Welcome to another edition of our recurring feature here at FilmGoblin:  NERD FIGHT!

How it works is really simple:  A movie-related central supposition or motion is proposed, and then everyone everywhere can go full geek and debate that motion.

The only rules are:

  1. Stay on topic.
  2. No personal attacks / don’t be a dick!
  3. Have fun.
It’s on like Megalodon!

The Motion

This Nerd Fight topic is proposed by Film Goblin Director Of Stoicism and Resident Mexican God, Helluva Texas Ronin.

Got an idea for Nerd Fight? See below for how to submit.

The motion is this:

 WAR!  What is it good for?  Absolutely nothing in this case!

Captain America : Civil War is a pointless, nothing movie!

It just sits there, between the excellence of The Winter Soldier and the superlative Avengers: Infinity War as a half-hearted, half-assed Avengers 2.5 that seems to serve no purpose but to introduce Black Panther and Spider-Man without having to risk their own movies yet, and as a test bed to a big team up before the main course of Infinity War.

It even manages to have Cap share the limelight in his own movie with Stark. No!  Just No!

Like a ruck?  Can’t go a day without an argument on the internet?  You contrarian bastard, you.  Get your freak on with some earlier Nerd Fights:

Star Wars here.

Bond here.

Marvel here.

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61 COMMENTS

  1. I had a bit of a problem with the scene at the end where Steve writes Tony a note apologising for hurting his feelings. This is not the way grown men usually interact with each other, particularly tough old war veterans. It felt more like something out of a slashfic.

  2. LOVE Civil War. It’s awesome, and a deliberate set-up for Infinity War on multiple levels. Not perfect, could maybe have been done differently Zola-wise, but it’s still Tier-1 MCU in my book.

    In two years time we’ll *all* be weeping tears of bitter regret and loss at what Disney’s done to the MCU, and every single one of us will be wishing they’d make something even half as good as Civil War. FACT!!!

  3. Next we should do The Hunger Games as a rejection of intersectionality, gender roles and the hedonistic excesses of urban liberalism.

  4. I had a bit of a problem with the scene at the end where Steve writes Tony a note apologising for hurting his feelings. This is not the way grown men usually interact with each other, particularly tough old war veterans. It felt more like something out of a slashfic.

    • Yes..Cap ,if properly written wouldn’t feel the need to apologize to Tony for standing for what he felt was right,and to further adress a point made above, Cap has always went against the government when It has become corrupt in the comics. some of his best story arcs highlight this in fact…but i do agree that this vital trait was severely compromised by making starks side of the argument more sympathetic in comparison to how his character was originally handled in the comics during this ordeal..which is a shame because watching stark become major a threat, who’s mis guided, self righteous actions throughout the bulk of the story had boardered on outright villainy, would have been a really cool and interesting angle to take starks character arc. especialy since he ultimately comes to regret the part he played in enforcing the registration act seeing as how it eventually lead to caps assasination,it would have also given RDJ a reason to actually act outside of launching quips non stop for a change ..but alas.

      • But how was NATO/”The Security Council” corrupt in CW? They were just doing what any governing body would logically do in the aftermath of a group of mercenaries blowing shit up. I still don’t understand Cap’s reasoning. He’s a soldier who follows chain of command. Why would he suddenly want to privatize The Avengers who were working under SHIELD in the first place? I’ve seen the movie like three times, never once when Cap is explaining his position did I say, “Oooh. He’s right.” In the real world, he’s 100% WRONG. And when critics and everyone were saying how pertinent it was to real world affairs I was like, “How?” if the story was about how Cap knew the members of the security council were aligned with Hydra then that would be something I could get behind. But that’s not there. He’s just being contrary with a bunch of bullshit movie reasons.

        • “And when critics and everyone were saying how pertinent it was to real world affairs”

          Because Bush/Cheney. In 2014. No I’m not joking. “The Patriot Act.” Not NSA surveillance. Not tapping the phones of reporters. Not jailing said reporters.

          The Patriot Act. This is what they say. They aren’t human beings with actual agency.

