#Cinenikki #Murkypolitics #Spoilers #captainamericacivilwar
Fair warning; this is about +Marvel Entertainment
's in theater #CaptainAmerica
movie. If you have not yet seen this movie; well; go see it.
After I watched the movie I kind of sat in the parking lot of the theater thinking; just not necessarily about the film itself. Rather, several months ago I questioned in one of Marvel's own threads whether or not the movie would have viewers shouting #ChooseCruz
as they left the theater. The line was supposed to have been a quasi-joke at Disney's increasing return to a left-wing editorial policy that cost the company billions of dollars under former CEO Eisner; political stances that forced a massive effort to construe the accounting reports year after year.
Yet, as I reviewed the events of the past several months in the political realm to those of the movie; it almost seemed like the Russo Brothers were quite prescient. I saw parallels to the Conservative movement in Captain America; with the source of the #NoYouMove
speech changing from Steve Rogers himself to Sharon Carter. The lines about knowing something is wrong even when everybody else is shouting it's right just seemed to ring even louder in the face of the leftist's cause célèbre
for unisex bathrooms; or the highly misconstrued calls for privileges and benefits disguised as calls for rights.
Throughout the film Steve Rogers kept trying to do what was ethically and morally correct; even if it wasn't legally correct. Steve Rogers kept placing his own life on the line for what he believed in. At one point Steve Rogers noted correctly that he couldn't stand down as he was possibly the only person who bring in Bucky without anybody dying. I'm not sure that those types of messages were ones that Disney's activist executives really wanted to send through the most popular movie on the planet.
I saw further parallels in the ending of the film. Just a few minutes screen time earlier the Black Panther
character had been aligned with Team Iron Man fighting against Team Cap; albeit for the Panther's own interests. Yet in the closing moments Captain America; and much of the rest of the (former)
Avengers; found themselves allied with an impossibly wealthy individual. In a single scene King T'Challa was shown to have medical technology at least equal to Shield's, if not superior. Wakanda itself was suggested to be advanced enough that King T'Challa was willing to suggest that the arrayed forces looking for Bucky would only be capable of unsuccessful attempts to capture Bucky. King T'Challa was also positioned to upgrade the Ex-Avengers gear, and even provide Steve Rogers with a new shield. The sole known source for Vibranium on Earth is Wakanda and the Black Panther suit was shown to incorporate the substance in an innovative fashion far beyond what Howard Stark had managed.
From a theatrical in-universe standpoint the relationship is a perfect setup for #InfinityWar
. It's also a spooky accurate rendition of the Conservative relationship with #DonaldTrump
. Just as King T'Challa was all for the Sokovia Accords and an alliance with Team Iron Man; Mr. Trump is known for funding liberal-leftist democrats and holding personal beliefs that have been defined by the quote/unquote #NewYorkValues
. Just as King T'Challa's actions were defined by his own personal goals; Donald Trump's actions have largely been defined by playing a political game to his personal interests. In turn, just as King T'Challa's interests have changed after realizing that Bucky was just a much a victim as the departed King T'Chaka; Mr. Trump's interests have changed as the Democrat party has taken a sharp turn into ideals that are simply bad for Mr. Trump's business endeavors.
Given the time-line for filming and how the political process played out; I can't imagine that some of the analogs I observed were intentional. As much as I'd like to believe that the #TinyDudeIsBigNow
was as much a shot at the press over realizing that the #TaxedEnoughAlready
crowd was not a passing fancy to be ignored; that's probably reading too much into the film.
Speaking of that particular event; post-release interviews have passed on that Disney executives at first found the Ant Man sequence to be silly. The producers had to remind Disney that this was a comic book film and that the transformation would not, in fact, break suspension of disbelief. Fair enough, I'm not the biggest fan of Paul Rudd, but I really enjoyed the #AntMan
solo film. I would also note that the direct transformation of small objects to oversized objects; including organic beings; was already shown on screen in that solo film. Notably the giant ant and the giant toy locomotive.
There is a sequence, or set of sequences in the film, that do shatter the suspension of disbelief. However, those scenes are general critical to the films communication of just how badly Tony Stark is rattled from his close calls over the years. So before I talk about where the movie went catastrophically wrong, I'd rather discuss what the film did completely right.
