Captain America is the ultimate super hero. I’ve said this before. In detail (you can read about it here).
That’s why I was a little offended when some people claimed Cap was dumping on the world in order to save Bucky.
It was bad enough when they claimed Cap didn’t have a real reason for neglecting the treaty. You know, the Sokovia initiative that 117 countries in the UN had agreed would govern future missions of the Avengers.
These naysayers assassinated Captain Rogers’ character because he turned on his “team.” All because protecting Bucky was more important than anything. Cap forfeited his good name and reputation all in the name of bromance.
I disagree. Cap wanted to help Bucky, sure, but it’s all about freedom with Captain Rogers. It always has been. Ever since we met him before World War 2. Back before he was an “enhanced” human.
I blame the storytellers for this misunderstanding – or misrepresentation, depending on if you’re #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan. They didn’t do the best job laying down out the cause and effect bread crumbs.
Why did Iron Man, a guy who flouted authority at every turn, suddenly change his mind? Why did the team captain, a known rule-follower, stop following the status quo?
Iron Man’s change of heart was linked to his encounter with the grieving mother in the basement of MIT.
Thousands of people died in the combined alien attacks the Avengers defended against. Why did this one boy’s story suddenly make Stark rethink his attitude about accountability?
Bring in the end of his relationship with Pepper. He says himself that signing this treaty is his last ditch effort to win her back. Because he can’t stop putting the suit on. And that has nothing to do with saving the world and everything to do with self-redemption. He said as much to the woman at MIT.
He tried to use the boy’s death to motivate the other Avengers to sign the treaty. This was no different than General Ross’ replay of the destruction caused by their former battles.
Even before Iron Man and the General come calling, Cap is watching the news. He was appalled at the destruction in Nigeria (a mistake). However, he realizes the goal and purpose of the team is bigger than that.
Is Cap calloused about the collateral damage? I don’t think so. He understands the principle of commanding soldiers in every offensive. Innocents will die, but you can limit the number of casualties by eliminating the mastermind criminals.
“You can’t bring them back.”
The biggest contributor to Cap’s change of heart toward the “new rules” proposed by the government is Agent Carter’s death. Specifically her words about compromise resonate with Cap. “Compromise where you can. Where you can’t, plant yourself like a tree.”
Cap couldn’t compromise on using his abilities to protect the masses. This isn’t news to anyone who’s been following the franchise. In the first Avengers movie, he told Director Fury something similar.
Captain America’s done being used by politicians to further their agendas. He wasn’t sad to see S.H.I.E.L.D. fall. They had too much control and wanted even more. Their presence was infringing on the right to freedom and justice for Joe American.
The irony: in choosing not to sign this UN proposal he falls into the machinations of the evil mastermind central to Captain America: Civil War.
There’s no doubt that Cap was distracted by the thought of helping Bucky. We saw this in the beginning when the virus-stealing terrorist mentioned his name.
That fact is how the vengeance-seeking villain manipulated the situation. He had “studied” the team, and especially Cap, for a year. He knew Bucky was his “weakness.”
And he used that to move the Avengers around the chessboard of his evil plot.
Emmo manipulated the system to force Cap’s hand. Cap had to choose “follow the new law” (which he never agreed to do) or follow his principles. Would he let the authorities gun down an unconvicted man? (Face it. We all knew Bucky had to be innocent since he was in Bucharest while the UN was bombed in Vienna.)
Cap felt it was his duty to bring Bucky in because he would have the best chance of doing so without collateral damage (and isn’t that was the muckety-mucks were supposedly screaming about?). He went to Bucky’s apartment with the intention of taking him to the authorities.
Would he have protected a perfect stranger with the same vigor? I would say yes. Because that is who he is. He’s the defender of the weak, protector of freedom and upholder of justice. Even though the filmmakers have tried to paint him in a different light in this movie.
Another reason Emmo chose to frame Bucky was because he needed the information about the other winter soldiers. The fact that he knew Cap would feel compelled to protect him, even if it meant going against the rest of the team, was an additional bonus.
The logic behind Emmo’s knowledge is another shortfall in this film. How did he know about the Starks’ murder ahead of time? The video footage was an essential part of guaranteeing a fight between Tony and Steve.
On my second viewing of the movie, I did catch how Emmo ordered breakfast from Russia. This insured that room service would discover the dead psychiatrist thus alerting the Avengers that everything had been a set up.
But the power-jealous authorities won’t see it that way. And that’s why Captain America had to step outside the law to deal with this villain.
Is my infatuation with Cap blinding me to this bromance-inspired revolt? I don’t think so.
What do you think? Were the motives for Tony and Cap realistic? Do you think Cap would have signed the treaty if Bucky wasn’t in danger?