Monday, May 23, 2016

Captain America: Civil War, a preview post so there will be something here while I'm still writing the actual posts

This is just me reposting a comment I made at Amarie's, originally there was going to be some structure or sense behind the numbers, then there wasn't.

Here it is, in all its unedited glory:

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Preview of the posts I'm going to be writing about it, note that it won't be one post per point below

1 The movie we were promised at the end of the previous Captain America was Steve and Sam on a road trip to find Bucky with possible help from Natasha. This is especially sensible because Sam's job and vocation is helping soldiers who have had traumatic experiences which Bucky very much is. Where the fuck is that movie?

2 The final fight of this movie, which the villain's entire plan leads up to, hinges on Tony being an asshole, but that doesn't mean that Tony needed to have a huge role in the movie. He could have spent the movie following newly surfaced clues on his parents' murder. Cut to him for like a minute at most as he gets one step closer and then, at the very end, his quest leads him to the same spot as Steve and Bucky.

3 This was two movies (which is an improvement over the last Captain America movie when they tried to cram in like nine) and neither of them was really a Captain America movie. The Avengers splitting up over the Fictional Country Accords is clearly an Avengers movie. Bucky being framed bringing the two sides of the split into conflict is actually the backdrop for a Black Panther movie in which T'Challa grows as a character and he first steps foot outside of Wakanda as the Black Panther.

4 Apparently only villains care about natives. Tony ends up thinking they need oversight because of an American in Sokovia, the oversight actually becomes a thing because of Wakandans in Nigeria. No one on the good side gave a crap about the Sokovians or the Nigerians. That seems to be the message.

5 This should have been morally complex. The leader of the accord side --who should have been Maria Hill, not Tony-- should have made the argument that cops without oversight are dangerous and scary things and justice requires people who can keep the enforcers in line. This is true and important because, for fuck's sake, the cops are out of control and the Avengers are cops on a grand scale. Steve should have made the "Yeah, but.." argument which he kind of did with "They could order us to do bad things" (see Captain America II in which the "good" guys and the bad guys both agree that a giant surveillance and assassination system is wonderful, but disagree on who should pick the targets) and "They could order us not to do good things" which, if they'd waited to get an "Ok" for Sokovia the first time then the [worse Nazis than the Nazis] would rule the world and if they'd waited the second time then the human race would be extinct.

In either case having to go through a normal chain of command would have ended life as we know it and possibly life in general. That's what superhero movies are about for fuck's sake. If the police were up to the task then Peter Parker could focus on his school work. If the regular allies were up to the task then Captain America wouldn't have been needed. Super-villains exist because without them superheroes would be dangerous vigilantes but with them they're necessary. They become even more necessary when the powers that be aren't outmatched but instead actively evil.

And on that note:

6 Doctor Doom. Marvel doesn't have the movie rights to The Fantastic Four so they can't use Doctor Doom in spite of him being their character, but things would have worked so much better if Steve could have just said, "Latveria." pause because that should be enough. Continuation for those who don't understand, "They'll never approve us intervening, but if we don't then Doctor Doom will be unstoppable before he sets foot into our jurisdiction." Or, failing that:

7 "117 countries." How many of those countries have committed genocide? How many of them have stood by and let genocide happen? There's Steve's "Order us to do bad things; order us not to do good things," argument. Hell, Steve may be Captain America, but his wartime service could have caused him to come into direct contact with the 442nd Infantry Regiment who might have mentioned what the US was doing to their families back home (and had been doing to them before they were allowed to join up.)

8 Bucky wasn't just framed; he was framed really badly. The Winter Solider doesn't blow shit up. He shoots people, he chokes people, he fights people one on one, but a car bomb? No. Before the previous Captain America movie no one, save Natasha, seriously believed he existed and that's simply not possible if he's the sort to do things as open as blowing up a UN summit.

Everyone should have known he was innocent with the possible exception of T'Challa who had very good reason to have less than perfect judgement right then.

In fact, the movie works best if the villain and the Accords side are working together. How did someone who's son was in the empty building Tony collapsed in Sakovia get alone time with Tony to tell Tony about her son when there's an entire crowd of people who know more about the building who would like to see him just as much? Why push the story that an enhanced human (Bucky) is responsible when the evidence is crap?

Because both the people behind the accords and the nominal villain want to bring down the Avengers. Ross wants them imprisoned (chasing down exceptional individuals is kind of his thing), Zemo wants them dead, but the early stages of both goals are identical and it's probable that neither side talked about their endgame.

