Saturday, 28 May 2016

Captain America: Civil War; why, it's downright mannerly

Captain America: Civil War has already about a million dollars for every word in this post, so if I wasn’t thrilled by it, that means I’m wrong. Well, I could see that argument being made. Obviously I’m never wrong. But man, the longest Marvel movie so far sure felt like the longest Marvel movie so far. Painstakingly assembled in the modern way by working out a metric butt-load of CGI stunts and then trying to figure out what could possibly link them and conceivably give all the superheroes at least one line each, Civil War is the kind of movie which makes me want to see less of everyone involved in it. Well, not everyone. I could watch John Slattery all day long, but instead he’s on screen just long enough to get murdered by someone I could easily stand never to see again.

To the extent that it’s about anything other than endless superhero cameos (Hawkeye is back. Yay. Said no-one, ever, not even Jeremy Renner), Civil War is all about the argument about whether superheroes should be locked up for public safety or left free to roam in the hope they might have the sense to do some good at some point. This is like having an argument about whether guns should be a) kept locked in cupboards or b) left in the play pen with the children. Anyone who’s been going to these movies has seen the Avengers et al do more collateral than a full scale alien invasion, but just in case there was anyone at Civil War who hasn’t been going to all these movies like a religious observance, the movie opens with yet more collateral damage, followed by some authority figure (oh, look, it’s William Hurt! Wasn’t he an actor once?) delivering a greatest hits reel of all the collateral damage from the other movies. People have started perfectly good fifteen year long wars for levelling a fraction of the buildings which the Avengers have flattened in their time. In any other universe than the Marvel Universe, they’d either be dead or running everything as the only way to avoid being killed by the angry mob with the pitchforks.

The Avengers are dicks. Well-meaning dicks, maybe, but they’re dicks. Their career to date is a series of interventions which have done more damage than whatever they were trying to stop. And now we’re got a whole movie about whether it’s a good idea to let them wander around wrecking things at random. It’s a terrible idea. Even the heroes having an argument about it manages to destroy a perfectly good airport. When your argument about whether you’re too destructive blows up a couple of airliners and most of the terminal building … 

And the argument isn’t over. Captain America’s off having a massive sulk and breaking people out of an impregnable prison by the end of the movie (I found it perversely charming that the end credits stinger just skipped trying to make that realistic and just showed the place trashed as though somehow two guys with three arms between them could have somehow taken the whole facility down without breaking into a sweat). So there’s going to be another couple of movies about the continuing adventures of Captain America, Rogue Superhero. I am not terribly sure that I need to see them. I’m getting impatient with all these bits of idiocy, and it was during the airport trashing that I suddenly realised why; they’re not even funny any more. The people behind this have either forgotten how to be witty, or worse, they’ve started thinking they’re engaged in something serious.

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