Friday, May 6, 2016

Captain America: Civil War . . . from an ISFJ Perspective

I actually took 4 hours off work today so I could go to an earlier showing than I usually would, which was awesome.

Yes, I loved Captain America: Civil War.

I also realized, shockingly, that a male coworker and I are pretty much Steve (me) and Tony (him). But while we're butting heads over procedures and software, Steve and Tony are butting heads over government control and individual rights.

Steve Rogers (ISFJ) values liberty. He refuses to have his right to make a decision on when to fight and when to stand down infringed upon. He sees the far-reaching ramifications of the Avengers being controlled by over 100 different countries in a United Nations type scenario. He sees the big picture and he's already been there before, being stuck in a dictatorship and following orders blindly with no input as to why he's following them. And he has no desire to go there again.

Tony Stark (ENTJ) is suffering from PTSD. ENTJs with PTSD are not a pleasant sight. He's reacting out of fear, fear that he's created the entire mess (which he has), and the inability to fix it outside of heavy government involvement and regulation. I actually miss the Tony Stark who thumbed his nose at the government and told them to stay out of his stuff. Now he's signed away his right to choose whose side he's on in a fight or whether there should even be a fight.

Let me make something abundantly clear. I like Tony. I don't love him, but I don't hate him either, and I felt more empathy for him in Captain America: Civil War than I had ever expected feeling. That was a bit of a shocker.

However, just like my male coworker ANNOYS me with his inability to accept imperfections and live with it, so too does Tony ANNOY me by acting the all-knowing Father-Knows-Best figure. Nothing is more irksome to me than someone who refuses to listen to reason, who is 100% convinced that they're right over something that is so much bigger than one man's opinion and should NEVER be influenced by fear.

Steve is acting out of a sincere belief that individual rights matter, down to every last person, himself included. He'll take outside council into consideration, but he'll regulate himself, thank you very much.

If you haven't seen all of the "Team Cap" or "Team Iron Man" stuff floating around the internet then I'm not sure what rock you've been living under. The last time a "Team" anything was this big was Jacob or Edward.

I suspect fans are going to be seriously divided on this one simply because the ambiguity of it all really hits home. I'm for small government and minimal interference. Whose side, really, am I going to be on?

Does that mean I think Cap is 100% right? No. He's too emotionally driven by his long-term friendship with Bucky to make entirely rational decisions. I would be the same in that situation. However, I don't think Tony is 100% wrong either. After all, laws are in place for a reason, but my concern is how many of these laws do we need? And are we actually regulating the right things?

The movie is brilliant. Long, very long, but brilliant.

For any Marisa Tomei fans out there, it was hilarious watching her be reunited with RDJ, her old flame. Loved their romance movie Only You even though I thought the premise silly.

That was a great intro for the new Spider-Man. Even though he's on Iron Man's side, there was much to love about that quirky, hilarious kid who loves to talk in the middle of a battle.

It was terrific seeing so many superheroes in one place and they actually didn't overwhelm the film or steal it from Cap.

Love the rivalry for Cap's BFF going on between Bucky and Sam.

Bucky is amazing . . . as always.

Not sure about that kiss.

Goodbye, Peggy.

Tony Stank.


  1. Ha!
    Tony Stank was genius. :)
    I really enjoyed the movie and I thought it was very fair with both sides of the argument and I could see both sides... though I lean Team Cap. :)

    1. Yep, like you, I could see parts of both sides of the argument. So it fascinated me that neither side was entirely right, but in the end I could never side against Cap. Not even Nat was able to do that permanently.

  2. This film makes me SO sad. I don't want my Avengers fighting against each other, they're so much better when they're fighting together. Like in 'Ultron.' I also wonder what role Thor *might* play in future The Avenger films since he was kind of the "glue" (meaning he cooled hot heads in 'Ultron') in their prior team up. Anyway, glad you liked this one, Carissa. I'm looking forward to the DVD release, which I shall, without question buy. ;)

    1. You know, I wasn't sad at all.

      A confrontation between Cap and Iron Man was inevitable simply because they have such hugely different views of life, morality, and values. It doesn't mean I liked the confrontation but I wasn't surprised or horrified that it happened.

