Review: Captain America Civil War

It hasn’t been easy for me to keep this blog updated with new content, what with my work schedule as of late, so being the generous, open-hearted sonnuvabitch that I am, I have decided to allow a friend of mine to take the floor in this here humble review.  Take it away, Wadey!!!

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste

Cut the music, Mickey boy!!!

For all those who have been living under a rock or in North Korea, I am The Merc With The Mouth, The Guy Who Won’t Die, The Regenerating Degenerate (I reeeeeeesent thattt!!!!), Chiyonosake (“Wolf of Rice Wine” – translated from the Japanese), The Assassin With An Anus and The Crimson Comedian. However, my folks christened me Wade W. Wilson – but I also go by the nom de guerre of Deadpool.

Yes, Deadpool – one word, no spaces.  Only Dopinder the cabbie can get away with calling me “Mr. Pool”, which is excusable in his case, being that he comes from an altogether different culture than ours.

To commemorate my movie being officially the highest-grossing R-rated film in Hollywood history (by the way, don’t forget to get yourself a copy of my film on Blu-Ray, DVD and VHS – hey, do people STILL buy that crap????  Click on this here link for your discount – don’t forget to mention yours truly name to actually get it), my good friend allowed myself to run my meta mouth all over this review.  And for a good GOOD reason.

I am now an official Avenger (sorry Baldy – Starko’s offer was just too good to just pass, what with its free healthcare, suit repairs and access to his unlimited bar tab) – yes, and not just one of the random spandex-clad boys to fill the roster, but their de-factor LEADER.  Yup, I am the Big Cheese, El Jefe, Capo di Tutti Capi, the Oyabun of the AvengersUnity Division (heheh, what an IRONIC name!!!) where we extend our hands to help humans, mutants and even Inhumans from our humble bodega in Joisey City (hey, what happened to the flash digs Stark promised me…*sigh*)

Our little story begins with some further extrapolation along the backstory of The Winter Soldier, p.k.a. Captain America’s erstwhile sidekick James Buchanan Barnes (who had earned his badass stripes in the last installment, no thanks to these nasty Soviets Russkies – but I still like to call him “Bucky“), in particular with a mission he undertook back in 1991.  That leads us to the reveal that Bucko’s a switchback – one who’s triggered to fulfill a mission upon hearing a series of trigger words.

Flash forward to the present and our rag-tag team of Boy & Girl Scouts intercepting some super-powered terrorist activity in Lagos, Nigeria.  Underneath all that CGI-enhanced super-heroic razzle-dazzle (Black Widow still gets to kick arse even in her civvies!!!) people actually got killed.  Yeah, everyday non-superpowered schmucks lost their lives simply because they were in the freakin’ way (Helllooo????  Common sense…)  Can’t argue with humans’ foolish propensity for rubbernecking (what more with social media pressuring us up into presenting photographic evidence or you weren’t really there).   It’s called collateral damage, as Merriam-Webster Online puts it;

Definition of collateral damage

: injury inflicted on something other than an intended target; specifically : civilian casualties of a military operation

Unfortunately for Cap, Shell-Head and company, Nick Fury and SHIELD isn’t there anymore to shield their super-powered arses, so they were handed a buncha gummint papers to sign.  It’s the Sokovan Accord, named after the fictional Eastern European state that fell victim to Ultron’s robo-wrath in Avengers; Age Of Ultron.  Tony Stark, after presenting one of his speeches for his alma mater, is himself confronted with the grieving mother of a youth who was rendering volunteer service building homes for Sokovans – but winded up among the casualty list once the dust settled and Ultron was silenced.

You simply add 2 + 2 and…well…the UN isn’t too pleased with what appears to be a budding diplomatic fiasco on its hands. They then tell our heroes to sign on the dotted line – or they can be chained and sent to jail like criminals (Huhhh?  Sounds familiar – where DID I hear that before?).   A guilt-ridden Tony Stark is confronted by Captain America, whose adherence to old-skool patriotic ideals doesn’t sit well with Shell-Head’s admonition that we have to “police our own ranks”.  This leads to complications on the day the accord is to be signed, when a terrorist attack at the Vienna venue causes the death of a revered African leader…and the cuplrit is revealed to be The Winter Soldier, in switchback mode. Cap is then faced with the dilemma of turning in his best bud and sidekick to UN’s custody – even when it was discovered that Helmut Zemo holds the key to several other “Winter Soldiers” being developed by the Soviets.

Meanwhile, the son of said dead African leader gets all revenge mode  and threatens to take on our heroes – just imagine Eddie Murphy’s character from Coming To America with sick martial-arts skillz and an equally fly suit to match!!  We’re talking about a king of some African country who’s not afraid to get his hands mighty dirty, in spite of the fact that he is the heir of a fortune formidable enough to rival ol’ Shellhead’s – hey, he even got his OWN money!!! 

That’s T’Challa for ya – The Black Panther, King of Wakanda.  Other folks – including yours truly, at some time in the past – drip sweat out of their pores; this Black Panther drips badass outta them.  Wakanda, by the way, is not your typical sub-Saharan UN peacekeepers’ nightmare but a high-tech oasis which happens to be just about as rich as Dubai no thanks to it sitting on a huge-ass deposit of vibranium – that shit which makes Captain America’s shield so fuckingly indestructible.

