Captain America: Civil War AKA WTF Did I Just Watch?

Full disclosure, here is a list of Marvel Cinematic Universe properties I haven’t seen: Captain America 2, Thor 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers 2, Ant-Man, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Amazing Spider-Man, and Amazing Spider-Man 2. So, I probably wasn’t prepared for Captain America 3: The Combining of All Properties Civil War. Seeing this movie presented an interesting experiment: watch a bunch of characters I’m not very familiar with cavort on-screen, and try to see if I can figure out what the hell is going on.

Civil War is about Selfless Captain America fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. Err, wait no, scratch that. Civil War is about Sanctimonious Captain America defending his psycho assassin best friend despite the fact he’s a murderous lunatic who deserves to rot in a prison cell.

The movie begins with Metal Arm Dude in Fake-Russia in 1991 murdering some people. Then, the film flashes forward to present day Africa, and a random bad guy with skull armor and TWO helmets (yes, he wears one on top of the other like the guy in Airplane! who wears two pairs of sunglasses) trying to do some kind of terrorist shit. Captain America, Girl with No Powers, Magical Bitch, and Flying Black Man stop the random bad guy but blow up a building in the process. Understandably, the United Nations isn’t too happy about that, because a lot of innocent people died. They propose regulating the Avengers, because letting them do whatever they want wherever they want to whomever they want has led to nothing but chaos. Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Iron Man is on-board with the idea, but Captain America isn’t. He thinks that he should have unlicensed power to deal out justice as he sees fit. You know what, Captain America is the PERFECT name for this character. Who better to represent the concept of No Consequences World Police than this guy? They bandy about the idea for a while, and basically half of the Avengers side with Iron Man and the other half side with Captain America.

Another terrorist attack happens, perpetrated once again by Metal Arm Dude. He’s Captain America’s best friend, so he rushes to some Decadent European Sinkhole to “save” him. They team up to fight some random government dudes. Then, Spandex Kitty shows up out of the blue because Metal Arm Dude killed his father in the last terrorist attack. They have a hilariously awful chase scene through a tunnel where they outrun cars. They ask Spandex Kitty if his costume is made out of “vibranium,” and then give a wink to the audience like that explains everything.

It takes forever for anything interesting to happen in Civil War. I checked my watch no less than THREE times as I waited for the actual “civil war” to happen. The superheroes don’t get to fighting each other until an hour and a half into the movie. Until then, the audience is subjected to an overly convoluted and bloated corpse of a plot that makes virtually no sense. It’s only purpose is to maneuver the characters into battling each other in a believable way. That’s pointless. No one is going into this movie expecting it to be realistic. All anyone wants is to watch a bunch of fucking superheroes pummel each other. They aren’t here to see The Wire.

Finally, the movie gets around to the punching. Captain America’s side includes Metal Arm Dude, Flying Black Man, Ant-Man, Bow and Arrow Guy, and Magical Bitch. Iron Man’s side includes Not Iron Man, Girl with No Powers, Spandex Kitty, Red-Faced Robot, and Spider-Man. They have a huge brawl in a conveniently empty airport where no civilians will die. No superheroes will die either, because Marvel doesn’t have the balls to kill any of its characters. So, it’s a neutered battle. Although, I will say they did utilize the superpowers in interesting ways to keep the battle varied. The CGI, however, was really terrible. They used obvious green screens and really bad “CGI stunt doubles” (for lack of a better word) for the fights. Considering all of Marvel’s movies gross bazillions of dollars, one would think they could cough up some scratch to actually make it look good. But they figured morons will lap this shit up regardless, so why bother?

Also, was it really necessary to have Ant-Man and Spider-Man? Did the filmmakers think both sides needed an insect to keep it fair? Ant-Man was utterly pointless, and I think he was only there because they didn’t really have any other characters to use. Spider-Man, however, was the highlight of the film. I actually enjoyed watching Spider-Man on the screen, with him web-slinging and being enthusiastically goofy. He wasn’t whatever the fuck Tobey Maguire was doing in the earlier Spider-Man films. Unfortunately, his presence is more like an extended cameo. As an aside, why is Aunt May now the middle-aged-but-super-hot Marisa Tomei? Not that I’m complaining.