Tony Stark; supposedly one of the smartest people on the planet; is caught flat-footed by a single mother spouting bull manure over how she blames Tony for her son's death. Had Tony been on top of his game he probably could have decimated her blame in milli-seconds; noting correctly that if the Avengers had not stepped in, that city would have landed as Ultron Designed and wiped out the entire planet. I can think of a number ways that an A-Game Tony could have left the woman speechless.
Tony's arc throughout the film has sometimes been referred to as his own little Iron Man 4. At the start of Civil War Tony has lost everything that mattered to him, including Pepper Potts. Throughout the film he makes one bad decision after another; culminating in the near-death of his wingman and a savage beat-down at the hands of his own friends. Yet, somewhere, somehow, Tony finds a thread to hold onto. He finds Peter Parker, somebody who has experienced similar losses, and becomes a mentor to the fledgling superhero. Peter offers Tony an opportunity to be a personal role-model; and in the wake of Tony realizing just how badly he messed everything up that thread may be the only thing keeping Iron Stank.. I mean Iron Man... riveted together. Fitting #Spiderman
into Tony Stark's life was a work of genius.
Something else the film did right was re-implement a plot line from #IronMan2
. I'm not a big fan of that movie either; finding it absurdly short and incomplete; a factor likely attributed to the amount of material shot using Mickey Rourke that just simply didn't work. The gist of Iron Man 2 is that Mickey Rourke's character was not interested so much in killing Iron Man; but in making Iron Man bleed. I will admit that the concept of destroying a Hero from within was certainly interesting. Iron Man 2 just did not deliver.
Civil War though? With Col. Zemo? Seriously; one of the best villains to date. A person with absolutely zero superpowers, near non-existent resources, successfully played mind games to pit the Avengers against each other. Even after some of the Avengers became wise to Zemo's involvement the character still managed to fake them out. If it hadn't been for trailers spoiling Steve Rogers "Rough Day" lines to Iron Man; I'd have seriously expected one of the other Kill Squads Soldiers to have come crashing through that door.
At the end of the movie Zemo is still alive; which means he can come back; and being questioned by an Everett K. Ross. Who from the name could possibly be related to a former General Ross. Who was a villain in a previous movie. While this could be shades of setting up Zemo for his transition into the infamous Comic Book Zemo... it also ends the sequence on what the film did right... and the brings up the suspension of disbelief shattering sequence of events.
Those scenes actually occurred fairly early in the movie when the Sokovia Accords are first introduced. The suspension of disbelief boat is still creaking some Tony's encounter with a deluded mother. While I had bought the idea that Tony was rattled; even a rattled Tony should have been on that ball.
That boat burst a few planks when #ThunderboltRoss
appeared on screen. Just to be clear; the #Avengers
movies go out of their way to establish a rapport between #TonyStark
explicitly has an in-universe scene were Tony is talking very openly about his own problems to Bruce; leading to one of the best dead lines Mark Ruffalo has ever delivered. I find it near on impossible to believe that at no point did the in-universe Bruce Banner not convey to Tony Stark the details of his encounters with General Ross. I find it nigh unbelievable that Tony did not abuse his military contracts to get General Ross thrown out of the service.
After the events of the Hulk movie, then General Ross should have been dishonorably discharged from the service. For Tony Stark to turn to a person identified as Secretary of State Ross within the MCU; didn't just strain the extreme limits of suspended disbelief; it started making snapping sounds as planks burst one buy one. Yet it was the presence of two other characters who caused that those snaps to turn into the entire boat disintegrating. #AgeOfUltron
explicitly forms a relationship between #BlackWidow
and Bruce Banner. Natasha Romanoff is an in-universe crazy-prepared assassin; who also in the #RussoBrothers
exact previous movie, #WinterSoldier
, was responsible for publishing the long list of S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets while exposing H.Y.D.R.A. There is no chance in hell that she did not scour those records for any mentions of Bruce Banner. There is no chance in hell she could have possibly been unaware of Ross's previous in-universe interactions with Big Green. Just, I don't buy it. I seriously couldn't buy it. While I could buy that she was not personally responsible for removing Secretary of State Ross's spinal column due to the timeline of when that political position was awarded; but to sit in a room and give somebody who had tortured Bruce Banner a chance to breath without breaking every bone on sight?