      As for Thor, I missed him. I doubt he would have helped cool heads all that much in this one since I'm not even sure whose side he would have been on or if he would have chosen a side. But I love him and so I missed him.

  3. I've noticed Ni's propensity to be obsessed with perfection. I think it ties into their desire to find an ultimate symbolic "truth" to accompany every perspective and perception -- by the time they reach a conclusion, it is iron-clad and idealistic -- even unrealistic. They become obsessed with how it "should be" in an idealized state -- which makes them incapable of observing reality or accepting things as they are (unlike Si, whose sin in contrast is passivity in acceptance). They get stuck, unable to move forward, obsessed with a reality that does not exist, wanting to bring it into existence, but thwarted at every turn -- by reality itself, as it is.

    1. Is that what it is? It explains so much about ENTJs and INTJs then. It's funny how my coworker cannot stand Iron Man, probably because it hits a little bit too close to home for him.

      As for Cap, yep, the ISFJ can be extremely passive in accepting things . . . that is until we dig our heels in and then nothing can move us. Don't mess with our personal value system, dude!

  4. Great post, Carissa!! Fantastic movie!! :D

  5. Tony Stank :-D

    I had a rather different ISFJ reaction to yours. It made me sad, melancholy, and kind of depressed. Then I had a long phone conversation with my best friend that helped me come to terms with some of it, but... it still saddens me. Like Rissi, I don't want my Avengers fighting each other. They're unhappy, which makes me unhappy. The ending to make me feel a little better, but not completely.

    I think it's the best Avengers movie since The Avengers, but I didn't actually *like* it, if that makes sense.

    1. Awwww, I'm sorry this one didn't make you all that happy.

      I came to terms with the story concept months ago so I knew this movie was going to be all about division. Tony and Steve never really worked "together" in the true sense of the word, not even when they were hating each other less so I knew their story would end this way eventually.

      It is a sad story. But just like in real life, we don't always get along with our coworkers. We just have to learn to live with them and sometimes situations blow up in our faces and we're left picking up the pieces.

      Captain America: Civil War was very realistic for me, and I think is my favorite of Cap's films so far.

    2. And I went into the movie still grumpy and about the whole concept. I told Cowboy this was the first time I could remember going to see a movie in the theater that I actually didn't want to see very much.

      I don't want my movies to be like real life. I want them to be happier. I'm just hoping that knowing what happens here doesn't make my next viewing of The Avengers bittersweet because I'll have this in the back of my mind the whole time, crying, "Nooooooo! You don't all get to hang out and be friends forever and have cool adventures and be happy. It's not fair!"


    3. I am sorry you had such a hard time with the struggle between friends. :(

      Although, like I said, Tony and Steve were never "friends," regardless of Tony's thinking they were. I could see the different ways of viewing the world growing more divided as the film series progressed so it really had nowhere else to go but in this culmination.

      There are times I think I'm an idealist and then something makes me realize that I'm much more of a realist. It's movies like this, without the perfect ending and the happily-ever-after that remind me we're all human and life usually isn't wrapped up with a pretty bow, no matter how very much I wish it could be.

      There's always the chance that things will work out in the end. Steve gave Tony an option to maintain contact. Steve, for his part, isn't going to hold Tony's actions permanently against him. I think because Steve knows Tony's stress and sympathizes with it, even though he can't agree with the physical action that accompanies it. And of course, Steve's capacity for forgiveness makes me love him all the more. :)

    4. It's not Tony vs. Steve that bothers me, I've realized. They've been antagonistic toward each other from their first encounter, and I've gotten pretty grumpy with Tony about that. It's more everybody else feeling like they need to pick a side. Even though the big fight between the two factions was really fun, and no one was out to seriously hurt anyone else, it still hurt me.

      I can respect it because it was very well written, scripted, acted, filmed, etc. But that doesn't mean I like it or enjoy it.

      Maybe a second viewing will mellow me out some, we'll see.

