I am a fan of Marvel movies and I find them to all be entertaining. I want to skip the love-fest and dive into some critiques.
**WARNING - Spoilers**
Not Super Enough?
The movie starts with Crossbones deciding it's time to raid a poorly defended medical facility that houses some rare contagion. It's a real bad-ass way to start things off, with the bad guys popping out of trucks in a full-on assault.
These guys are ruthless, popping off civilians left and right. They gas the rest to get to the vial, but wouldn't you know, the Avengers show up. Captain and team take Crossbones down. When he's got no move left, he decides to try to take Captain with him. Steve is helpless and looks like a goner, until Scarlet Witch saves the day and swoops the explosion up into the air.
Unfortunately, she wasn't quite enough of a super-hero, and there was some serious collateral damage from the blast. While this was pretty tragic, I think had she done nothing and allowed the bomb to vaporize hundreds including her and Steve, it would have been a lot worse.
Meanwhile, they stopped the spread of a potentially cataclysmic contagion. No big deal. They also stopped a few dozen baddies who didn't mind filling innocents up with lead.
Don't worry though, their reckless ways have come to an end. Governments have had enough. You know, the same governments that were infested with Hydra double agents in the last Captain America. Why wouldn't you want them to oversee super heroes? Clearly, there are no risks with that theory.
A bomb goes off at the UN and Bucky, the Winter Soldier, is blamed as the culprit. Tony and others advise Captain to stand down, but Captain has none of it. Another great action scene results in Steve, the Black Panther, Falcon, and Bucky all getting caught.
Tony Stark caves and claims to be helping to protect the team by allowing government intervention in their operations. That's great, Tony. Let's start trusting these new government overseers, now that we have Bucky captive. Oh snap, look at that, a bad guy decided to sneak in, mind control Bucky, and then bounce out of there. Good job! Way to oversee everything!
I guess my main problem with the oversight theory, is that it sets an unattainable level of productivity that no super hero could ever match. What's even more ridiculous, is that governments that have 10-1 innocent to "bad guy" death ratio in their wars, can honestly propose this with a straight face. Why would the Avengers ever listen anyways? What's the goverment going to do? Don't they remember the last time they tried to contain the Hulk?
Any way you look at it, this whole rift is created from a relatively loose plot construct. I like the idea of the Avengers being divided, even with governments being at the center, but let's flush the thought out some more before running with it, to make it more believable.
No one's perfect, including the governments that would oversee them of course, but even with all of their collateral damage, the Avengers have saved the Earth on at least two occasions. I think that is worth giving them a little room to operate even if they misdirect a bomb or two in the process of fending off aliens or whatever else is trying to annihilate us.
This continues through the movie as we climax with a superhero battle to end all superhero battles. Peter Parker's debut in this movie is hilarious and action-filled. Paul Rudd does a great job showing off some of his new powers as Ant-man, and Hawk-eye decides to even load him up on the arrow a couple times.
All great stuff. The main plot line with Zemo, however, sort of fell flat. It never really goes anywhere, and the movie's focus constantly shifts back to the inner turmoil within the Avengers. This is Civil War, so I suppose this can't get held against them. However, it felt like a major plot line got overlooked in the process.
Steve and Tony battle it out with fists relentlessly flying in every direction. Tony seems to have the upper hand with his AI fight program, however, Steve doesn't give up, and eventually leaves Tony a relatively broken man. Captain walks off into the sunset, before visiting the prison where the government had been holding his friends.
He leaves a message for Tony, basically saying that he has his back, even though he's going to do his own thing. We know the Avengers will be getting back together for Avengers III, so clearly this helped to tie that bridge together a bit.
Meanwhile, we're left to wonder about the greater implications all of this will have in future installments within the universe. Will the resentment and bitterness from this event tear the team apart in the future? Will Tony and Steve ever really be on the same team again?
It was a fun time, but I thought Winter Soldier was better. Although the action and intermittent humor delivered throughout, the plot unraveled a bit and left me wanting for more. That's probably by design, but I wanted a little bit more out of this Captain America. Still, it's a great super hero movie, and well worth a watch.