Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Comic Flicks of 2016: Captain America: Civil War

So back again, non-sports fans and here we are for Day 3 of Comic Films of 2016. With a substantial $250 million to cover practical effects, training, martial arts, FX explosions, CGI and the odds and ends, you figure this film better take off or that was a huge waste of funds. Coming in after the wake of Age of Ultron and the destruction of the country Sokovia, Earth's Mightiest Heroes soldier on and do their level best to be the men and women the planet need to put down any known or unknown threat to the world but does the world agree? With a brainwashed Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan of Red Doors, The Covenant, Hot Tub Time Machine, Black Swan, Captain America: The First Avenger, Gone, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Ant-Man) still on the loose, Cap's attention is divided from the gig of saving lives and re-patching old friendships. This is Captain America: Civil War.

Seriously?  This is Poster one!?! How many more!?!

While the initial concept hails from the Marvel multiple title crossover in 2006, this Civil War having less players on the field has left audiences divided for Team Cap or Team Stark. Guess Twilight was easier to pick sides. Oh yes, I just did that. A quick flashback to Bucky's forced Hydra days that in 1991, he was to off the subjects and acquire the prize of a galvanized briefcase full of the super-soldier serum. Whether it followed Dr. Erskine's original formula or if it was reverse engineered from Rogers' blood...hell I don't know. Watch the flick for details like that.

One year after the very brief Age of Ultron, a team of Avengers in plain clothes led by Cap (Chris Evans of Not Another Teen Movie, The Perfect Score, Fantastic Four, The Losers, Scott Pilgrim vs.the World, The Avengers, The Iceman, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron) are in Lagos, Portugal tailing potential threats with a bio weapon of which of former SHIELD and Hydra agents. Assigned this is Falcon (Anthony Mackie of 8 Mile, The Manchurian Candidate, She Hate Me, Million Dollar Baby, Eagle Eye, The Hurt Locker, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson of North, The Horse Whisperer, Lost in Translation, The Island, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Lucy and Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson of The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley: The Case of the U.S. Space Camp Mission, Silent House, Red Lights, Liberal Arts, Kill Your Darlings, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Drunk History).

Copywrit and all that jazz

So two talented normals, a super-soldier and a mutant (Yeah Marvel, I said Mutant so SUCK IT!) seems like a real lackluster support staff for what could end up a serious fire fight. Was Vision off learning how to make proper scones? War Machine or Iron Man off on a booty call? Hey howzabout Thor for cryin' out loud!?! So the crisis is more or less averted except Witch's hex power accidentally forced an explosive blast at a nearby building killed humanitarian aid workers hailing from Wakanda (A fictional nation in East Africa, North of Tanzania. Thank you goofy memory. Now remember your girlfriend's birthday EVERY YEAR!!!). With nations of the world seeing this on CNN coverage, this seems to be the breaking point for the world as they have endured mutants, gamma radiated green guys and the Asgardians and heck why not throw in the Chitaurai as well.

The U.N. Demands heroes to be held accountable for everything that comes down the pike creating the Sokovia Accords that will reveal the identities of powered beings, their power levels and basically tag them so they are overseen and controlled to the preference of the world...and all that entitles. This is where it gets sticky. Tony is all in favor of the accords given the horrible SNAFU that was Ultron while Cap feels remaining autonomous and not relying on red tape and second guessing means their response time to crises would mean they could get in there quicker and do the job easier. The team feels divided on this issue as they are not a military team to be regulated but they should be held accountable for all outcomes regardless of good intentions.

With the continuous search for Bucky who is still on the lam, Cap and Falcon track him down to bring him to anyone that could help him just try to get his life back together are operating AGAINST these precious accords that have NOT EVEN been ratified yet. Yeah Marvel, you know how slow the UN operates at. Curdled milk beats it every time! A bombing in Vienna occurs during the signing of the Sovokia Accords and Bucky has been conveniently named the bomber. Among the fallen is the King of Wakanda T'Chaka (John Kani of The Wild Geese, An African Dream, A Dry White Season, Othello, Endgame, White Lion and Jail Caesar) causing the crown prince, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman of Lincoln Heights, Persons Unknown, The Kill Hole, 42, Get on Up, Gods of Egypt and Message from the King) to lead his nation and put aside his thoughts of revenge as best as he can but the Black Panther does not have to wait idly by.

Dark Bucky...

With Captain America flagrantly ignoring the rules, the saber rattlers are getting annoyed and may actually send people out to deal with Cap and Falcon so he assembles a team that is in the same mindset as he is. With that, Tony does the same giving the unrealized damaging effects hero vs hero could cause. Will this be all out war? Can Cap and Iron Man ever salvage their friendship?

A few comments to make here. As an avid comic book reader, no this did not have quite the same impact as the comic version did and that is understandable. More characters and more craziness attached to it. This is the first appearance of Tom Holland donning the red and blue webs as he is now the third person to play Spider-Man in film. Still not sure what Andrew Garfield did to lose the role or why Parker is NEVER allowed to age!?! Marvel, there is a slew of stories well past his high school years that would make awesome films. Hell, how about the Secret Wars!?! And can we get Fox's grubby mitts off the X-Men and maybe toss the Fantastic Four to a competent writer and director? Okay off topic there. Sorry about that.

 Comprehensively, the story has good moments, shows a lot of heart and loss typical of the latter Marvel story arc and gives mixed feelings for everyone watching. Most don't want to pick a side because they were friends and comrades dammit but yeah sorry Stark I am still Team Cap.

How cool is the Panther?  Ice!