We are only a few days away from the premiere of Avengers: Endgame and as the release date approaches and we reach the end of this journey, we want to look back on everything that brought us here. We’ve watched these heroes struggle, grow, and save humanity over the last ten years and our favorite moments of their stories. We will be going through each phase in order, covering every movie leading up to April 26. Endgame concludes the Captain America franchise with the realization of Civil War, a conflict between the two essential heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man and Captain America.
A couple members of our team have shared some of their favorite moments:
Captain America: Civil War is the final in the Captain America trilogy and boy does it have a lot to say. I also feel like it brings back what I loved the most: the friendship between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes. Immediately at the beginning of the movie, we know that this is going to be about finding Bucky/The Winter Soldier and that Steve is going to stop at nothing to save his best friend. A major source of conflict for the team is the signing of The Sokovia Accords. The team lost their united front as Tony signed and Steve refused. The Avengers were never meant to operate under a government entity, Captain America: The Winter Soldier proved that when SHIELD ended up being HYDRA. I do believe if given the time and had Bucky’s life not been on the line, the team could have come up with something better or stuck together on a decision. The last two Avengers movies proved that.
With that being said, I do have two favorite moments in this movie, which both contrast ironically. They both happen towards the end of the movie when the audience finds themselves in Siberia with Steve and Bucky. The first is when Tony shows up to back up Steve and Bucky after learning that Bucky was wrongfully framed by Zemo. It shows that despite the battle they fought at the airport and the differences they may still have over the Accords, Tony still had their back. He was prepared to take on an army of enhanced super soldiers with them because that is what a team does. For me this was an emotional scene because if we remember from the beginning of his journey in Iron Man, Tony Stark was not much of a team player, even in Avengers he still had his own agenda. Stepping up, admitting he was wrong and having Barnes and Rogers’ backs began a whole new character arch.
The second favorite scene is the one that breaks my heart. It is right after Tony finds out that The Winter Soldier killed his parents and Steve knew. Immediately they are thrown into this new, but familiar, battle of Stark vs. Rogers & Barnes and the cinematography used absolutely blew my mind. You could see that both sides were not about to give up. The way Steve and Bucky moved made it seem like they were an extension of each other, two halves of a whole. Even 70-80 years later, they still moved in sync. Also the nod to the very beginning of this journey in Captain America when pre-serum Steve is in the back alley way attempting to take down the bully and says “I can do this all day” was a heart clencher. This was still the same Brooklyn boy “too dumb to run away from a fight,” especially when it involved his best friend.
Marvel used Captain America: Civil War as a vehicle to tear the team down and make them vulnerable so that Infinity War would work well, because if the Avengers were all together that wouldn’t make a good finale, would it?
As we reach the final installment of the Captain America films, I must say that I am still a bit disappointed we didn’t get a film that is centered around Steve Rogers and the minor characters in the Captain America films, instead we’re getting a bit of a reloaded Avengers film. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy Civil War, it is without a doubt one of my favorite MCU films, but I wish we could have gotten a film between The Winter Soldier and Civil War, showing Steve’s search for Bucky and giving audiences more time to explore this character. However, Civil War still has a variety of scenes, story developments and relationship explorations that I thoroughly enjoy and help to explain the benefit of fitting Civil War into the narrative of the cinematic universe.
The “Avengers reloaded” concept offers one benefit: we see a lot of the characters we have gotten to know and witnessed their growth over time in this film and they all show certain signs of struggle. The idea of a “Team A” vs “Team B” narrative becomes evident from the start of the film, shown by the way each character deals with loss, negative outcomes and civilian victims in their missions. Tony Stark has been shown and portrayed as a man plagued by PTSD, from his responsibilities and from his inability to save everyone without losing someone else. We see him as a broken man in the beginning giving the presentation at MIT, after his confrontation with a mother who has lost her son due to a failed Avengers mission. Tony’s leaning towards the accords makes sense in this narrative, as does the majority of Team Iron Man joining him.
I never truly liked the “Team Cap” vs “Team Iron Man” conflict, because both sides had understandable reasons for their actions. Steve Rogers is a man of morals, of loyalty. He has been betrayed by a government who wanted to use him as a weapon and was infiltrated by the enemies who have brainwashed and tortured the only constant in his life, Bucky Barnes. Tony Stark cannot rely on superpowers, and albeit his mistrust of the government before, he does see the danger of the Avengers acting as their own institution without any control.
Beyond the core problem of this film, it is still a story of the bond of love and friendship. Steve is driven by his loyalty to Bucky to find him, and stands with him, ready to abandon all that he has been, his security and the closest thing to a home he has had in the years after emerging from the ice. Again, this is the strength of these films. Bucky’s and Steve’s relationship transcends so many layers and restrictions, which makes it the most important factor in the character’s developments. The way Bucky adjusts to civilian life, but also dealing with his crimes, the brainwashing and possible guilt he is feeling sets up a new path for he and Steve.
Of course, this film also introduces Black Panther and a new Spider-Man into the MCU, both of which will become a vital part of the future of the universe. Even though it is difficult to see your favorite heroes fight each other, the banter and dynamic between them is enjoyable to watch.
If I had to pick a favorite scene, it would also be the entire showdown between Tony, Steve and Bucky. They managed to depict the struggle Steve has when abandoning his former teammate and friend in order to stand with Bucky. The film also shows how Tony deals with that loss. The utter betrayal he feels and the way his grief fuels his anger is masterfully Portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.
The team had to be broken in order for the characters to grow, but we know that in a time of crisis they will always reunite. Maybe that’s why this film leaves me hopeful even though the ending is quite dark. And I know I said it’s redundant, but Team Cap forever.
Check back tomorrow for more Marvel coverage as we get ready for Avengers: Endgame!