It’s a bit late on this topic but I don’t care, I feel I need to get this off my shoulders. Something that’s bothered me about the recent Captain America: Civil War movie, is the complaints against Steve Rogers'(Captain America) reasons as to why he’s against signing the Sokovia Accords.
Just as a friendly reminder of what happened, Captain America and a few of the other Avengers, that being Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and the Falcon are tracking down Brock Rumlow, aka Crossbones. They’re able to stop him from stealing a biological weapon from a lab in the fictional nation of Wakanda. Rogers confronts Crossbones himself and when Cap gets the upper hand, Rumlow blows himself up in an attempt to kill Rogers. A near by Wanda Maxinoff(Scarlet Witch), tries to displace the blast into the sky using her telekinesis. However she can’t contain it long enough and it destroys a nearby building, killing several innocent humanitarian workers.
US Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross, aka Thunderbolt Ross, informs the Avengers that due to the recent incident on top of all the other matters of collateral damage involving their activities, the United Nations(UN) is about to pass what they call, the Sokavia Accords. This will create a UN panel with the power to oversee and control the teams actions from here on out. As anyone could guess, this causes a schism within the team, Tony Stark leads the charge of those in favor of the registration, arguing that super-powered beings need to be put in check. While Steve believes that the registration is an infringement on their freedom and liberty, taking away their right to choose.
I’ve seen people argue that Cap’s reasoning is selfish and irresponsible. That he comes off as someone who believes that he knows better and doesn’t need to supervision to know right from wrong. However there are two major factors and past experiences that need to be taken into consideration when analyzing his position.
First is that we need to take into account the events of its predecessor, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In what is my personal favorite movie that Marvel Studios has produced, Steve Rogers discovers that S.H.E.I.L.D. has been infiltrated by Hydra. That all the missions that he carried out for them are all under question, whether they were for the greater good and in the name of national security? Or if they were nothing more than plots that enabled Hydra to become even stronger and reach their end goal of global domination.
He understands that he can’t just blindly support and follow orders based solely on face value. A position that he held deeply during the events of his introduction movie, Captain America: The First Avenger. In the past he viewed the world as just simply black vs. white, good vs. evil, that there is a clear-cut border separating the two. He now realizes that there is no definitive line that defines what’s moral and principled. That you need to approach each scenario with caution and properly access the problems you’re confronting with nuances in mind. Captain America is worried and refuses to be tricked and taken advantage of again.
Another dilemma that Steve is facing is that by signing the Sokovia Accords he runs the risk of becoming a mindless drone, just like his best friend Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier. Unfortunately the movie doesn’t go into deep depth as to how the Sokovia Accords work but from what Thuderbolt Ross briefly explains, whenever the UN panel calls on the Avengers, they must answer the call with no questions asked. They don’t know who they’re facing and more importantly, the reasons why they are facing them. By signing these papers he gives up his liberty and the right to choose. He in turn can do something horrific and unjustified like…say…kill Tony Stark’s parents, just like the Winter Soldier.
I still unapologetically love this movie, it’s one of my favorites that have been released this year so far as well as being in my top 3 MCU movies. The emotional roller coaster it takes its audience on is marvelous, the themes are compelling, the characters are beyond engaging, and the cast is incredibly charismatic. However, at the end of the day it’s the job of the movie to portray and explain its themes. While it did this for me, the fact that others didn’t is a problem that should be acknowledged. Perhaps that’s the brilliance of the movie though, that it was meant to divide its audience as it did its characters.
So if you didn’t see what I saw and still don’t buy the explanations that I gave, that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion when it comes to film and that’s the best part about this amazing form of media, it’s all subjective. The fun comes from talking to others that saw a movie in a different light and having a discussion as to why they didn’t like a movie that you liked, or why they liked a movie that you didn’t like. All movie fans have a right to choose what movies they enjoy or didn’t enjoy, what matters to me is how well you can explain it.
So what are your thoughts about Captain America’s decision to be anti-registration? Are you team Cap or team Iron Man? If you are team Cap, did you see the same reasons as I did or did you see something else? If you were team Iron Man, did my argument persuade you or are you still on the side of the billionaire, womanizing, weapons manufacturer?
Written by Eric Bradach