Civil War in South Tyrol

I’m not sure you’re familiar with the Schuhplattler, but you’re gonna need it to understand this movie. If you’re unfamiliar with it, I’ll give you time to google it. Come on, go on, take your time. I’ll be right here. Done? Great. Back in the days when I was writing about videogames and comic books, I […]

I’m not sure you’re familiar with the Schuhplattler, but you’re gonna need it to understand this movie. If you’re unfamiliar with it, I’ll give you time to google it.
Come on, go on, take your time. I’ll be right here.

Done?

Great.

captain-america-civil-war-181827

Back in the days when I was writing about videogames and comic books, I wrote a lot about Civil War. Some of you might still remember this.
For all of you who don’t, and for all of you who are unfamiliar with Marvel comics, Civil War was a miniseries, one of the first so-called tie-ins where all characters were brought together to participate in a story that spreaded out through different magazines.
Now, the concept behind the serie was simple enough: with a whole new level of social awareness and moral complexity brought into Marvel comics, it was time for heroes to face the consequences of their spectacular fighting, and of the casualties they prompted. If you’re that kind of reader. You are the other kind of reader, the concept was even more simple: to answer the neverending question of who whould win a fight between this and that.

I realize these aren’t solid foundations for a story.
I realize it.

Now, do you remember the Schuhplattler?
I know you didn’t really google it, so I’ll provide an additional reference for the laziest among you, all right?

..

Good.
This is pretty much what the movie feels like.
Too many people, dancing around and slapping each other for no apparent reason.
You’ve got Ironman and Captain America, sure, and the Winter Soldier (more on this later), and the Black Widow because you need the chick and Wanda Maximoff because you need another chick. And then you have the Vision, and Hawkeye. And Warmachine, and Falcon, on different sides of course, just to appease the minorities (maybe they really should add black categories to the Oscars as Chris Rock was suggesting). And since it wasn’t enough, why not add Ant-Man? And Agent Carter. And her niece. And two new characters, since it wasn’t enough, but I’ll get to it later. I like to think that Samuel L. Jackson answered with a piece from Ezekiel when they asked him to be in this movie.

Now, writing a movie with that amount of characters and making it consistent is difficoult. Adding new characters to the pot on top of that is crazy difficoult. And if you’re the writers of the weakest Marvel movies so far… we’ll, your not up for your first success, I think. Yes. Right. The writers of this slapfeast are Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, also writers of The Winter Soldier (questionable writing), The Dark World (highly questionable) and The Chronicles of Narnia (all of them, and I really don’t wanna talk about it).
Ok, I know, they’re also the writers of first Captain America‘s movie in which they had one amazing idea to make the character believable, but I’m starting to think that was a one-timer.
So, what did they do here with the material they had?
Instead of focusing on the main character, they took all of them and made an Avengers movie. And they are so not up for the test. First Avengers was written by Joss Whedon. You might like him or not, but he’s a professional writer, he’s been writing comics for ages, he’s been in this industry since like the 90s. You might not like him, but you can’t deny he has a knack for knowing what people expect from a piece of entertainment. Alongside with him we had Zak Penn, and you might not like him either but you’ve got to admit he has like a master in superheroes writing.
My point is, you can’t improvise if you submit yourself to this level of complexity.
And what about new characters? The last thing I needed was another Spiderman (those of you who’ve been with me long enough might remember how much I despise the character). And yet here we are with Tom Holland. Tuned down on almost everything that made the character bearable: great powers indeed, and responsibilities were just too boring, I guess. Aunt May is a hot chick. Rumming through garbage and being a tech nerd is sooooo cool. As Tomorrowland taught us, kids shouldn’t worry. Worrying is for loosers and nobody likes a looser.
Chadwick Boseman‘s T’Challa is decent enough: he fits nicely into the main plot, has a role to play and it offered the chance for some good writing about death and revenge in different cultures. Did writers take this chance? Well, let me talk you through it.

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Comic books had some good references, but ended up to be shallow. I’m not one to make comparison between sources and movies, as you know, but I think it’s a useful exercise to do something like that here, because if comic books were shallow, the movie manages to be equally shallow for different reasons.
Oddly enough, the first thing we’re loosing is Steve Rogers.
I know it’s weird, but in the comic books Steve’s position was built up to be politically consistent with his belief.
And since the comics were written in the middle of the Iraq crisis, a war of (so-called) necessities and principles with weapons of mass destruction was nothing to be taken lightly.
We’re in a different scenario, here, and we don’t see any of the principles that should drive a sci-fi writer: sci-fi needs to be scientifically believable (no, making up a metal and calling it vibranium is not enough), all right, otherwise it’s fantasy, but more importantly it needs to talk about our world, our culture, ourselves, through the coloured eyes of other worlds. This is what comics tried to do and this is where the movie fails spectacularly for not even trying.
We have soldiers on both sides, and that would have been a nice shot to talk about obedience in morally ambiguous times. Nope.
We have spies on both sides, and that would have been a nice shot to talk about moral ambiguity endorsed by law.
We have kids on both sides, and that doesn’t seem to bother anybody.
We have personal relationships, but apparently it’s fine to try and rip out your friend’s coronary bypass.
And we have different cultures, on both sides. We have T’Challa, who talks ill of his own culture when it comes to death but can’t afford to talk ill of American culture when it comes to revenge, apparently.

So, what is this movie, about?
I told you. Too many people, dancing around and slapping each other for no apparent reason.
And with plot twists so obviously put they are starting to be offensive.

There’s a fil rouge in the latest Disney movies, and it pains me to write this because I used to love what they did. It was refined and sparkling, and smart, and touching. Now they think we’re idiots.
And since they keep a hold on the entertainment industry, they’re either right or they will be in a few years.

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