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Old 1st May 2016, 23:43   #1
JunkMonkey
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Default Captain America: Civil War

Not having seen Captain America, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Iron Man (1, 2, or 3), The Avengers, Avengers Assemble, Avengers: Age of Ultron, or Ant Man.... and not having read any Avengers or Captain America comics since the 1980s I was, not surprisingly, a little lost as to what the fuck was going on for the first hour or so of this. (Though I do pride myself on knowing who The Black Panther was well before the script told us.)

What I think happened was:

Opening 1: a Russian Bionic killer kills someone on a lonely road.

Opening 2: Bif! Kaboom! Pow! Wham Sock! Kaboom!
(again) - Lots of Superhero fighting in Lagos ending in - "Oh crap, we just killed a lot of innocent bystanders - but we're Americans and this is happening in Lagos (which the target audience might be able to work out is in Africa but certainly couldn't point to on a map) - so what the fuck."

Opening 3: A rich man, played by Iron Man, stands in front of an audience of American students and relives his last memories of his parents then gives them all a bunch of money before having a sad moment for some reason that might be understandable if I had watched a couple of the previous films. The rich man is then confronted by a very good character actress - who I recognise but cannot name (or point to on a map) - who tells him her son was an innocent (now dead) bystander in a previous bout of
Bif! Kaboom! Pow! Wham Sock! Kaboom! in somewhere not african.

The Secretary of State (played by William Hurt's moustache) tells the assembled Avengers that the nations of the world are fed up with American Superheroes trashing their countries and killing their innocent bystanders without asking. (For a moment the film looks like it is raising interesting metaphors with American foreign policy but really it's just another iteration of the modern Superhero
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? trope. The Watchmen and various X-Men movies and for all I know all the films in the first paragraph have already beaten this to death - but still not answered.)

An accord has been drawn up, putting Superheroes under UN supervision. Some Superheroes sign up to it. Some don't. Someone from a previous movies dies off screen and Captain America has a (probably contractual) sad moment to match Iron Man's.


Meanwhile someone foreign is doing something foreign and a bit creepy.

There's a bomb at the signing and someone important dies. His son is not happy and vows revenge. The bomber is thought to be Captain America's former boyfriend. (Who is, weirdly, the Russian Bionic killer from the opening of the movie - this guy has issues.) There is lots of fighting. Lots and lots of fighting. The important person who got killed's son turns up (turns out he's a superhero too) and there is a lot more fighting - this time involving cars. Captain America's boyfriend is captured.

The foreign creepy dude presses Cap's boyfriend's buttons and turns him into the bionic killer again.

Cap and boyfriend (and their straight best friend) have a moment and decide to go off to Siberia to stop the the creepy foreign guy from switching on a whole load of other
Russian Bionic killer dudes who have been sat in a fridge for the last 25 years.

Tony Stark is given 36 hours by the Secretary of State's moustache to bring in Cap and his gang. (The UN accord thing has been totally thrown out of the plot by now.)

Both sides go on a recruiting drive and soon a shitload of guys in CGI enhanced suits are whacking the crap out of each other and a German airport.

Cap and the boy wonder steal the Avenger's superjet (I think - I'm guessing it was mentioned in a previous movie here) and zoom off.

Iron Man has a moment with his boyfriend (who has just plummeted from xty thousand feet headfirst into a field) and totally ignores the fleeing villains/heroes/moral ambiguities.

Some of the superheroes get arrested and go to jail.

On his way home Iron Man's convenient wrist radio plot point delivery system finally gets round to telling him what we the audience know about the creepy foreign dude. The chronology is a bit weird here.
Captain America and Bucky must have stopped off for a bit of 'catching up' on the way to Siberia . (After all they haven't seen each other for a few years.) Because Iron Man gets to go the hospital with his BFF (and find he may never walk again - "ha! I get one more sad moment than you, Captain America!"); visit the super submarine jail (commanded for some reason by the Secretary of State of the US - presumably the script needed Iron Man to be in two places at once so a couple of scenes were combined); and STILL arrive in Siberia a few minutes after Cap and Bucky. Or maybe the Avenger's superjet they stole is really really slow.

