9 May 2016

A Film About Depression?

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For me, Captain America: Civil War is one giant multi-million dollar metaphor for depression. The Avengers are being pressured into signing up to a contract in which they submit themselves to Earth's various Governments like a gang of gimped-up, pocket-holding, prison bitches. Tony Stark is all up for this deal having spent the previous few films allowing his post-tits-up guilt to begin to torture him as though his brain is hosting a party for a pencil-stabbing dominatrix and a naughty British MP on his birthday. Captain America however is slightly more dubious about signing up to a sinister organisation having been Deliverance-style fucked by the S.H.I.E.L.D/Hydra bullshit of his previous film. The two characters begin to bicker and fight with all of their various super-chums picking sides as though we're watching a gay couple's divorce take place in an exclusively camp fancy-dress shop. It's also worth mentioning that Bucky Barnes' Winter Soldier is a key player here with Stark wanting him captured and Cap attempting to protect him. Many people might wonder why Captain America is so hell-bent on protecting his clearly dangerous friend however if I was a seventy year old virgin then I reckon I'd also remain pretty loyal to a man with a pneumatic metal wanking arm.

Like depression however, the events of this movie are the result of a prolonged build up of the characters' various anxieties. Based on everything that's been happening in the previous films, it seems that this storyline is such a logical place to be in right now that you can't help but admire Marvel's genius for somehow getting us here. Attempting to work out how they've pulled this off is a bit like trying to work out how you've managed to cook a three course meal after getting stoned and being hit by the munchies. You've no idea how it's worked out so well but you're in complete awe by the fact that it did. Either they planned Civil War twelve movies and eight years in advance or they simply noticed that they'd accidentally and perfectly set everything up for an adaptation of one of their most famous comic-book storylines. Regardless of how they got here though, there's a level of smartness in this that doesn't result in two twatty characters standing on top of each other screaming “Martha! Martha! Martha!” like a couple of steroid addled, tourette's suffering fuck-nuggets. As the film progresses, the characters all find themselves completely stuck in a situation that's essentially a consequence of their own world fears, sense of doubt, mind-set, and in some cases, complete stubbornness. Each character is also fully under the impression that society isn't so fond of them anymore as with the under-rated Quantum Of Solace, it's as though all of their collaterally damaged chickens have come home to roost at once.

Oh, and if all that wasn't enough to convince you of my depression metaphor then at least one character is plagued by the thought that they're not worth the burden that they feel they are on their friends. For anybody who's ever felt themselves feeling a little stung by the swinging cock of that metaphorical black dog then I can assure you that this is essentially Marvel's version of Inside Out... but better because instead of the creepy as fuck Bing Bong, you get a mis-sized Paul Rudd and The Vision's Roger Moore-esque modelling of his favourite fucking knit-wear. Because although I do see this film as metaphorical of depression, and there's obviously no doubt that it has a more downbeat tone than something like Guardians Of The Galaxy, Civil War is also one of the most unquestionably fun blockbusters in recent years. I mean there's obviously some good one liners and characters that pop up for comic effect, but the real joy is simply in the quality of the film-making on show. In terms of agendas, Civil War is essentially a pseudo-sequel to twelve other films whilst also setting up a few more for in the future. Oh and seems as things were going so well, they also decided to reboot Spider-Man with the best depiction of the character in fourteen years of cinematic fucking history. It's honestly like a magic trick in which things start off with a hundred spinning plates before concluding with a Gandolph-esque firework show being blasted out of the magician's fucking tits.

Which all really begs the question as to whether this is exclusively a Captain America movie at all? The argument that this is a Winter Soldier sequel basically boils down to the plot hinging on Cap's relationship with Bucky and the fact that we see things more from his point of view. However you could also argue that Stark's lack of relationship with Bucky is equally important, and I'm really not entirely convinced that we do see things predominantly from the side of the star-spangled man. Perhaps the only major hint that this is more of a Captain America 3 than anything else is in its tone which, like its potential predecessor, borrows more from the conspiracy thrillers of the 1970's than it does any other super-hero movie. It doesn't help that Downey Jr. is literally giving the best performance of his character by playing the part with yet more focus and intensity than he had even back when he used to take too much crack and break into people's houses for a nap. Again, the film-makers understand that Captain America is too predictably moral and so what better way to fuck him about than constantly placing him in situations in which there is no clear right or wrong thing to do? This is a film in which you'll walk out of the cinema arguing with your friends about which side was right and which was wrong. This is obviously opposed to Batman V Superman in which you left the cinema simply arguing with your friends for making you sit through such a shit film.

