Captain America: Civil War

Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

Sometimes a twist can be a nice surprise, and sometimes a twist can be a diversion from what was already a good plot as it was. Civil War sets up from the beginning to the end credits the three way fight you are left with.  Iron Man versus Winter Soldier versus Captain America.  Division over changes in the recently executed law pit Captain America against Tony Stark, and when his old buddy turned weapon for Hydra must be found alliances are made and bonds with former allies broken.  At face value this works and works extremely well.  Overall I do like this film. 

Yet the purpose of these write ups are to show how a film could have been better. Recall how the bad guy is trying to wake up the other ‘winter soldiers’ who according to Captain America’s buddy Bucky, the first Winter Soldier, are even stronger and more fearsome than he is.  THAT was to be the big battle that would temporarily bring our divided allies back together in a fight.  Yet the writers kept with the Tony versus Winter Soldier and the Captain defending his friend theme.  Maybe I am asking for too much, but to have setup a plot point to awaken these soldiers to do eventually nothing with them seems a waste.  Just to only have these three in their fist fight without simply prolonging the fight to another film also seems a misfire. 

This is where the writers could have upped the ante to the benefits of the film.  Have Tony watch the film of his parents death and do the reveal as they did in the film, but instead have the other winter soldiers come awake in that moment and for that battle have the complexity of two foes having to temporarily unite to battle a common enemy but afterwards must also know in both their minds they have to face each other.  THAT would have greatly enhanced the ending scenes emotions and leave the viewer gasping for more. Yet they went for simplicity and short cuts to get us to the fist fight the fastest, and just as fast as it begun it was done.  It was over far too soon and honestly I think this one simple change could have given the emotional wallop these characters deserve to give audiences.  Imagine those three fighting a group of winter soldiers, and during the fight Tony and Bucky keep exchanging looks, hesitations to assist, and sometimes accidentally hitting each other with friendly fire.  Now that is complexity audiences I feel are ready as ever to see happen on the big screen. 

Thanks for reading Writing Movie “WRONGS.”

Writing Movie Wrongs ( was created by Author Jim West to show how great storytelling is built on strong writing. In each review, he aims to highlight points in film that capture what the medium is capable of, or provide feedback on small improvements that would make a huge difference to the story’s plot. Read more about Jim West at

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