Thursday, May 19, 2016

Captain America: Civil War (movie review)

:: bagdad interior ::

I think what we're supposed to get is Captain America is more than ambivalent about joining some United Nations, much as Brits feel conflicted about the European Union.  What if the UN picks the wrong bad guys, or fails to act when bad guy pillage is immanent?  The Avengers are leery of trusting anyone's judgement but their own.

However, shades of The Incredibles, ordinary mortals are sick and tired of their "collateral" status, as in "collateral damage".  The collateral rises up and says "enough is enough already" and asks the Avengers for a modicum of accountability.  Captain America has his moral qualms about this.  For one thing he's harboring a terrorist, his friend that gets activated by keywords.

I came to this movie with a sieve-like memory, a lot of the sand having trickled away.  Like I could not understand how that Mandela-talking prince could have superpowers until later it was explained to me his part of Africa was where the unobtanium was mined.  Then it all made more sense.

Other important plot elements maybe went by in a blur, as I was focusing on the ridiculously-on-steroids cartoon-like physics of it all (Marvel is originally a comic book publisher remember, only recently a studio).

That's the difference between film in a theater and a Marvel comic:  when reading, one may pause to puzzle, even cross-reference and refresh.  In a real time first viewing, a lot of information comes at ya, and there's always the risk of dropping some balls.

That's not as big a deal as it sounds however, as the movie is designed to be rented and/or owned at a later date, and when playing back, even pausing, is OK.

Viewing with controls can be a lot more like reading a comic book than taking it in at the theater.  The Marvel movie-makers reward those who pay twice: once for the once-through as a blockbuster, and then again for more reflective analysis, in a home theater context.

Another plot element I didn't quite get is why the liquid blue stuff was allowed to travel with Mr. and Mrs. Old Person on some back country road.  Is that how we'd treat plutonium?

Some terrorist swoops in and rains on their parade, but what institutional wheel-turning put them alone on a such a desolate road, with such stuff in the trunk in the first place?  They might have hit a deer, leaving it to some random hiker to discover the blue liquid's worth on e-Bay.

What risk management protocols were being followed?  Was this whole operation ISO-compliant? I guess in 1991 they didn't really have such standards.