The essential element for the success of the upcoming movie ‘Captain America: Civil War’ is going to be the premise upon which the two great heroes, Captain America and Iron Man, are in conflict and how this has come about. I say this as I ask myself what could be driving Iron Man to have such a strong opinion that it conflicts with Captain America. As fans, I think we all knew that a ‘Civil War’ movie was on the way, ever since the initial scenes of Tony Stark and Steve Rodgers exchanging frequent quips in the Avengers Assemble (2012) movie got us sniggering. The only issue is, Tony Stark seem to be having an extreme change of philosophy; at least according to the trailer, which would seem to be twisting the character arc into something quite unexpected.
Tony Stark has always been the “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” we have always loved but he has many defining characteristics that speak to us of his psyche and reveal some clues as to what has triggered this switch. Tony always liked being centre of attention, the fame and glory of Iron Man, and the source of his power and consequently his success is his genius and technology which he uses to control what is around him giving him a sense of security. He speaks of “privatising world peace” suggesting that he has managed to make peace and security a commodity that he can then own, and I think that it is this lack of control which is the source of his belief that the Avengers need to be kept in line, because it is too much of a swing for him to just suddenly believe in the concept of accountability and being subject to the control and influence of another…I mean he doesn’t even like to be handed things!
So something must happen to diminish his idea of control, something his armour cannot fix, and it has to be personal, so personal he is willing to fight his friends over it. Options are that it regards either Pepper Potts, his parent’s murder or his own morals. But there are several questions here…why set up a prison in the ocean (assuming it was him and his tech, which is suggested in the trailer)? We are repeatedly being told this is a Captain America story, so would there be a detailed background into something surrounding Pepper Potts? How does it link in to the previous movies? We can understand Captain America’s stance and mistrust of authority given what has happened to SHIELD and agree that “the safest hands are still our own”, but why wouldn’t our hands be the safest according to Iron Man, he has always flown solo?
My two cents on what will happen? Tony Stark has a personal distaste for Bucky Barnes because it will be revealed Bucky killed Starks parents, this is the emotional trigger driving Stark. He will want action to be taken against Bucky, probably vengeance, but he will not be able to go through with an ultimately violent solution against him because he cannot choose who lives and who dies and he cannot commit such an act. He wants people such as Bucky to be liable to ‘the group’ or the world’s governing body for what he has done and if elected officials find him guilty and punish him sufficiently that will be fair and satisfactory justice. Steve Rodgers will not only not want his friend to face any punishment for his actions, as he will argue he was under Hydra’s manipulation and control, which will inevitably anger Stark, but what will be similarly distressing for Tony is that Steve believes he is the one that should make that decision. Tony is choosing to let ‘the people of the world’ prosecute him and convict him because he cannot do it himself, and it is fairer for neither himself nor Cap to judge him as they are too close to the situation. However, to then deny him and his parents justice and then selfishly elect himself as the authority as to administer judgment would be too much for Tony Stark to concede, suggesting Cap is becoming too powerful and thinking himself above even his friends; leading to a support for a movement by the United Nations to control the actions of superheroes.
This element to the movie cannot be over emphasised, it will undoubtedly be a slug-fest with great action sequences and plot twists but this is essentially what the whole concept of the movie comes down to. The Russo Bros. nailed ‘The Winter Soldier’, in my opinion the best movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, as they pitched a political/philosophical war between two powerful military organisations but fought through elite soldiers SHIELD/Captain America and HYDRA/Winter Solider which gave us a deeper and more complete feel than a simple two guys going at it! Therefore I have faith they got this! A bit of a ramble I know, but this has to be spot on for it to work, I can’t wait for the movie and I have to confess…I am TeamCap. That’s my two cents, thanks for the read! What are you looking forward to in Civil War? Do you think the philosophical argument will be that relevant? Where do you think Starks mistrust of Cap is coming from?