The last two films I saw at the cinema have been Eye in the Sky (which was brilliant) and Captain America: Civil War (also very good). On the surface both films seem very different but they actually looked at similar issues, just in very different ways. Eye in the Sky looks at the politics and regulations of drone missions and the effects they cause on local populations and the people who fly them while Captain America: Civil War is about whether the Avengers should be following regulations in their own missions after civilians are killed during a failed mission. To say anything more will involve spoilers for both movies so click continue reading if you want to continue reading…
SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War and Eye in the Sky
Unsurprisingly, being a comic book movie, Captain America: Civil War treats the failed mission as a black and white decision – which it wasn’t. A suicide bomber activities his vest and to attempt to save a square full of people. Scarlet Witch uses her powers to get him out of the square but he explodes before she can take him a safe distance, killing some people in a nearby tower. From the information presented in the movie it wasn’t clear how the Avengers could stop anyone dying in this situation so the question that should be being asked is did Scarlet Witch save more people by moving the suicide bomber or not? A similar question, this time whether killing a little girl to stop a couple of suicide bombers who might blow up a shopping mall, is the central question of Eye in the Sky.
The solution that is presented to the Avengers in Civil War is the Sokovia Accords from the UN, an attempt at the kind of oversight that Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman have in Eye in the Sky. Although the Accords seem to focus more on who orders the Avengers around rather than damage assessment reports which would have solved the situation in the first place. This is never addressed as Civil War is more interested in Captain America and Iron Man fight each other.
Also the line of command that the Accords creates doesn’t do its job anyway. It is clear in Civil War that Tony Stark‘s PTSD from Iron Man 3 is back in full force after he broke up with Pepper Potts, his girlfriend from previous movies and the guilt he carries from creating Ultron in the previous movie. Tony is in no fit state to be leading a group of high-tech soldiers and super powered beings and needs to be stood down. The fact Rhodes, Stark‘s best friend and experienced air force pilot, doesn’t notice or comment on this is worrying to me. Considering his guilt and worry is what drives all of Tony‘s bad decisions in the movie the Avengers new bosses have failed in their jobs. Maybe the UN should have just hired Nick Fury instead!