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I took my son to the preview of Captain America – Civil War. He was so excited he was bouncing in his seat, and I couldn’t get him to stop until the movie started. He is 11 now, but he has watched superhero movies his whole life and loves them. We got to preview the movie in return for our honest review.

This movie is PG-13 and earns that rating due to violent action scenes and mature themes. We have made the decision that when it comes to our child such movies are okay as long as they are set in a fictional world, and we always preview or watch the movies with him to make sure he understands what he saw and can put any scary or difficult situations in perspective. As there will be countless other children who see this film, I want other parents to understand that we take ratings seriously and have rules and guidelines that we have established for our son. Every family should do the same. Strangely some movies with better ratings or more “kid oriented” are not appropriate for Ben because he is autistic and cannot handle things that seem real – i.e. the loss of a parent or pet.

Ben loved the action scenes and was extremely excited for Spider Man. We had seen the previews, but he had not. He kept telling me Spider Man was autistic because he talks too much during a fight. I had to remind him that lots of people talk too much, and that some autistic kids don’t talk at all. He fought me on this. I think he wants a superhero like him, and there are superheroes with traits similar to his, but not autistic. While he wants an autistic superhero, I was pleased at the abundance of female superheroes.

I enjoyed the movie. We watched it in 3-D and I have a hard time with that type of viewing situation as my eyes are goofy. 3-D movies can make me dizzy and I often struggle to follow the action sequences because everything is moving too fast for me to catch. My son loved the effects and enjoyed it greatly, so it is a personal preference kind of thing there.

Captain America addresses one of the great themes in literature and life. Why do we fight? I asked my son and another child at the preview and they have no idea why the superheroes are fighting, but enjoy the fights anyway. I felt it was important to explain it to Ben. They are fighting over the freedom to choose, or the need for rules and regulations/control of others to make others feel safe. A lot of it has to do with responsibility. Is it the superheroes responsibility to make reparations to every person that may get hurt in a fight, or may die. Is it their responsibility to rebuild buildings and cities? Is it their right to choose to fight when or whomever they choose, or do governments have that right?

As a person without superpowers, I think governments and the people who support or choose those governments should get to choose which battles to fight and whose side they’re on. Those that are victims of a regime not of their choosing need others to help them fight. Mostly I agree that everyone has an agenda, and that should not be what determines who fights what when or where. If I had superpowers, I would feel compelled to protect others from those that would hurt them, no matter the personal or public cost, and no matter the consequences.

Now – spoiler alert – kind of. Please do not read this if you are avoiding spoilers, and I will try not to give too much away for those who are still interested. Captain America supports freedom to choose. He has just toppled SHIELD because of its ties to Hydra. He spent his military career fighting a corrupt regime in World War II, and he is generally a kind and noble character. He does not want another oversight committee telling him where he can and cannot go based on agenda’s, or opinions. He wants the right to choose for himself which battles he fights. As a soldier and experienced superhero, it would seem he has earned that right.

Iron Man on the other hand was traumatized in the first Avengers. He stopped making and selling weapons, while making himself the ultimate weapon. He refused to share that technology based on the same premise that agendas and other interests would subvert that technology. Then in Age of Ultron he creates Ultron. In his mind, it is his responsibility to protect the world, to save the Avengers, to create a world without war or corruption, and he attempts to do this through control. His attempts to control things have led to ruin and loss on his part, and he feels the need to hand over that control and that responsibility to someone, anyone, else. He forces the others to accept this control, and would rather fight them to get them to obey than listen to other options or concerns. In the end, he doesn’t care who the victim is, just that he gets what he wants whether that is vengeance, or obedience. Making him a royal jerk.

The question of control and power will always exist. We still fight wars over which is best. We still have battles in courts and in the media about how gender ideology, political ideology, religious beliefs, and countless other topics should be handled. Who should answer to whom, and whether we can govern ourselves, or that we need to be governed. It is this timeless theme, and the approach that each superhero takes that makes this such a compelling film. Add to that great characters, action and adventure, superheroes, and other compelling and timeless themes, and you have a fantastic movie!

 

 

Synopsis: Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.

Get ready to pick a side and join the nonstop action playing out on two fronts when Captain America: Civil War opens in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2016.

 

Genre: Live-Action/Action-Adventure

Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd and Frank Grillo, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl

Directors: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Producer: Kevin Feige

Executive Producers: Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia

Whitcher, Nate Moore & Stan Lee

Screenplay by: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely

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