• What’s so civil about war, anyway?
  • So much punching, and of things you would not think punchable: faces wrapped in super-armor, or German planes, or concrete support columns.
  • Also many pretty people, and not just pretty white people: there are three black guys in the film, and they play two best friends and an African guy.
  • That’s progress, I guess.
  • I suppose I should say SPOILERS at this point, but…well, wait: even explaining why there aren’t any spoilers might be construed as spoilerific, so if you haven’t seen it yet and want to go in utterly clueless, then you gotta go.
  • They gone?
  • Superman dies.
  • I’m kidding: that was the other movie about heroes who are actually terrible people punching one another.
  • Okay, so: this is not a Captain America movie.
  • Cap was the star of his first movie, but the past two have been Avengers movies; this is not a bad thing, as the character is not as interesting as Iron Man or Spidey, nor does he have a cool location and supporting players like Thor does.
  • So Marvel has chosen (wisely) to make Captain America more of a through-line than a lead character; he gets the most screen time, but just barely.
  • There are ten Marvel heroes in this film, four of whom have solo movie careers, and so the scene where Cap goes to the mall and is dazzled by the all the new gadgets gets cut early.
  • (Plus, he’s got out of that ice almost ten years ago at this point; he should be caught up by now.)
  • Black Panther has a large sub-plot because his movie is coming out next year, and so does Bucky; Spider-Man (and the new, hot Aunt May) gets his introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe plus a big role in the climactic fight scene; the relationship developing between Vision and Scarlet Witch is given several scenes: there’s a lot packed into the two-and-a-half hours.
  • Hawkeye is back.
  • Yay.
  • Anyway: the plot.
  • Um.
  • Huh.
  • Robert Downey, Jr. wants Captain America to sign something that makes super-heroing legal?
  • Cap’s like “Nuh-uh.”
  • And they don’t punch each other yet, but you can tell they want to.
  • Stuff blows up in a foreign country.
  • William Hurt is tall.
  • Stuff blows up in a different foreign country.
  • Robert Downey, Jr. and Captain America assemble their teams, starting with their black best friends.
  • Punching.
  • Paul Rudd seems to be in a different movie than everyone else.
  • Absolutely nothing is resolved, but the larger plot is moved forward, maybe.
  • Ta-da?
  • Remember Bucky?
  • They just put his crazy ass back into cryo-sleep at the end.
  • Maybe he’ll become a Guardian of the Galaxy.
  • And nobody died, though the movie does pretend to cripple Don Cheadle; Robert Downey, Jr. has already built him a robot exo-suit that fits under his clothes and it will never be mentioned again.
  • Cap and Black Widow and Falcon and Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye and Ant-Man (I am a grown man talking about other grown-ups) are now on the run; maybe they will go back to Hawkeye’s farm like in the second Avengers movie because that was so much fun.
  • Scarlet Witch is played by the Olsen Twins, and she has done something about the accent from the last movie, which could only be described as “foreign.”
  • She didn’t take classes or practice or anything: she just stopped doing the accent, and now the character is from California.
  • In the comics, she and Vision fell in love and married, and it looks like they’re going that way in the films.
  • Vision has a robot dick.
  • Paul Bettany, however, might be the MVP of the movie: the Vision is a potentially film-ruining character; he’s an android wearing a sweater; Bettany makes the humanity of the android come through.
  • Good for you, Paul Bettany.
  • A lot of the actors have prominent noses.
  • Noticed it halfway through and then couldn’t stop seeing it.
  • The noses don’t stand out because these are all very attractive people, except for Jeremy Renner, but some tremendous schozzes.
  • Okay, but why were they fighting again?
  • Where did you come from?
  • I’m always here.
  • Sure, but I already recapped the plot.
  • You did not.
  • Lemme try again: a creepy German guy we later learn is Baron Zemo framed Bucky for killing Black Panther’s father.
  • Why?
  • The German guy was from Sokovia, the pretend city that the Avengers destroyed fighting Ultron in the last movie and some of his family died.