          • Well, again. Critics. Idiots. I swear they all read the NYT review and decide that’s how they’ll judge a movie. Or any story for that matter. But wouldn’t most dyed-in-the wool liberals agree that somebody with a bunch of weapons would have to report to a governing body? The Avengers are effectively like any government contractor. Those guys (and gals! Musn’t forget all those kick ass women!) still report to the military.

        • So much of this shizim is due to cap being out of touch and somewhat disgusted with the modern politics of mortality as it relates to geo politics and the grey area it has created across the world stage during the last 70 years since he was frozen, and as a result cap by and large is distrustfull of the system and says as much thru out all the films hes apeared in leading to this one(among the very best I feel being in avengers (2012) “when I went under,they said we won,..they didn’t say we lost…”) also the fact that hes personally seen up close what too much power in the wrong hands can do and how that related to shields infiltration by hydra is why I can see him not going for the accords..cap has NEVER been one to follow orders that he feels are intrinsically wrong or are ment to encroach upon the freedoms of the innocent. Cap may be a loyal solder but he’s never been a lacky for burocrats who cant see the forrest before the trees,not intentionally at least. That being said..trivializing all of the above by making bucky the focal point of all this and not the larger moral implications of the accords in general from the outset is why I belive this Is the weakest out of all of caps solo films, cap is the sort that wouldn’t flinch in telling stark that he knew that Bucky killed his parents when questioned about it.(not pausing as if he was caught it a lie like in the movie)..and that ultimately bucky did it as a pawn of hydra and that he’d plunge the world into a possible world war to protect him and to do what’s right, and should be asking Tony why arnt you too?..why are you letting these lecherous assholes hunt us down and destroy us after all we’ve seen and and faught for together? ..is this all its take for you to turn around and fuck us flakey little shit?!?…but I digress, It might be a hard sell to the audience to show cap to be so unwavering in his beliefs, but that’s what cap is, and why in so many ways he’s been the heart of the MCU for so long. It would have made their fight at the end have the dramatic and thematic weight it deserved, vs just feeling like a hap hazard collision and culmination of events plotted by a outside force….”THE HARDIST CHOICES REQUIRE THE STRONGEST WILL”..Thanos

          • Right but the film didn’t go into the comic book territory of they have to reveal their identity or home address or something that truly endangered them. The Accords just say that they are under government control, which they basically were when they were under SHIELD. My point is the script doesn’t work on an emotional or intellectual level. I’m left going, “What was Cap’s problem?” The film/script conjured up all this non-conflict only to throw it out the window and have it be over Bucky killing Stark’s parents. Everybody seems to be seeing what they want in this film. But it’s not a text book case of leaving things open to interpretation. There’s NOTHING at the core. It’s all politicalbabble.

          • Oh no doubt if were going by what’s presented,its why I’m not this films biggest fan.i think the movie is solid the first 35 mins in..then it just kinda falls apart for me..I love the end fight between stark and Rogers but it feels cheap in how it got to that point.not enough context is expressed within the story to make it compelling enough for me.

  5. I think it has a point in that they really needed to break up the Avengers to add some weight to Infinity War.

  6. Thank you, Cahuna! I made this point when it came out and got shouted down on old AICN. (The same shit occurred on the same site in 2002 with Raimi’s Spiderman when I pointed out it had no discernible plot.) My point was freakin’ Bucky has to stand trial for murder. Period. Mind control or not. Cap’s devotion to him borders on Longtime Companion-ish. Cap acts completely out of character, without any logic simply so he can fight Iron Man. The movie is WEAK. And all the shills on AICN were screaming, “You’re a loser. Who probably never had a best friend before!” And I was like, “Uh. Best friend or not, the law says he has to stand trial for heinous crimes. That’s Cap’s first responsibility as an American Soldier.” Funny what hype does. It blinds these comic book reading fools. Story first, assholes. Then you can have your cosplay.

          • One more thing for all those Civil War defenders out there: the Accords and Bucky’s capture have nothing to do with one another. All the plot and build up to the climactic duel has nothing to do with why Cap and Iron Man are fighting. Red-herrings galore. Bruel’s Zemo is completely under-written. It’s a poorly written movie. It should’ve started with Tony seeing the tape of his parents’ murder. And let the tension rise from there.

