The Premise Behind Captain America: Civil War Really Is Dumb

I have now seen Captain America: Civil War twice. I took my kids to see it today. It was a bit too intense for the seven year old, but the ten year old and all her friends who’ve seen it absolutely loved it.

I liked it too. It was an enjoyable movie. The Spiderman is probably the most authentic depiction of Spiderman on the screen and was the one character my seven year old absolutely adored in the movie.

Having now watched it twice, though, the central premise really is as dumb as I took it to be the first time I watched it.

Essentially, because of all the carnage caused by the Avengers, including at the start of the movie, the United Nations has 117 countries on board a plan to control the Avengers. SHIELD is gone, the World Security Council is gone, and somehow the American Secretary of State, who spends his time at a supermax ocean prison, is in charge of things.

First, and yes, the movie really is about a conflict that stems from who will sign and not sign the United Nations accord regulating super heroes. It is a movie about bureaucracy, bureaucrats, and government control at heart. While that premise is dumb in and of itself, that’s not what I’m talking about.

It turns out that everyone blames the Avengers for the death and destruction all the bad guys caused. There’s a woman who confronts Tony Stark about murdering her son in Sokovia by dropping a building on him. Last I checked, the Avengers actually saved a hell of a lot of people from Ultron, who was the one dropping buildings.

Still others were upset with the Avengers for all the damage caused to New York in that battle. You know, that battle where the Avengers saved the whole planet from invading aliens who caused all the damage.

That central premise just strikes me as stupid. We have several movies where the Avengers, at the conclusion, are hailed as heroes for saving the planet. Then, in Captain America: Civil War, suddenly everyone forgets about the aliens, Ultron, and terrorists and instead blame the Avengers.

Even the ultimate bad guy who causes the team to fracture holds the Avengers, not Ultron, responsible for Sokovia’s destruction. Yes, I realize Tony Stark created Ultron, but considering all the other blame for all the other things, that seems ancillary to the issue at hand.

The movie was highly enjoyable. But the premise really is dumb.

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Erick Erickson

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