Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War

By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries

Being a huge fan of Marvel movies, I saw Captain America: Civil War on its opening weekend. I really enjoyed it. The special effects were amazing. The quality of the acting was good. The plot was well-developed and reasonably free of holes (but, it is a comic book movie after all). The conflict between Captain America and Iron Man had a legitimate cause, and the climactic fight at the end of the movie was truly emotionally gripping.

I'll keep this review as spoiler free as possible. Essentially, due to all of the collateral damage the Avengers have caused, the governments of the world draft the Sokovia Accords, which would put the Avengers under the control of the United Nations, and require all other super-powered individuals to register. Because of his distrust of the government, Captain America refuses to sign (and several Avengers agree with him). Because of his guilt over the destruction he has caused, Iron Man signs the accords (and several Avengers agree with him).

This leads to an amazing battle between the two teams at an airport. But, it is a battle in which the two teams are definitely pulling their punches, with no desire to actually harm anyone on the other team. It is a fun and humorous conflict, not a real one. But even in this half-hearted fight, one of the Avengers is seriously wounded.

Behind the scenes is Baron Zemo, who for reasons unknown until the end of the movie, is orchestrating the conflict between the Avengers. When his nefarious plot successfully runs its course, it results in Captain America and Iron Man legitimately trying to hurt, possibly kill, each other.

I was very satisfied with the ending. The differences are not swept under the rug, but the conflict seems to be, for the most part, resolved. There is no definitive right or wrong. Both Captain America and Iron Man are presented as flawed characters who are trying to do what is right, while not being entirely certain they are in the right.

The only aspect of the movie I didn't really care for was the premise behind the Sokovia Accords. Yes, the Avengers have caused a lot of collateral damage. But, they did so saving the world from aliens (Avengers 1), saving millions of people from being assassinated by Hydra (Captain America 2), saving the world from a tyrannical robot and falling city which, if it hit ground, would be an extinction level event (Avengers 2), and preventing a biological weapon from falling into the hands of a terrorist (at the beginning of this movie). So, I really don't get how the Avengers would be blamed for thousands of people being killed when they prevented the extinction of the entire human race. But, again, it is a comic book movie after all.

Did I enjoy the movie? Yes, definitely. Do I recommend the movie? I am not in the business of recommending movies. Whether other people go to see a movie is up to their own consciences. It is between them and God. The movie is rated PG-13, so there is a little bad language and quite a bit of violence.

Are there any prominent Christian themes in Captain America: Civil War? The theme that most stood out to me is revenge. The governments of the world want revenge against the Winter Soldier. Baron Zemo wants revenge against the Avengers. The Black Panther wants revenge. At the end of the movie, Iron Man definitely wants revenge.

Captain America: Civil War powerfully portrays what happens when the Bible's commands to not take revenge are ignored (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30). The Bible has a lot to say about revenge / vengeance: When people refuse to leave vengeance up to God and try to take revenge for themselves, it leads them to make unwise, misguided, and often evil decisions — you know, just like characters so often do in comic book movies.

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Published 5-12-16