Dumb Things In Civil War That Everyone Just Ignored

We're going to go ahead and get this one out of the way right now—Captain America: Civil War is an awesome movie. Heck, it's one of the best superhero movies ever made. But that doesn't mean it's perfect.

Drill down a bit deeper, and like most things, even a film as great as Civil War has a problem or two worth hashing out now that we can watch it repeatedly on digital and Blu-ray. The major plot elements make a lot of sense—more than many huge action movies—but there are still a few things that happen just because the plot demands it. Oh, and we have to talk about those conveniently placed security cameras in the middle of nowhere. Seriously.

We love Civil War, but here are the dumb things that made us scratch our heads.

Can't everyone just take a breath and talk this out?

This is a persistent problem with pretty much every film of this type, not just Captain America: Civil War. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo did a good job of keeping the action moving and leaving little time for hashing out problems without fisticuffs along the way. But in this case, you have to remember—we're talking about Earth's Mightiest Heroes here. Even if they are pissed off at one another, they should be smart and tactical enough to take a beat and think.

When the SWAT team goes after the Winter Solider, why not work with Captain America to allow him to make the first point of contact without getting a bunch of soldiers beaten up? Seriously, it's the Winter Solider, you think a few average guys can take him down? No, Cap hadn't signed the accords, but in this case why not let him at least consult on this specific case considering the history? Bucky ran because he was being chased. Also, we loved the big fight scene at the airport (seriously, we've been watching it on repeat for days), but having heroes beat each other up can have serious consequences. Just ask Rhodey.

That security camera on a nowhere back road

They obviously needed the Winter Soldier's murder of Howard Stark and his wife on video to use as a plot point in that critical moment in the final act, when Tony sees Bucky kill his parents. But from everything we've seen of that scene, the car crash seems to take place on a desolate country road. Now, we can almost dispel our disbelief enough to agree that Howard could be transporting this extremely dangerous and valuable serum without a security detail (a caravan attracts attention, and nobody's looking for one lone car on a back road).

But how on Earth did there just so happen to be a security camera (perhaps mounted on a tree) exactly where this crash occurred? Also, how did the footage survive, considering Bucky shot out the camera after the murder (and why would the ultra-stealthy Winter Solider kill someone in front of a camera, anyway?) Remember, this was 1991. Considering this footage was such a critical plot point, they should've at least done a better job of explaining how it exists.

Wait, so how did they control Bucky in Winter Soldier without the programming book?

This one is easy to miss, and it could possibly be explained away with enough mental maneuvering, but it's something to consider. A big part of Nemo's plan was to take control of the Winter Soldier via his dormant mind control programming and use him to pit Captain America against Iron Man. To do that, he has to track down and steal the book from a Hydra agent who has it stashed in his wall. We don't know how long the book has been there, or how this agent ended up with it. But if he's had it for more than a year or so, how was the Winter Soldier being controlled in Captain America: The Winter Solider? It's certainly possible this guy ended up with it after the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Winter Soldier, though it at least seemed like he'd had it and been in hiding for quite a while.

Also, if this book is such a critical component of the Winter Soldier's story, why didn't it turn up (or at least get a reference) in The Winter Soldier? One likely reason: It wasn't always supposed to be a book. The Russos revealed in the film's commentary that Zemo was originally looking for the "Mind Crown," a piece of the Memory Suppressing Machine (that big chair device we see being used on Bucky to wipe his mind), to give him control over Bucky. That seemed too complicated, so the directors simplified it down to a book with his activation words.

Where the heck was Nick Fury?

Nick Fury's professional career took a turn for the worse after the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Winter Soldier, though we did see him pop up in The Avengers: Age of Ultron to lend a hand. Nick Fury was basically the architect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), bringing all of Marvel's disparate heroes together to eventually form The Avengers. Aside from kicking around in the shadows, we don't really know what Fury is doing nowadays. He's been a major player in pretty much every event within the MCU, though, so it stands to reason he would have something to say about the first-ever superhero civil war. But weirdly enough, Fury is a total non-factor in Civil War. Yes, the film is packed with characters already (that's one reason the writers said they opted to leave him on the bench), but there should've at least been a reference (like the nod to the fact that Thor and Hulk are MIA). Marvel Studios has always done a good job of making its universe feel cohesive, but this absence was strange.

For that matter, where was Maria Hill?

This is an equally strange disappearance. When last we saw Fury's former No. 2, she was helping train up the next generation of Earth's Mightiest Heroes at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron in the group's new headquarters. So why isn't she still a part of the team in Civil War? We've seen she's a key member of the main team's social circle in Age of Ultron, so why on Earth doesn't she get a call here? If Hawkeye and Black Widow can kick some butt for the cause, why not Maria Hill?

The heroes take the blame for all the carnage, but the government tried to nuke NYC in The Avengers

There's no denying the Avengers (specifically Tony Stark) must take a lot of the blame for the Sokovia incident in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Despite their best intentions, Stark and Bruce Banner literally created Ultron. Sure, they wanted him to protect the Earth and not kill all humans, but they still made the guy. They cleaned up the mess, but Ultron destroyed an entire city in the process (though it's important to remember the Avengers saved as many lives as possible in the process). But going back to The Avengers, the gang saved New York City from an alien invasion—while the government was trying to just nuke the city. Where was all this care and oversight then?

