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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

It has been a lifetime since this movie came out (just joking, a few months), but I remember it so clearly. I remember the many emotions I came out of it with, the things I kept picking up as I saw it numerous times, and the reasons why this was much better than Batman vs. Superman. Although I should say no movie is without its faults, and this one has them too. But it was pretty damn good considering how intensely stuffed it had to be, and what it presented was two points of view that both were valid in different ways. While I am generally Team Cap, that doesn’t mean I disagree with pro-registration. It makes sense too. I prefer being on Team Compromise myself, but you know, that would hardly make a good movie. So previously in the Marvel world, the Avengers were assembled by saving the world from Loki, Captain America found out his BFF Bucky wasn’t dead but kidnapped by HYDRA and turned into an assassin, and most recently, Tony and Bruce created Ultron and he turned evil and destroyed/killed a bunch of people. So that wasn’t good to say the least.

This movie takes place several months after Ultron. The Avengers team is now Cap, Black Widow, Rhodey, Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon. They have their own compound funded by Tony Stark. They are on a mission to stop Rumlow from Cap 2, who has a biological weapon. In the ensuing fight, a bomb goes off and Wanda attempts to shoot it into the sky using her powers, but it hits a building instead and people die. This leads to the UN having a discussion about the Avengers and their lack of culpability, since this was on foreign soil. Secretary of State Ross, the worst person ever just watch the Hulk movies, tells them that the UN is drafting Sokovia Accords. It will require the superheroes to sign and formally work under the guidance of the UN, or they will have to resign. Tony has decided to support this, based on his guilt of what Ultron did, and him clearly looking exhausted at this point. Also Pepper left him. No judgment here, he’s impossible. Steve is against it, bringing up pretty reasonable points that who knows if the UN will send them places they shouldn’t be, or stop them from places they need to go. There’s no real details yet on how they would function, how many people would have to sign off on it, etc. But they’re being pushed into signing. Of course Natasha is being the level headed one here, basically on the ‘let’s just sign it for now and then we can negotiate middle ground stuff later.’ Generally, I agree with Natasha, but I see both points.

This all gets very complicated. An attack on the UN leads to the King of Wakanda dying, and we first meet T’Challa, the Black Panther. The bomb, as you can see above. He’s the best. I love him so much. Out for blood, they all think Bucky Barnes is responsible, but he’s innocent. He’s being set up by someone named Zemo, and Steve knows they will kill Bucky if they get him. So he basically becomes public enemy #1 by diving in to save his friend. This is shortly after Peggy Carter officially dies, so Steve’s in an emotional place to say the least. They are captured and Bucky is held hostage, where Zemo says a set of code words that Hydra had specifically to set off the Winter Soldier. He tears through the compound but Steve manages to shuffle him off. He does temporarily consider making good with Tony, but he finds out that Vision is holding Wanda essentially prisoner at the compound, and that’s no bueno to him. Not to mention General Ross is basically the worst, did I mention that? This is going no where good.

So more or less, this is what happens: Steve’s team assembles (Falcon, Bucky, Hawkeye, Wanda, Ant-Man) because they know that Zemo is focused on something else entirely. He knows where the other Winter Soldiers are. However Tony’s team (Rhodey, Vision, Black Widow, Black Panther, and Spider-Man) is tasked to arrest them. Hey guess what, Spider-Man is in this. Because they need him to be. Even though it’s ridiculous that Tony would fly a teenager to Germany to fight against some of the most dangerous people in the world after seeing a YouTube video. WHATEVER. Steve’s team is arrested but he and Bucky get away. Tony realizes they’re right about Zemo, but when he arrives at the same time they do, Zemo reveals that Bucky is the one who murdered Tony’s parents. And Steve knew that he was. Bucky as the WINTER SOLDIER mind you. Obviously he is technically still a victim in this, as T’Challa points out later. Tony then attempts to murder Bucky while Steve stops him, there’s an emotional throw down, and Tony is beaten. Steve saves his team and they’re somewhere in hiding, since the Accords is still a thing. Rhodey almost died and is now paralyzed during the big fight scene. Bucky chooses to go under ice again in Wakanda so they can help remove his brainwashing, and T’Challa is now on Team BuckyCap because he recognizes Bucky was a victim too, like his father. T’Challa is the best. And that’s about it.

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So let’s talk about why this succeeds where Batman vs. Superman didn’t. First off, the conflict is complex, and both sides make sense. People have pointed out that in Batman vs. Superman they keep going YOU’RE A MURDEROUS VIGILANTE but they both are technically murderous vigilantes. That’s the conflict. In this, it makes the viewer think, because what would you do? Is it wiser to agree to be regulated without certainty that this regulation would suffice to save the most lives? Or be controlled by the wrong person (LIKE GENERAL ROSS)? But don’t people have the right to be afraid of collateral damage and want their heroes to be held culpable if they do make mistakes? Both sides have good and bad points. No one is 100% wrong or 100% right. And people are fighting over ideals and big picture issues, rather than something that can be wished away with YOUR MOM’S NAME IS MARTHA? Also it’s a very colorful and fun movie to watch, and it’s entertaining. It is serious, but it’s funny too, in just the right ways. Marvel does a great job with overall tone. I’m not saying this is a perfect movie, but it is overall a good one.

Personally the end didn’t work for me. I found it very frustrating that it was all about Tony Stark’s Dad Issues yet again for the 7th movie or so. I am so sick of Tony Stark. He’s just everywhere. It’s exhausting. I also find that taking the focus from the genuine conflict was irritating, because then it just became HE KILLED MY PARENTS and not REMEMBER WE HAD LEGITIMATE REASONS FOR DISAGREEING? Watching Tony Stark try to hunt down and murder Bucky as he was running away? That’s really not fun to watch, and I felt like he was almost a villain by the end. It’s not that I don’t understand his emotions on this, it just felt like they had a solid story here and then by the end it was really just all about Tony Stark. AGAIN. I am so tired of him. Anyway. The Accords is an interesting topic and I hope it doesn’t immediately get ignored in the next movie.

Everything was good in this? The acting was good, the action was good. It was too stuffed full so they probably could’ve gotten better emotional beats if they had less people in it. Cap 2 thrived because it had a core group of chars, and this one was so intense. It was really an Avengers movie, pretending to be a Cap movie. I am indifferent toward Spider-Man; he was funny and cute, but kind of pointless in this outside of people going LOOK WHO IT IS YAY. Ant-Man also served no purpose other than being Giant Man. I know that’s the point but siiiiiigh. I liked all the pieces of the movie. There were a few things that made me go ??????? (Sharon and Steve kiss that’s weird, where did Hawkeye come from and what are his motivations) and a few that made me go !!!!! (Sharon saying the You Move speech, T’Challa being the freaking best always). I enjoyed this film and I can’t wait to watch it on blu-ray. Was it perfect? Nope. Was it fun as hell? YUP. Was it thoughtful and genuine? Definitely. Was it a little too overstuffed? Yuck, yeah. I’d call this a B+/A- movie, and for all it needed to do and be, that’s pretty damn good.

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