          • The main story is about the accords, which Cap and Stark are split on right from the off -bringing them into conflict.
            Bucky’s a secondary plot, along with Zemo. He was just trying to set Bucky up so the Avengers would chase the lead down to the arctic base where Stark would learn about his parents and turn on Cap.
            Zemo wasn’t interested in the accords. They’re a completely separate story, even though they arose simultaneously from the same fallout from Sokovia. As far as Zemo was concerned, Cap and Stark were meant to reach the arctic base still on the same team.

            You can view the whole thing -the accords and Zemo’s plan, as two separate problems partly of the Avenger’s own making. Kind of like fate catching up with them, and their falling out and coming to blows being inevitable on multiple fronts as a result of their natures and their abilities.

            It’s maybe not quite the way I’d have set things up, but it hangs together really well in my eyes -more on repeat viewings than the first time.

          • The main story is about the accords, which Cap and Stark are split on right from the off -bringing them into conflict.
            Bucky’s a secondary plot, along with Zemo. He was just trying to set Bucky up so the Avengers would chase the lead down to the arctic base where Stark would learn about his parents and turn on Cap.
            Zemo wasn’t interested in the accords. They’re a completely separate story, even though they arose simultaneously from the same fallout from Sokovia. As far as Zemo was concerned, Cap and Stark were meant to reach the arctic base still on the same team.

            You can view the whole thing -the accords and Zemo’s plan, as two separate problems partly of the Avenger’s own making. Kind of like fate catching up with them, and their falling out and coming to blows being inevitable on multiple fronts as a result of their natures and their abilities.

            It’s maybe not quite the way I’d have set things up, but it hangs together really well in my eyes -more on repeat viewings than the first time.

          • The main story is about the accords, which Cap and Stark are split on right from the off -bringing them into conflict.
            Bucky’s a secondary plot, along with Zemo. He was just trying to set Bucky up so the Avengers would chase the lead down to the arctic base where Stark would learn about his parents and turn on Cap.
            Zemo wasn’t interested in the accords. They’re a completely separate story, even though they arose simultaneously from the same fallout from Sokovia. As far as Zemo was concerned, Cap and Stark were meant to reach the arctic base still on the same team.

            You can view the whole thing -the accords and Zemo’s plan, as two separate problems partly of the Avenger’s own making. Kind of like fate catching up with them, and their falling out and coming to blows being inevitable on multiple fronts as a result of their natures and their abilities.

            It’s maybe not quite the way I’d have set things up, but it hangs together really well in my eyes -more on repeat viewings than the first time.

          • The main story is about the accords, which Cap and Stark are split on right from the off -bringing them into conflict.
            Bucky’s a secondary plot, along with Zemo. He was just trying to set Bucky up so the Avengers would chase the lead down to the arctic base where Stark would learn about his parents and turn on Cap.
            Zemo wasn’t interested in the accords. They’re a completely separate story, even though they arose simultaneously from the same fallout from Sokovia. As far as Zemo was concerned, Cap and Stark were meant to reach the arctic base still on the same team.

            You can view the whole thing -the accords and Zemo’s plan, as two separate problems partly of the Avenger’s own making. Kind of like fate catching up with them, and their falling out and coming to blows being inevitable on multiple fronts as a result of their natures and their abilities.

            It’s maybe not quite the way I’d have set things up, but it hangs together really well in my eyes -more on repeat viewings than the first time.

          • Again, a much simpler way for Zemo to get Iron Man to find out about Barnes is to mail him a tape of the murder. The entire first hour and forty-five minutes of CW is sound and fury signifying nothing.

          • The Accords are a no brainer and Cap should follow them. Iron Man 2 is the most accurate to the real world when Gary Shandling is saying “You can’t have a suit with the power of a nuclear reactor in your basement.” (I’m summarizing there.) And Cap should follow that, based on his devotion to the law of the land. Meanwhile, the CW comic books turned that notion on its ear and Cap for whatever reason bucks the system and doesn’t want to enroll. F%@! the comic books. The comic book is just as pointless. And since the MCU often eschews comic chronology and outcomes, why not make the Accords a subplot with Iron Man continuing to refuse to adhere to the law with Cap lecturing him? Then, if Iron Man is quite literally hunting down Barnes with intent to kill THERE’S A STORY. It would be the logical continuation of Winter Soldier and it would highlight the differences between Cap and Iron Man, offering a story where I’m not calling bullshit every other scene. Going against expectations is only good when it makes sense. CW does NOT make sense. The only time it does is when IM wants to kill Barnes. And frankly, I was rooting for him to do it. I hate the movie Bucky.