  • So he decided to become a criminal mastermind?
  • And Bucky murdered Robert Downey, Jr.s’ parents.
  • Does that makes sense?
  • Maybe, but let me get back to whatever it is I was doing; if someone wants to pay me to write a review, then I will, but I’m not thinking about this dopey nonsense for free, and I’m certainly not looking up the stuff I forgot.
  • Good attitude.
  • Thank you.
  • As regards to the actual plot and the machinations of the villain’s schemes: I am the wrong person to ask about not just this film, but any; any movie more complicated than Run, Lola, Run is a total hodgepodge to me, at least the first time around.
  • You know those movies where people double-cross each other?
  • I have never understood a single one of them.
  • Spider-Man showed up, as we all know, and they are setting him up as Tony Stark’s protegĂ© or something; also, he is now twelve years old.
  • He was funny, though; that’s one of the things they always get wrong about him.
  • There was jumping and webbing and kicking: he was a Spider-Mannish boy.
  • Give the Marvel movies this over the DC stuff: since the Avengers got together, the main storyline has been the response to them and their constant fucking up.
  • New York was the doing of one of their brothers, Sokovia got fucked up when the super-intelligent death robot that Robert Downey, Jr. built decided to live there, and–in the last Cap movie–several Helicarriers crashed into D.C.
  • The “No Super-Heroes” position is a solid one: these people are terrible neighbors, and worse visitors.
  • “Sorry we destroyed your downtown, but our human tank had to fight our giant green ragemonster. Yes, I said ‘our’ both times, as both of them are Avengers. We’re the good guys.”
  • And the movie does do it as truthfully as a movie about pretty people in silly outfits punching one another can do: Alfre Woodard plays the mother of someone killed in Sokovia, which seems unfair.
  • Alfre Woodard’s a serious actress.
  • (But, you know: she probably shot her scenes in a few days and received a lovely check, so good for Alfre.)
  • There was quite a bit of action, so those of you expecting a gentle comedy of manners will be disappointed.
  • I don’t even know where you’d get that idea, quite frankly.
  • All of the characters action in their own way: Black Panther has cool retractable claws, and Ant-Man does his size-changing thing, and Black Widow leaps at soldiers crotch-first.
  • Although the directors, the Russo directors, have made the choice to shoot the action sequences in a style that might be called “violently undulating.”
  • It’s not quite Paul Greengrass-level shaky-cam, but the point of view moves both with and independently of the characters with a fierce intent.
  • If there’s a problem with the movie, it’s one that’s intrinsic to any team-up movie (or comic, for that matter): the range of powers within the group assembled is so large as to make some of them irrelevant.
  • You’ve got to make the incredibly powerful characters (Vision) weaker, and the scrubs (Hawkeye, Falcon, Widow) stronger.
  • This is because of the First Rule Of Super-Hero Films: there needs to be a fist-fight.
  • Shooting computer graphics at each other is fine, and so is tossing computer-generated dump trucks, but in the third act, there needs to be a fist-fight.
  • Which means you end up with Hawkeye lasting more than two seconds with Black Panther, and this would not happen: not only is the Black Panther a better fighter than Hawkeye, he might be a better archer, too.
  • And dopiness like Vision engaging in a punch-up.
  • He’s a synthezoid super-intelligence who can control his own mass and has an Infinity Gem for a bindi: he doesn’t get in fist-fights.
  • The effects are as good as you would assume, and the heroes had weight and grit to them; nothing looked shiny, and no rubbery faces; plus–and I mention this frequently–Marvel’s movies take place during sunny days, so they can’t hide shitty CG with rain and darkness.
  • (There is one scene where it rains, but it had to rain, because Robert Downey, Jr. was very sad.)
  • The sound was also good enough that I noticed it: the punches (have I mentioned there were punches?) land with a huge and percussive PLAMP.
  • To sum up, I enjoyed this Super-Hero Product, and would recommend it to others; I also enjoyed the commercial before the movie for the upcoming Super-Hero Product starring Bensonhedges Coffestump and plan on consuming that one, too.