At the end of the film, it turns out German Sniper from Inglourious Basterds was the villain all along. He manipulated the key players into trying to kill each other to get revenge for his own family that accidentally died because of Avengers-related destruction. It is then revealed that Metal Arm Dude killed Iron Man’s parents when he was still young. Iron Man is super fucking pissed, and decides to kill Metal Arm Dude. Captain America and Metal Arm Dude defeat Iron Man in the movie’s final battle. I’m sorry, but that’s preposterous. Are we expected to believe that a walking tank is beaten by a guy who’s pretty strong and a regular guy with a metal arm? Give me a fucking break. And it’s kind of hard not to feel bad for Iron Man when his best friend was injured (Not Iron Man during the big brawl), he just found out his parents were murdered, the murder almost kills him, and then a self-righteous prick helps the murderer escape.

By now, the entire thrust of the plot, regulating superheroes, is completely forgotten. That was a shame, because it was an interesting concept. I wanted to see what that would have looked like. It was just a device to fill time, and the filmmakers weren’t interested in it at all. They eschewed something unique for a tride-and-true revenge/punching storyline. Great job, assholes.

Sanctimonious Captain America saved his best friend, even though his best friend was an assassin who murdered lots of people. “Oh, but it wasn’t really him, he was brainwashed.” Yeah, that’s the same argument the Nazis used. They were just following orders, right? I’m not sure what this movie’s message is supposed to be. Apparently it’s: you don’t have to follow the rules as long as you do what you think is right. That’s a bullshit lesson, and this movie can go fuck itself for thinking it’s appropriate.

The worst part of all was the ending. Captain America sends a letter to Iron Man saying, “I’m sorry my best friend killed your parents and then I almost killed you. But we’re still bros, so we’re cool right?” And then Iron Man smiles and fucking nods and YEP IT’S ALL OK WE JUST MADE UP AND THE ENTIRE MOVIE IS NOW RENDERED POINTLESS AND WHY DID WE SPEND TWO AND A HALF HOURS TO END UP EXACTLY WHERE WE STARTED WHAT THE FUCK YOU GUYS WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Ugh. This is why I don’t usually watch superhero movies. They’re insipid and stupid. And as for my experiment, well, I followed the movie just fine aside from not knowing most of the character names. I don’t think seeing all those other Marvel properties would have made the idiocy of this one any more palatable.

Verdict: Bad

21 Responses to “Captain America: Civil War AKA WTF Did I Just Watch?”

  1. May 14, 2016 at 7:55 am

    WTF did I just read? What is the point of watching the third part of a trilogy without watching the second part? (To Clarify, The Winter Soldier)? This is not that complicated….(I also wonder if you ever bothered to watch The First Avenger either).

    And for the record, The Amazing Spider-man 1 and 2 are NOT part of the MCU and therefor utterly irrelevant, and the Marvel TV shows are a great watch, but not required at for understanding anything which happens in the movies.

    But really, this is more or less the equivalent of watching Back to the Future Part 3 without having seen Part 2 and then complaining that Marty is for some reason in the Wild West.

    • May 16, 2016 at 8:08 am

      I would agree with you if this was just a trilogy, but it isn’t. In order to fully understand this movie, Marvel expects you to see Iron Man 1-3, Captain America 1-2, Ant-Man, and Avengers 1-2. That’s 8 films. I have neither the time nor inclination to watch 8 films as a setup to the ninth, Captain America 3. At this point, entry into the MCU is becoming prohibitive. Think of it as a long-running TV program; it will stop gaining new viewers as the mythology and overarching storyline is too far along for newbies to jump in and enjoy. And for the record, I did watch The First Avenger, and found it to be an utter cheese fest. It was by far the worst of the MCU that I’ve seen. I actually liked Civil War more.

      • May 16, 2016 at 11:23 am

        That’s not exactly how the MCU is built. You can watch X-franchise plus the Avengers without missing anything really important. Watching all the movies gives your more details, but they are not required for understanding the movie.
        And look, I don’t care what you think about The First Avenger. If it was not for you, your loss. If you don’t watch The Winter Soldier, even more your loss, since it is largely considered the best the MCU has to offer. But don’t complain that you didn’t understand Civil War after skipping an important picture of Steve’s and Bucky’s story.

      • May 17, 2016 at 7:48 am

        I will concede that watching all three movies would grant a deeper understanding of Captain America and Metal Arm Dude’s relationship. But it doesn’t change that the movie is too long, takes forever for anything interesting to happen, has too many unnecessary characters, has weak CGI, has a laughably bad introduction to Spandex Kitty, has a terrible moral, and by the end the status quo hasn’t really changed. These are all subjective, and of course you can disagree, but the movie fails for me more than the fact that I didn’t “get” a relationship. It fails on multiple levels.

