Captain America: Civil War:
when i was younger i used to think Captain America was a total fag.
you know, because America sucks and patriotism is for squares and boot-lickers.
America still sucks and patriotism is still for squares and boot-lickers but a few years back i developed a new appreciation for Captain America.
oddly enough, it was the PSE who brought me around on Captain America.
i say 'oddly enough' because the PSE is a girl and what the fuck do girls know about comic book characters?
before the PSE and i got together she wouldn't have been able to tell you the difference between Marvel and DC.
but, back when we live in Albuquerque we played a video game together called Marvel Ultimate Alliance and then Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, and the second one followed the comic book Civil War story-line.
in the comic books, as well as the video game we enjoyed, the 'civil war' between the Marvel Universe came around over registration of mutants, with Iron Man taking the side of pro-registration and Captain America leading anti-registration forces.
the government making lists of people was not American. Captain America was taking a stand for civil liberties.
the PSE pointed out the idealism in Captain America's politics and ever since, i've been a Captain America fan.
for some people, when they see America, they don't see a legacy of genocide and slavery and the global
exploitation of capitalism gone wild, they see a force for good.
i don't see that in America myself, but i am willing to give the comic book character the benefit of the doubt.

Captain America: Civil War vaguely follows the story of the comic book and video game Civil War story that the PSE and i were familiar with.
only, because Fox owns the rights to Mutants the Marvel Cinematic Universe people had to change the catalyst for the rift.
in the movie, Iron Man and Captain America disagree about whether or not the Avengers should answer to some kind of authority or just continue to be allowed to run around doing whatever the hell they want with absolutely no regulation or oversight.
Iron Man was on the side of regulation while Captain America thought they should just be allowed to do as they please.
things get especially unpleasant, however, when Captain America's best friend the Winter Soldier gets accused of a terrorist bombing.
in addition to being Captain America's childhood best friend, the Winter Soldier is also a KGB trained brainwashed assassin who has killed hundreds or thousands of people during his decades-long career as a bad guy.
Iron Man and the gang get tasked with bringing him to justice but Captain America wants to protect him because they grew up together and apparently friendship is more important then whether or not your best friend is a terrorist mass murderer.
Captain America: Civil War is not so much a movie about Captain America standing up for the civil liberties of a persecuted minority as it is him making poor decisions and prioritizing selfish affection for his friend over the national security interests of dozens of countries.
that changes the tone and significance of the story for me quite a bit.

the Avengers divide up nicely into groups of maybe five or six a piece with half siding with Iron Man and half siding with Captain America.
some had reasons to chose one side or another, others just went wherever the writers wanted to place them to make the numbers match.
then they have a great big fight that lasts way too long.
eventually Captain America and his friend the Winter Soldier get away and go fly off to Siberia to pursue a clue that the real bad guy of the movie was trying to do some villainous shit.
Iron Man also figures out that there is a real bad guy at work here and he flies off to Siberia, too, but, when they get to where they were going, the Big Bad tells Iron Man that it was the Winter Soldier who killed his parents a few decades previous, and that sets Iron Man off trying to kill the Winter Soldier.
but once again, Captain America insists on getting in the way.
they all fight some more and Captain America wins.
in the end, we find out that the Big Bad's deal was that he wanted revenge on the Avengers for some reason that doesn't matter but he knew he couldn't defeat them, so he decided to get them to turn on themselves.
but, aside from framing the Winter Soldier for the terrorist bombing, he didn't really do much to effect events.
the Winter Soldier was still a terrorist mass murderer wanted for plenty of other bombings and assassinations that he really did do during the decades he worked for the KGB, plus, he really did assassinate Iron Man's parents.
the motherfucker probably does deserve to get killed, or at least thrown into prison, but none of that matters because he is Captain America's childhood best friend and that's more important then anything.
i don't care how much i might like Anthony, but if there is a button i could press to get him thrown into solitary confinement to stop him from giving everybody he meets H.I.V. i would press that shit in a minute.

Captain America: Civil War took a really good story, removed any narrative of moral or social significance and made it a movie about super-powered badasses fighting each other for two and a half hours.
i mean, it was cool to see the super-powered badasses fighting, at least for a little while, but even that got tedious after a while.
how much pew pew pew can a movie take?

for taking one of the most iconic comic book stories of recent memory and reducing it to a series of mindless action sequences and jokes and for turning Captain America from a champion of whatever good there might be found in America and reducing him a selfish spoiled git who thinks only about himself Captain America: Civil War earns a 5.7/10.

//[ab irato ad astra]
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September 2017

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