            Now the reason Infinity War works so much better than Civil War is because the plot is simple. But Civil War is a convoluted mess.

          • see my above question to Capt. Supermarket. I’m just trying to make sense of the story as a real world allegory about abuse of power. In real world legal terms Tony is way wrong in Iron Man 2. You’re not allowed to have a nuclear reactor in your basement. The gov’t would shut him down long before there were hearings. Tony of course uses his prosthetics argument, so that’s covered. But in Civil War, it really should be Cap following orders and Tony questioning it, simply based on what we’ve already seen of the characters.

            I say the switch in perspectives was simply to mirror the comics and why? Nothing else does.

          • Blues Hammer is correct when he states Tony and Steve are both out of character when it comes to picking sides on this issue.

            Dont get me wrong; that Steve defies the government is an interesting 180 and I approved of it at the time, but TONY taking the position he does . . . yeah it really doesn’t fit with who he is at all, and that disconnect simmers throughout the movie.

          • Blues Hammer is correct when he states Tony and Steve are both out of character when it comes to picking sides on this issue.

            Dont get me wrong; that Steve defies the government is an interesting 180 and I approved of it at the time, but TONY taking the position he does . . . yeah it really doesn’t fit with who he is at all, and that disconnect simmers throughout the movie.

          • I’m all for Steve having a reason to defy orders. I just didn’t buy his reasoning as written. Especially after Age of Ultron. If anyone would want to keep Tony in check it was Steve.

          • And you said it yourself. The plot and premise was to split up the group for IW. Beyond that characters are just saying stuff.

          • I get where you’re looking at it from, but I just don’t read it that way at all. You could argue that the MCU version of Cap *is* arguing on the side of the law because the accords absolve the Avengers of responsibility and blame, and he won’t sign them because of that. Stark signs because he’s happy to blow shit up as long as he doesn’t get the blame for any of it.

            You can look at it either way, but the movie makes it clear it’s this way round. Cap even says “All this does is shift the blame”, when he refuses to sign.

          • Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the premise of the accords that the Avengers be under NATO’s jurisdiction?

          • Sure, but that wouldn’t make them any more or any less accountable to international law. They’re already under NATO’s jurisdiction if they ever become a threat to civilians.
            The Accords weren’t about protecting people, they were about bringing the Avengers in-house as a controllable asset.

          • Well, now we’re just going to go around and around. I didn’t see the point of Steve’s objections. Especially after his position in Age of Ultron. And like I said, when push comes to shove that’s not why Tony and him have the fight at the end.

          • Again, a much simpler way for Zemo to get Iron Man to find out about Barnes is to mail him a tape of the murder. The entire first hour and forty-five minutes of CW is sound and fury signifying nothing.

          • For sure, that would have been a lot simpler. It wouldn’t have left the entire Earth-bound MCU in the position it was in at the end of Civil War though, and I think that’s what their ultimate focus was with that one. -Get all the pieces in place for Infinity War and Endgame.

          • I think the IW set up could’ve been accomplished without all the shell games of more super soldiers and Sokovia accords. If the movie started with the tape playing of Tony’s parents murder revealing Barnes as the killer then revealing Tony as the person watching it, tears streaming, going berserk donning the suit and cue opening titles.

            He finds Barnes, Cap comes to the rescue, they blow shit up in the fight, people get hurt and the same stuff happens , maybe the Superhero Registration Act back in place, just with maybe different teams. I’d say Hawkeye and Natasha would be on Tony’s side. But Vision would be on Cap’s. All that could be worked out, but still it would be Cap dealing with Ross and trying to stay true to the letter of American/International law. Maybe it even ends the same with Cap rescuing the gang from the Raft.