The creepy foreign dude has killed all the deep froze
Russian Bionic killers and has left a video tape of Bucky killing Iron Man's mum and dad [see opening 1] why he didn't just post this to Iron Man in the first place or put on Youtube is a mystery - the lonely road had, for some unaccountable reason, a surveillance camera pointed at the very tree their car crashed into. Maybe the owners were afraid someone would steal it. There is another fight. Crash! Bang! Wallop! The creepy foreign guy is happy. HIS family, it turns out, had been Innocent Bystanders Killed by Superheroes and this was his revenge. The Black Panther turns up in Siberia having followed Iron Man in ANOTHER superfast jet and stops him from killing himself. Resolution.

Credits.

Annoyed that Iron Man had more sad moments than Captain America, Bucky decides to give his friend the opportunity for one more by climbing into a fridge in the middle of a jungle and getting froze till the next film. Captain America makes sure Iron Man isn't looking and has a sad moment.

More credits. The end.


So what did I think? - It was ok. Another huge slab of American pop culture with shitloads of fist fights. At the end of it I felt like I had watched a whole TV series in one sitting. Daughter Number One thought it was "Awesome" but slightly annoyed that her favourite character from the first two Captain America movies (Cap's boyfriend Bucky) had been reduced to a mere MacGuffin. And Please, Mr Hollywood, get over your obsession with parental loss. The whole plot (three major characters in the final fiveway fistfest at the end were were motivated by revenge for the loss of murdered parents. One Hamlet at a time please!
Stan Lee popped up near the end. I'm convinced the man thinks he's the missing Chuckle Brother.



He's about as funny. I wish he'd learn from Hitchcock who would appear as soon as possible and get it over with so the audience weren't sitting there looking for him when they should have been enjoying the film.


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Old 2nd May 2016, 14:18   #2
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Default Re: Captain America: Civil War

Sounds about par for the course.

I've enjoyed some of the TV tie ins, the two "darker" ones (Daredevil, and... Errrrrr... Jennifer Jones?) were both a lot better than Agents of Shield. And the 40s-set Agent Carter is good fun on the whole.

The movies all feel very much the same, though. I thought the first Iron Man to be very good, the first Captain America likewise. Ant-Man, welcomed the silliness. The first Thor, not bad. Avengers Assemble... okay. All the subsequent ones, not really impressed at all.
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Old 2nd May 2016, 17:26   #3
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Default Re: Captain America: Civil War

This month's Empire describes it (twice) as the best thing Marvel Studios has done. Doesn't really make me want to rush out and watch the rest.
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Old 3rd May 2016, 9:06   #4
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Default Re: Captain America: Civil War

I would be astonished if it improves on any of the first installment movies.

Jennifer Jones is basically a private eye series, good dose of self-loathing, No Costumes. Villain a bit scenery chewing. Daredevil gives a fairly standard hero-creation story, but it's good - and the Villain is fantastic. I'm saying no more on either count to preserve those details in particular. Agent Carter feels very much like a Joss Whedon series in a good way, Agents Of Shield the same but in a less good way.
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Old 3rd May 2016, 11:52   #5
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Default Re: Captain America: Civil War

I have no background in comic books so anything to do with Marvel and DC is always all new to me, but I generally enjoy the Marvel films - I've watched Captain America: Winter Soldier, Iron Man (1, 2, and 3), Avengers Assemble & Age of Ultron, and Thor; and this looks to have fairly good reviews. I'd rather watch Tony Stark in a fist-fight than Batman vs Superman.

What seems excessive to me is the proliferation of extended-universe films generally, plus TV series - it appears rather flabby and repetitive to keep diversifying the brand in all possible directions: I mean, I would like the series to actually end, at some point!
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Old 3rd May 2016, 19:35   #6
JunkMonkey
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Default Re: Captain America: Civil War

I did have a rush of brains to the head last night, as various chunks of trash culture sloshing around in there banged up against each other, and came up with Peggy Carter: Warlord of Mars! A rough drawing of whom is currently on my drawing table.

(Any excuse to draw scantily-clad, large-breasted women gratefully received. Happily my brain just keeps stepping up to the mark and supplying them.)
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