Then there was the presence of Steve Rogers in those scenes. While Steve Rogers is not shown to engage in the sheer level of crazy-prepared research that Natasha routinely engages in; he is a trained captain of the US Military. There is no plausible explanation for Steve Rogers to not preform due diligence on his team-mates. Especially after the events of the first Avengers when Steve Rogers first met the Hulk. As of Civil War Steve Rogers is either an active or retired commissioned Officer of the US Military who was in charge of an effective blackops division under S.H.I.E.L.D.; and the on-record leader of the continuing Avengers Initiative. Steve Rogers should have had access to the General Ross encounter under Army Clearance alone. Further more, there is no plausible explanation for Steve Rogers to not have uncovered the link between The Hulk and General Ross in the published S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets.
Given that finding Big Green was certainly a high-priority task in the wake of Age of Ultron, there is a significant amount of doubt cast upon all of the AoU Avengers to not have, in some form or another, been made aware of the General Ross Incidents. With Bruce Banner gone anybody with any previous association should have been priority during information briefings. Just the idea that non of the AoU Avengers were briefed on a person with whom Bruce Banner would have a serious grudge against is inconceivable.
I also find it difficult to believe that other law enforcement agencies were unaware of the General Ross incidents as Winter Solider
clearly shows Senator Stern getting arrested by the FBI at the 2:02:21 mark. They would have only made that arrest after pouring through the published evidence from S.H.I.E.L.D. records; records that had to have included the Ross Incidents.
I find it notable that Civil War
makes no effort to address events that the Avengers had to have been briefed on. The film makes no effort to sell the idea that the AoU Avengers, even Vision, were not saying anything about Secretary of State Ross not being behind a jail cell because of their own personal political or social positions. Falcon would have been the only easy sell as he would have lacked the clearance to know about the Ross Incidents through the Military; and no direct motivation to perform a record dive on the Hulk. Even then, as already noted, Falcon was an AoU Avenger and would have certainly been briefed on the Hulk and known associations just as a matter of accepting a place on the team.
After the movie was over I just barely managed to rationalize the idea that maybe Natasha was so desperate for the Avengers under the Sokovia Accord to shield her from her now publicly known actions that she would accept the presence of Thunderbolt Ross. Yet Winter Soldier
firmly establishes that she wasn't relying on that type of protection; so even that rationalizing really didn't work. I also managed to rationalize Vision's lack of response on the basis that the Ross incidents were discarded as irrelevant data under the present circumstances; and Civil War
does make a fair point over how purely logical conclusions can still be completely wrong. So, one character, maybe, had a possibly plausible reason to let Thunderbolt Ross keep an intact spine?
I get that the inclusion of General Ross was supposed to be a nod towards the Hulk Franchise that is caught in a quagmire with Universal. I get the idea that Tony Stark working with Thunderbolt Ross was supposed to be an indication of Tony's F Class Game in action. Still, promoting General Ross to Secretary of State was seriously nothing but fodder for a future +Screen Junkies #HonestTrailer
. Civil War
should have just used another character period; and kept Thunderbolt to a non-speaking cameo.
Just a note as to where that cameo would have been appropriate; Secretary of State Ross does appear on the Raft, a floating prison that is actually a pretty good idea as a stand-in for Guantanamo Bay. Sadly, the character does appear in the position his previous actions would warrant: as an Inmate.
For what it is; Civil War is certainly a modern reflection of the political landscape within America today. Doing what is ethically and morally right isn't easy; and sometimes it requires forging partnerships and alliances that would be out-of-place under other conditions.
Will the film actually have an impact on the +GOP
convention in July? Not likely. The film will have probably dropped from Theaters and the parallels will only be noted on a handful of blogs.
Will the film have an impact on American Voters themselves? That's a bit more difficult to answer. This film could be hitting Blu-Ray and DVD shortly before the November Elections... and that could be a perfect time to revisit just how much of a conservative vehicle this Disney published film actually is.