  2. May 14, 2016 at 8:45 am

    I know all about Metal Arm Dude, Flying Black Man, Spandex Kitty and Magical Bitch, (they’re my favourites) but who the hell is this “Captain America”?

    • May 16, 2016 at 8:09 am

      I think Captain America was the guy in the suit that was trying to neuter the Avengers. Or maybe it was Samuel L Jackson in an eyepatch, although he didn’t show up much.

  3. May 14, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Enjoyed reading your post! I really like how Marvel introduces new superheroes that I know little or nothing about and makes me excited for them. Vision and Black Panther are great examples of that, of course Guardians of the Galaxy are another. I literally got chills when seeing Black Panther in full costume and I loved that chase sequence.

    • May 16, 2016 at 8:11 am

      I’m glad you liked the post. I’m also glad that you can enjoy my snarky posts without getting mad at me just because you liked the movie. Some people are incapable of that. Anyway, I have to say that Spandex Kitty’s introduction was handled pretty badly. Maybe they will rectify that it his solo movie? Vision seemed kind of interesting, an almost god-like character, which could make for interesting stories in the right hands.

  4. 10 Jonny2x4
    May 17, 2016 at 12:10 am

    I supposed you skipped out on Batman v. Superman.

  5. May 17, 2016 at 3:51 am

    There’s just no saving some people….. LOL


  6. May 19, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Not seen this one yet, Brik, but I have a feeling I’m not going to like it all that much. No wait. I’ll enjoy watching it. But looking back, I’ll have that feeling of remorse. Of, why did I just watch that.

    It’s kind of sad that you have to watch every single god damn film and almost TV show to understand and appreciate every aspect and line of these films now. They’ve gone from enjoyable to giving you FOMO.

    They’re never on the top of my to-watch list anymore, and … it gives me no cares. I’ll give you a heads up when I finally get around to seeing this.

    • May 31, 2016 at 8:55 am

      Just wait for this to show up on Netflix. It is not worth the money. Someday, these Marvel films are going to so complexly interwoven, they are going to implode.

  7. 17 Gazerbeam
    June 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I’m a BP fan and I enjoyed his introduction, though his posse was a bit jobbed for plot reasons. German sniper was definitely overpowered and his ability to outmaneuver both the Avengers and Wakanda was nonsensical.

    Also Vision is probably being setup as a villain or for some relation to Thanos. Nothing else can explain his utter uselessness to everyone. His actions were more insidious than helpful.

    But for *this film*, Tony Stark was the real villain. If you really didn’t side with Cap, then you haven’t seen any of the prior films. In the MCU the governments have fucked up in 100% of engagements and along with Tony should never be trusted with any power.

    It’s too bad they couldn’t figure out a way to quickly do flashbacks for the 2 people in the western world who have not seen a single MCU film, but it really did work fine without that filler, because Cap’s verbal arguments easily demolished any support for Tony’s government allegiance.
    Anyway, fuck MCU Tony Stark. He was only useful or sane in the very first of his films. After that, everyone else is conveniently jobbed to give him room to fuck things up again.

    • June 14, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      I really don’t see why everyone calls Tony a dick in this movie. What he wants is perfectly reasonable: a group of, essentially, gods (who can wreak havoc wherever/whenever/for whatever reason they want) need to be controlled. What is to stop them from going on a revenge-fueled killing spree?

      Cap doesn’t even make an argument. He just wants to be free to do whatever he wants to whomever he wants without consequences. Tony wants regulation and Cap wants free reign to do whatever he damn well pleases. One of these characters is reasonable, the other, not so much.

      I can’t believe we live in a world where audiences consider the person who wants regulation and accountability the VILLAIN. wtf?

      • 19 gazerbeam
        June 18, 2016 at 5:58 pm

        In theory, the regulatory argument is feasible, even reasonable. But as I tried to get across in my last comment, it is neither feasible nor reasonable *in that universe*. The government had demonstrated *every single MCU film* that it cannot be trusted with power.

        It might work for very short periods in comic books for super heroes to be beholden to their governments, but in the context of the MCU (and DCEU, for that matter), it can’t work. The point of almost all superhero stories is that governments do secret things that only rarely result in a net benefit to current and future citizens; places like Wakanda are extremely few and far-between for examples to the contrary.

        I intended my first comment to be biting, but regarding this particular argument, there is no combative intent.

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May 2016


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