9 Can I go on about how morally unbalanced this is?

Tony: I've come to realize that I can't be trusted not to do X, therefore there should be a law against X. All who oppose me in this endeavor are moral degenerates. If you'll excuse me I have to make sure that Vision knows Wanda is my slave, not my guest, and then I'm going to recruit a child soldier by threatening to out him to his mother-figure. This will involve me repeatedly pulling what he wants kept in the closet out of the closet so that there's no way you can miss the overtones.

Vision: I make sure Mr. Stark's slaves don't leave the property unless he allows them to. I see no moral problem with this.

Rhodey: I'm just following orders. (He's clearly the moral heart of the team since ... yeah.)

Natasha: I actually came out and said that I don't want to be on this side. The only reason I'm here is because "Team Evil" needs a token female character.

Peter: Look, I don't want to know who's right and who's wrong. I'm being blackmailed by a creepy guy who seems to want to have sex with the woman who raised me. I actually gave a speech in which I said that morally I agree with everything the other side stands for.

T'Challa: I'm here to murder someone, but don't worry, this is my pseudo-origin story so I'll learn to be a better person by the end of it and not murder the person who killed my father. My initial position on the Accords is that they should apply to others but as soon as I've got a vendetta, screw everything they say. That said, remember that I grow and change unlike the other people on this team.

While on the other side we have:
Steve: This will seriously harm our ability to do good things and YOU'RE TRYING TO KILL AN INNOCENT MAN. Also, no lawyer? What happened to due process?

Sam: I'm with Steve on this, every part of what he just said.

Wanda: I'm a human being, not an object. I saw Fury Road, damn it.

Clint: Wanda's a human being, not an object.

Scott: Is there any coffee? What day is it?

Not saying that Cap's team is composed of angels, but there's a clear right side here. Not the least of which because this whole thing is being overseen by...

10 "Ross" is a name that we might associate with, "Why the fuck isn't she in this movie?" but in the case of Civil War it's the other Ross. Her dad. The villain. Bruce/Hulk's villain. A movie about Ross interring enhanced people ought to be Bruce/Hulk's movie.

11 You know why this fucked up movie exists? After Iron Man III, a movie with so many good bits that it made the crap the movie was primarily composed of hurt even more than if it had just been only bad, RDJ wasn't contracted to do anything else but the remaining Avengers story (which will be split in half) and the people running the MCU wanted him in another movie because he draws bigger numbers in the US. Not that his movies make more money overall, it's just in the US where there's a notable difference.

So they wrote a movie that would so depend upon Tony and Iron Man that they could go to RDJ and say, "We've got this movie that we want to make --script's done, we're scouting locations-- but it will only work if you're in it. *puppy dog pout* Please?

They weren't even trying to make a good movie. They were trying to create a thing that required RDJ.

12 Tony's position basically boils down to: Hey, you know what? I've realized that I've been wrong all these years. But now that I've realized it I'm right and you're wrong. Everyone still has to do what I say.

He's the guy who always thinks he's right. Every time he realizes he was wrong before then ... hey, that just makes him even more right now because he's righter than he was back then.

13 You put Bucky, a traumatized soldier, and Sam, someone who works with traumatized solider, together and didn't make any use of that?
You put Bucky, someone who had is his mind fucked with, on the same side as Wanda, someone who can do impossible things with minds, and didn't have her at least try to help?

14 Vision can pick up the hammer of Thor because he's totally worthy, but he doesn't see the problem with "It's fine for you to leave to do work for us, but you're not actually a free person. You're our captive here. Deal with it"?

15 There are three black superheroes in this movie. They're all male.

In fact, Given that Wanda's been whitewashed ... is it impossible to be a minority and a female in the hero biz?


Proposed better way:

Captain America 2 had a different name because Bucky was barely in that movie and the movie wouldn't have changed much if you took him out.

Third CA movie is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Steve and Sam go out to find Bucky.

In Avengers: Civil War, the team fractures over the question of the Sokovia accords. Steve leads one faction, Hill leads the other. While they fight, the movie ends with all of them teaming up to free the captured members of the Steve-side from Ross' secret prison where the inmates have no rights because, whatever your position on superhero oversight, prisons with no human rights are bullshit.

The Black Panther -- T'Challa gets drawn into the middle of this fucked up feud when Bucky is framed for murdering his father. The movie has the two sides of the Avengers fighting each other again because of the flashpoint that is Bucky, but that's the backdrop for T'Challa's story.

Future movies: X years ago a super hero team was sent to prison for a crime they didn't commit. These people promptly escaped from maximum security prison. Today, still wanted by the government, they ... yeah, I'm not going to be able to work in the entire the A-Team opening monologue, but it seemed to fit.

Important point is this: future movies follow Captain America, Falcon, Black Widow (because she ought to be on that side), the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Antman (individually, and in groups) as outlaw heroes.

They do crime for great justice.


Probably wrote too much already.

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