Ultron: …the most versatile substance on this planet.  And they use it to make a Frisbee™

Stark still had another ace up his sleeve aside from T’Challa – yes, Peter Parker, good ol’ Spiderman!  Looks like Shell-head turned up the charm to the max sharing tea with the Web-Head’s Aunt May (Marisa Tomei, still looking a tad too smokin’ hot to be any teen’s aunt) and gabbing about bankrolling Peter’s potential (holy All-New All-Different Spidey, Batman!!!).  Looks like hanging around with moi must have paid off well – now he’s got expressive eye-things in his mask (merci beaucoup, Stark tech!!!)

The climactic fight scene (all the better to see it in freakin’ IMAX) involving both sides at the Leipzig Airport seems like a front-row seat to a WWE Royal Rumble event (gomenasai, Vince McMahon-san, for this inadvertent infringement of your precious IP – such are the pitfalls of a compulsive pop-culture-savvy fourth-wall breaker like moi).  Couldn’t help but wave a front-seat banner and/or a foam finger to show my fealty and snark the heels, as we see not just Black Panther and Spiderman show their stuff but also late arrivals such as Hawkeye (love your new threads, broooo) and Ant-Man (Scott Lang…you are now my NEW best drinking buddy!!).  Can’t help though but miss two significant players from our core team – where the fuck are Hulk and Thor among this super-heroic kerfuffle???  Looks like Big Green ‘n’ Mean will be hanging out with the Odinson in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic universe instalment Thor: Ragnarok (nothing to do with the online game, though).  Either way, having either one (or worse, both) of them would have seriously upset the power balance on the sides – and cause more collateral damage to put them in the UN’s doghouse.

The carnage ends with Bucky losing his SovietRusski-made mechanical arm and War Machine nearly becoming Rhodes pizza (with MORE IRON than your regular pizza – yum!!!) not to mention Zemo captured…but how about these other “Winter Soldiers”??? Suffice to digress, but nice Stan Lee cameo here (check that one where Stark is helping Rhodey recuperate…heheh, looks like FedEx really must have loosened up on their hiring policy – didn’t I last see him DJ at a strip club???). As the film winds down, we see Cap himself help Bucky get healed – as guests of His Royal Highness T’Challa in Wakanda – while Peter Parker seeks out to discover the wondrous secrets of his Stark-designed suit (a wrist-held hologram projector – no fair!!!  I would have HAD prefered a giant robot that he can summon at his beck and call)

Ah well – what can I say?   The good thing about the MCU is how it places emphasis on the very humanity of its “superheroes” .  That has been their working motto since Spidey’s late Uncle Ben reminded Peter that “with great power comes great responsibility”.   Hey, I can be – loosely – considered a “superhero” in my own right, after all I mix it up with powered-up dudes and babes, sport a cool handle and run around in a form-fitting costume, but sad to say, responsibility isn’t really one of my strong suits.  Upon seeing what the Distinguished Competition had to offer a coupla months back (sigh sigh sigh), you get highly contrived coincidences being rigged up by some wimpy-looking supervillain (seriously, what’s with the JOHNNY-DEPP-AS-WILLY- WONKA voice and the floppy hair, Eisenberg-san???) leading to a solid yet utterly unsatisfying fight.  Captain America: Civil War puts the psychology of its superheroes front and center, seeing how the “one-for-all” mentality that most team-ups thrive on is an easily fragile one, especially when personal loyalties come into play (I got one eye on ya, Spidey ol’ pal).  Helmut Zemo‘s machinations at framing Bucky Barnes and making him The Avengers’ “weakest link” comes off as well-timed and natural, making him the de facto villain even without the benefit of the typical “hero vs. villain” showdown (which is sadly becoming a CLICHÉ in the already cliché-filled morass of superhero movies).  Heck, even the romantic subplot between the android Vision (who’d have thought that curtain drapes would make seriously sick capes???) and the Scarlet Witch is rather well-developed – in spite of apparent superdickery on Vision’s part.

Acting-wise, one has to cite Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland‘s break-out performances as T’Challa (aka Black Panther) and Peter Parker (aka Spiderman) respectively for sending this film’s wow factor soaring to stratospheric heights; Boseman really must have done his homework, visiting South Africa and learning the Xhosa language (subbing for the “Wakandan” tongue).  Holland may not have the manic enthusiasm of Andrew Garfield, but he also has the potential dramatic intensity of Tobey Maguire on check (and it also helps that he’s rather young and got mad gymnastic skillz).  The non-super-powered players are no slouches either (listen well, “Blind” Al); aside from Marisa Tomei’s smouldering Aunt May (MILF aleeeert!!!!) you also have William Hurt reprising his General “Thunderbolt” Ross (from The Incredible Hulk). Martin Freeman’s Everett Ross (Black Panther’s liaison from the comics) and Alfre Woodard as the grieving mother who confront Tony Stark with the conscience-triggering revelation.

Nice work with those pecs, Cap.  Nice.

 

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