In the case of Captain America: Civil War, the reviews have been almost unanimously positive with many claiming it to be the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. I'm not entirely sure if this is true myself, but only because that's a bit like being asked which of your children you'd be most willing to save from a burning building. Particularly when you have thirteen children to choose from, meaning that your genitals and body are so stretched and broken that saving one is going to require more energy than you might well have. However I will say that it's certainly up there for me, and there is a fight in an airport in which all of the characters start a super-sized bitch-slap which may well be the greatest moment in the MCU so far. It's essentially the perfectly timed climactic spaff after Marvel's first two phases of cinematically rubbing one out and then edging for a while using that splash-page style full-team shot near the end of Age Of Ultron. Of course I'm not saying that this film is perfect if that's what it seems like, however. It's just that to bitch about any quibbles in Civil War is to nit-pick to an almost twattish level of pedantic-ness when faced with the over-whelming success of everything else that's been achieved. Kind of like saying how great you found Citizen Kane to be whilst then pointing out how the whole thing was ruined by the word 'rosebud' being modern day slang for the pink part of an anal prolapse.

Though, if we were to point out some faults then I guess you could argue that Hawkeye slightly under-mines his Age Of Ultron brilliance by reverting back to having his main power being to simply show up. Also considering the title is Civil War, there's only actually twelve characters that have any beef with each other. Ignoring the fact that the teams are conveniently split with six on each side, I'm pretty sure a war requires at least one army before it can be upgraded from Captain America: Civil Tiff. Oh and there's obviously the inevitable moment in which the two sides charge at each other, because I guess that's what other films have told them they should do. The shot is a little cheesy, and you'd think at least one team would have thought to just sneak around the other, despite the obvious perk of being able to twat your friends as hard as you can. Friendship obviously being the key theme of this movie, with the tearing down of Stark and Cap's bond being possibly the real reason that this movie completely works. Back in the 80's, all an action movie needed was a man with muscles the size of a cow's back legs to hit a bleach blonde European terrorist in their gay-porn star looking face. However since Die Hard began turning our action protagonists into real emotion feeling people, it seems only logical that the next step into humanising them is for them to start punching the tears out of each other's fucking eyes.

I've obviously alluded to it all the way through this, but it's also hard not to draw comparisons between both Captain America: Civil War and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. It's obviously a shame that BvS was terrible enough that Jurassic Park's Dr Malcolm is going to have to recalibrate what he considers to be “One big pile of shit”. However the bright-side is that the failings of DC's ball-numbingly dull punch-up really do help to show how successful Marvel have been here. The biggest defence of Dawn Of Justice was explaining the reason for its convoluted and anus-destroying running time as a pre-occupation with a deconstruction of what it means to be a super-hero and the toll that takes. Well, the same is true of Civil War and I'll admit that investigating the fine line between 'heroics and vigilantism' is about as original as a reality star with more sex tapes than brain cells. However Civil War didn't drag because, firstly, it was fun, secondly, it made sense, and third and most importantly, it had both the heart and character that the other didn't. As far as this kind of super-hero movie goes, Civil War is a refreshing and nutritious drink whereas Dawn Of Justice was a suspiciously pissy-smelling jar of granny's peach tea. Captain America: Civil War may have seemed like a giant metaphor for depression to me, but I walked out feeling more excited than Charlie Sheen with a belly full of tigers blood and a hotel room full of hookers. With Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice however, I walked out feeling as depressed as Charlie Sheen might as he shits that tiger blood out the next day before being sued by the hookers for giving them HIV. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.



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