            The point is: emotional stakes. I say they’re not honestly there. The first time I saw CW I kept shaking my head, saying to myself, “What’s the point of this? Am I dumb? I’m not getting the inciting incident or any sort of feel on the plot.” Then when I saw it again, I realized the inciting incident is Tony seeing the tape. The true conflict of the movie is at that point. Everything else was the writers being forced to bring everything together in one movie. They may have accomplished a lot having to bring BP and Spidey, but think it’s a failure on an emotional level.

            You know? The reason why the first Rocky is so great is because we’re there emotionally with him. We think he’s a loser and are scared he’s gonna get the shit kicked out of him. Then when he breaks Apollo’s ribs our adrenaline goes way up. That’s emotional investment 101 and CW fails on all counts.

            Sure, we already know Cap has an emotional connection with Bucky. But in CW his defense of Bucky borders on absurd — ESPECIALLY when we find out Cap knew Bucky killed Tony’s parents. Conversely, if we knew of Tony’s desire for revenge from the beginning then we’re fully invested in him and the two conflicting sides. Because I certainly didn’t buy that Tony changed his mind on government involvement simply because of Alfre Woodard’s speech.

    • Yeah, and at what point should Bucky step back and say, “Look, guys, I’m sorry for these murders . . . and to prove it I’m gonna turn myself in so that no one else gets hurt.”

    • I remember when Spider-Man 3 came out and everyone was all ‘how could this be so shit’ and I was like ‘It’s just like the last 2’

      • Right. Everyone harps on emo Parker. But that was just a lazy rehash of the Raindrops Are Fallin’ On my head sequence from 2. And that sequence offended me no end because Pete turns his back on a mugging. Completely out of character.

  7. Next we should do The Hunger Games as a rejection of intersectionality, gender roles and the hedonistic excesses of urban liberalism.

  8. well i think civil war is a wonderful flim and im a gay guy now so if you dont like my opinion your a hobophobe and if your a hobophobe your a nazi and if your a nazi your always wrong.

    CASE CLOSED!

  9. I like it, I’ve only seen it once though so my memory is a bit hazy. I remember having two gripes about this film. First i didn’t like how the central plot line of the whole registration mandate fell by the wayside during the third act, that was a bit jarring, it all of a sudden it was who killed Tony’s parents/Tony’s revenge and second (it’s gonna be unpopular) the inclusion of Spider-man. Other that seeing the MCU incarnation of the character for the first time it felt shoehorned and unnecessary to the main plot. I think Black Panther’s introduction was enough and they should have saved Spidey for his solo movie. Other than that, the action is great, RDJ was great too, i think it was the first time he tried so much since the first Iron-Man movie and imo it showed.

  10. I did dig the movie, even though I get why people didn’t get it or didn’t dig it. I’ve heard people call it “Slap fight” the movie, which is fair, as none of those people were going to kill each other, with the exception of the end when Tony found out that Bucky killed his parents- especially his mom (dad was kind of a dick) and he was going to kill that fucker, no matter what Cap said.

    The whole movie was building to two scenes. The air port fight, and the end fight with Cap, Bucky and Tony. The rest of it was- blah blah blah bullshit to make sure they can rationalize those two scenes. Did they pull it off? For me, sure, they did enough to pull it off.

    IRL, no way could Zemo have set the stage for all that shit to happen. Way too contrived. For a comic book movie. It worked enough for me. Just enough. The action and the acting kept it rolling, and it wasn’t a total quip fest like some of the other MCU movies. I mean, there were quips, but the end scene with Cap, Bucky and Tony going at it, made it work for me.

    Though Winter Soldier still is the high mark for MCU movies. They haven’t gotten better than that yet. They might never get better than that, honestly. If they can make one or two more that equal that, that would be cool.

  11. It was a fun movie, but after Winter Solider I missed the tone they set there. My biggest complaint was Zemo’s plan relied on SO much being exactly right or ridiculous coincidence for it to work. Also at the beginning Captain American and Iron Man kinda hated each other, and then after all that at the end they still just kinda hated each other. Not much changed except they got to shotgun some more characters onto the stage.

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