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Monday, May 30, 2016

Captain America: Superhero Opera

Maybe I’m just especially dense OR maybe I needed to be WAY more up on my Marvel comics character histories to understand what the fuck was happening in the first half of Captain America: Civil War. I REALLY coulda used a libretto. Maybe a scorecard too.
Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability. (source)
Adding to my struggle to keep up was the fact that a lot of the characters weren’t especially distinctive looking.

Steve Rogers AKA Captain America, played by Chris Evans is a painfully young, bland, blond, paler than gesso dude. I get that he’s supposed to be seen as a handsome 1940s era, all American Iowa farm boy type. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

“Baron” Zemo is played by Daniel Brühl who looks like the trustworthy soul from whom you'll buy home insurance.

Scarlett Johansson, is beautiful as ever. She plays Black Widow and, frankly, gets lost in the crowd.

Emily VanCamp is a sweet, blond, likable, chubby faced Agent 13 and Captain America's sweetie. Of course.

The Winter Soldier is played by Sebastian Stan, a man whose name is more interesting than his face.

19 year old Tom Holland, who looks like his balls dropped just last week, plays the getting-his-first-shot-at-the-big-time Spider-Man. Cute kid.

Paul Rudd is Ant Man, not a shabby looker BUT he’s encased in costume the whole time.

Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye is easy on the eyes and NOT in a facemask but he doesn’t appear, best I could tell, until the last third of the flick.

Elizabeth Olsen, (NOT related to the twins) is The Scarlet Witch. She kicks ass while looking like your winsome, mega wholesome first crush.

Vision, played by Paul Bettany, is never out of costume (as far as I could see). The red skin, metal headpiece and ability to walk through walls make him stand out from the pack.

Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, AKA Robert Downy, Jr. – wickedly and distinctively handsome as always.

Falcon is played by the buckets of drool inspiring Anthony Mackie.

War Machine is the sponge-worthy Don Cheadle.

Chadwick Boseman is a fresh-faced Black Panther.

Marisa Tomei is Aunt May who, on meeting Tony Stark, goes big into mega Flirt City. This is just a thousand kinds of WRONG. Aunt May should be played by a white haired and motherly Helen Mirren or Ellen Burstyn type.

My last gripe about the pic, and this is completely on me, is that I found it enormously painful to watch these powerful good guy/gal characters fighting each other instead of working together to snag and bag the big bad. Each side had very good rationales for their decisions. I totally understood each side but I wanted to slap them all silly – while you squabble, the villain(s) are doing more damage AND getting away!

Yup, it was a big fat allegory. For me it was a superhero illustration of what’s playing out in the Democratic primary.

I think I’ll go see Ghostbusters next. That can’t possibly be political, right?

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