    5. I just went and saw it a 2nd time and noticed a few things. Rhodes is far more antagonistic than Tony, particularly towards Sam. And that made me sad. Next, Cap was never genuinely angry with Tony. He's determined, yes. Refuses to be bullied into compromising, yes. But he's not angry. As for Tony, he really wanted Cap to listen. He was trying. I think if I felt the Avengers genuinely hated each other, the film would have been harder to watch. Instead it was close friends disagreeing and I have to hope that maybe, someday, they can actually put the pieces back together again and agree to disagree. That means Tony letting go of his neurotic need to control everyone, so who knows.

      I do hope you get a chance to watch it again since I noticed more aspects of the characters the 2nd time around. And I deeply appreciated that the argument was not solely about Bucky. It had deeper meaning than a mere you're-siding-with-him type argument. Liberty and freedom of decision was at stake and that's bigger than defending a friend.

    6. I might be able to go see it again this weekend. If not this one, then for sure the next. I like your observations! Hoping I feel the same. That second viewing is always so key.

      And yes, I'm so glad it wasn't just about Bucky. AND that there was a true villain who was neither Cap nor Tony, but someone they both could work against, even if they weren't working together.

  6. I like your assessment of Tony here. Politics-wise I agree with Cap, but I wanted to like Tony as a character as I always have, but I ended up wanting to reject everything the movie had him do and be for the sake of the plot. His character change seemed too abrupt and too extreme and I ended up feeling sorry for him that his character was changed instead of sympathizing with his viewpoint.

    The more I think about it though, the more I appreciate the Cap and Bucky side of the movie. I particularly liked Bucky -- he keeps getting better and better! (Or maybe I'm just noticing how great he is more and more!) And Spidey was just fantastic. :D

    Seeing it the first time the negative things stood out a lot, but I'm hoping that once I see it again I'll be able to look past that and focus on the good side more. Good review!

    1. Thanks!

      The thing with Tony is that he's been suffering from PTSD since the first Avengers film. It's been progressing with each film until we finally see him now, a man who must control the situation because he's terrified of making another massive mistake. Watching the movies as they were filmed, so Avengers, Iron Man 3, Ultron and then Civil War really show his progression. He's no longer the man he was who told the government to stay out of his stuff. It's sad, really sad in fact, but it happened because he hasn't been getting the therapy that he's been needing for years. That's probably why I couldn't be fully mad at him either. He was just too . . . sad.

      Oooh, yes, Spidey was awesome! Excited for his movie.

      And of course, Cap and Bucky are incredible. I love their friendship and it amused me no end how Sam and Bucky are vying for the role of Cap's best friend. Guys are so funny.

      I hope you do enjoy it more when you see it again. I loved it my first time through and can hardly wait for a second viewing.

    2. So, do you see it as like his PTSD is what is causing him to not think clearly and act out of fear, and when he gets help he'll be able to see how wrong he was? Like he wasn't in control of himself instead of just letting himself try to murder Bucky in revenge because he felt like it. That's how I saw it and it didn't make any sense, but maybe I'm just underestimating how messed up he is right now.

    3. Ahhhh, yes. Bucky. I see that situation as the straw that broke the camel's back. Tony as holding it together outwardly pretty well until that moment. And then he just snapped. It's why you often seen ENTJs and INTJs being characterized as villains in film and book, because when they snap, they really snap. And people get killed. In real life it doesn't happen like that, but for the sake of fiction, an ENTJ with that much pressure, that much stress, that much regret over past decisions that he can't forgive himself for making, finding out about Bucky's connection to his family was just one thing too many.

      Honestly, I don't know if he would have done that scene any differently. Possibly he would have, had he been the Tony we saw at the beginning of the franchise . . . the Tony without so much of a stress monster chewing on him. But it's hard to say. His reaction didn't surprise me simply because his stress levels I knew his stress levels could make him snap.

      I'm actually planning to rewatch the Iron Man timeline over the next couple of months, just so I can map out his events that he's responsible for and gauge his reaction and then write about my observations. :)

    4. Yeah, it really seemed like a stretch to me, but your explanation does make it make a little more sense. :) I'll try to keep all that in mind when I watch it again, and maybe it won't bother me quite so much. Thanks for the explanation! :)

    5. No problem! As you can tell, I think about this type of stuff waaaaaaaaay too much. ;)


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