There's also the opening scene of Civil War featuring Crossbones, in which Scarlet Witch tries to contain the explosion when he blows himself up. Yes, she does cause the death of the Wakandan delegation by lifting the body in the air to get it off the ground. But she also saved a lot more lives among the crowd standing in the square. She obviously didn't mean to kill the delegates, but it still mitigated a more dangerous event. it makes sense the government would want oversight, but they're not giving the Avengers enough credit for all the good they've done (and also not taking responsibility for the problems the government caused).

The geography in this movie doesn't make much sense

This was arguably the most globetrotting movie of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, which was cool, but it also made things a bit harder to follow. For example: Tony is given 36 hours to catch Cap, and manages to go from Germany to Brooklyn (during his recruitment of Spider-Man) in practically no time. That's 7,000+ miles. We know he can book it in his Iron Man armor, but he still had to bring Peter Parker back to Europe with him. There's also the fact that Zemo seems to be just about everywhere, bouncing between Germany, Moscow, Siberia and Cleveland with just a quick cut of the scene. Yes, that's the magic of editing, but for a film that's trying to show how big the world is, it only makes it seem smaller.

How did Iron Man make that Spider-Man suit so quickly?

We know Tony Stark had apparently been scouting out Spider-Man since before the Sokovia Accords debate ramped up, but was he already developing a suit specifically designed for his skill set? It stands to reason Tony (and the Avengers in general) would be keeping track of potential powered people out in the wild for a lot of reasons. So Stark could definitely know Peter Parker is out there. That is believable. But how could he have a brand new suit ready to roll in just a matter of hours for the airport fight scene? Was he already developing it? It makes sense Tony would want to upgrade Spider-Man for the battle royale, but how did he do it so quickly?

Zemo's plan is solid, but requires a lot of coincidences to work just right

With all the heroes busy slugging it out, Captain America: Civil War featured one of the most original villains in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead of a super-powered baddie with a sci-fi skill set or a super-suit, Civil War gave us the quiet and methodical Zemo pulling the strings in the background. He has no powers, and he's well aware he can't take on Earth's Mightiest Heroes head on. So instead, he tries to tear the team apart from the inside.

Zemo knows Bucky is the magic bullet to drive a wedge between Iron Man and Captain America, and he manipulates the situation to push the two heroes apart. Which makes sense, and from tracking down the book to framing Bucky, it works pretty well. But his plan gets a bit more complicated toward the end. Zemo is working to manipulate the final battle between the two heroes, but his entire setup depends on Iron Man following Captain America to the bunker—something that's pretty much impossible to predict.

Why did Tony Stark use a cheap, terrible phone?

This one is pure marketing shenanigans run amok. Product placement is nothing new, and in some cases it can be subtle and unobtrusive. But when you take a character like Tony Stark—a genius, billionaire inventor who is on the bleeding edge of tech—and make him use a mid-budget Chinese cell phone? It's a step too far. For the sake of comparison: In the first Iron Man, Stark used a cutting-edge (at the time) LG VX9400 phone. In Iron Man 2, it's a slate of sci-fi glass branded with LG and Stark Tech logos. But in Civil War? It's a Vivo V3, a fairly cheap phone only available in China. The move was done for product placement (of course), but for a character like Stark it just seems silly. It's 2016! He should be using something so cool we can't even imagine, not something we could pick up at a corner shop.

Ant-Man's arc from his solo film just doesn't fit with Civil War

Ant-Man's role in Captain America: Civil War is a standout, and he brings some much needed levity and the biggest surprise of all with the Giant-Man reveal. But his actual story is a head scratcher. Scott Lang spent his first solo film trying to overcome his history of being a criminal so he can be a good father to his daughter. It was a great arc. But in Civil War? Scott joins up with Captain America to fight the good fight—essentially volunteering to be a fugitive. Scott's a good guy, and it's not hard to believe he'd want to take a stand alongside Captain America. But they never address how this decision affects Scott's life, which is a glaring omission, considering staying on the right side of the law was literally the crux of his story in Ant-Man.

And neither does Hawkeye's story

On that same note, we met Hawkeye's family in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In that film, he takes on one last mission to defeat Ultron then retires to the farm to raise his gaggle of kiddos. But in Civil War, Barton comes out of retirement after Cap calls and asks for his help. He breaks into the Avengers facility to help bust out Scarlet Witch, and throws himself right back into danger (and he ends the film on the run from the law with the rest of Cap's team). Barton is a hero at heart, but that's still something they never actually address. He just jokes that he got bored playing golf during retirement, then the story barrels on from there. Not giving that subplot more weight cheapens Barton's decision to join the fight in Civil War.

It's getting harder to ignore the Netflix shows, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

As Marvel keeps cranking out more and more TV shows, this is only going to become a bigger and bigger problem. Between Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Agent Carter, Luke Cage and the upcoming Iron Fist, Punisher and The Defenders, there's a whole lot of stuff happening in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that isn't on the big screen. They've introduced Inhumans on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and there are powered people popping up all over the place. Daredevil is taking on bigger and bigger threats, while there's a bulletproof black guy in Harlem. The world has changed a lot between the past couple Marvel movies, but they don't really seem to reflect it all too much on the big screen. Avengers director Joss Whedon has alluded to a creative separation between TV and film, but if Marvel wants to juggle all these balls in the same universe, there has to be some effort to address the changes from TV to film. Tony Stark recruited a kid out of Queens, but not a rogue S.H.I.E.L.D agent who can cause earthquakes (i.e. Quake on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)? Or a guy with unbreakable skin (i.e. Luke Cage, a key player in the comic version of Civil War)? C'mon.