This past week, several exciting things happened in my life. I had two Thanksgiving dinners and I went to Stockholm. But those adventures pale in comparison to something else that happened this week — the release of the trailer for Captain America: Civil War. (In case comedic hyperbole doesn’t translate well over text: I don’t actually think a trailer is cooler than going to Sweden. It comes pretty close, though.)
While I am incredibly critical of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I am also a huge fan, and I think that the Captain America movies have been two of the better Marvel offerings. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not only in my top three Marvel movies, it’s one of my favorite comic book movies of all time. It’s a 1970s-style political thriller dressed up like a superhero film, an indictment of post-9/11 cultural paranoia paired with exciting action and moving character development. The movie also indirectly made Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a far better show: it forced the showrunners to up the ante post-“Hydra has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D.” reveal. Basically, CA:TWS is a fabulous movie. (As always, I refer to the Honest Trailer to further my point.)
The trailer for Captain America: Civil War makes me incredibly excited to watch the movie. Moving beyond my feels regarding the various character relationships—we’ll get back to that in a moment—the Civil War comics plotline is very interesting. The story centers on a superhero registration act, which Tony Stark is for and Steve Rogers is against. There’s no clear-cut villain in this story; Stark and his team believe in accountability for the great and terrible things that heroes have the power to do, whereas Steve and his allies are against mandatory registration of people simply because of their differences. Given the current political situation, it will be interesting to watch a movie which deals so heavily with the nature of outsiders and acceptance. Civil War furthermore seems to incorporate the relationship between Steve and Bucky into the plot, which adds a level of emotional depth to the story.
Which brings me to the feels. There are a lot of them. I’ve divided my feelings regarding CA:CW into two sections: excitement and anxiety. I’m so excited not only to see the way in which the story is executed but also all of the characters which I adore. I’m very happy about the return of Sam Wilson—aka Falcon—who was last seen becoming a new Avenger in Avengers: Age of Ultron and meeting up with Scott Lang in Ant-Man. I’m also excited that Natasha Romanoff will be playing such a big part in the movie, but that emotion has a caveat. Much like her ever-changing hairstyle, Natasha’s personality transforms with every movie that she’s in. It’s partially the metamorphic nature of her superspy persona, but mostly it’s inconsistent writing. Natasha is written to compliment the male leads of different movies, which leads to uncertain character development. Hopefully CA:CW will improve upon this trend. This movie will also introduce the audience to T’Challa, aka Black Panther; I don’t know much about this hero, but I’m excited to meet the character!
On to my feelings of anxiety. I am very pleased that Steve and Bucky’s relationship will be so central to the plot, but I’m worried about seeing my favorite characters fight. At the end of the trailer, when Steve and Bucky are fighting Tony, I literally feel a pit of anxiety in my stomach. I don’t know who to side with! I just wish we could all just get along like we did in middle school!
Overall, I can’t wait to see Captain America: Civil War, despite my worries and partial doubts. Fortunately for me, I live in London, so I’ll be seeing the movie two weeks before American audiences. My expectations are admittedly sky high, but to be honest, Steve Rogers has yet to disappoint.