Saturday, May 7, 2016

Captain America: Civil War [2016]

MPAA (PG-13) CNS/USCCB (A-III)  ChicagoTribune (3 Stars) (3 Stars)  AVClub (B+)  Fr. Dennis (4 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (M. Mulderig) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review (M. Zoller Seitz) review
AVClub (A.A. Dowd) review

Captain America: Civil War [2016] (directed by Anthony and Joe Russo [wikip] [IMDb-1] [IMDb-2]  screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely based the Marvel Comics based graphic novel [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] by Mark Millar [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] [IMDb] characters by Joe Simon [IMDb] and Jack Kirby [IMDb]) left me MARVELING anew at the sensitivity / brilliance of those working for the Marvel Comics trademark.  For their products, certainly their films, are "comic books with a conscience."

For nearly a generation now, we've been inundated with comic book superhero movies.  And it has been _largely_ fun _watching_ various "superheroes" be they from the Marvel or the DC Comicbook Universes doing all sorts of feats that we, mere mortals, could never do.  Yet interestingly enough, both Marvel Comics here and DC Comics a few months earlier (with its Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice [2016] offering) have quite bravely sought to confront head-on the nagging questions: Would actual "superheroes" be worth it?  Would we _really_ want them around?

In Batman v Superman, BOTH Bruce Wayne/Batman and Clark Kent/Superman MISTRUSTED each other (as did many other "civilians").  Both saw the Other as (at least potentially) UNACCOUNTABLE VIGILANTES who PERHAPS may "do good" for the "Average Joe" BUT THERE WAS NO _CERTAIN_ REASON TO BELIEVE that EITHER would have to continue to do so in the future. 

Near the the beginning of the current film here, Captain America: Civil War [2016], the Marvel superheroes, united under the title Avengers, are confronted by a perhaps "grateful" but also _frightened_ ("shocked and awed"...) humanity with the the COLLATERAL COSTS of having them around:  Yes, they do _seem to_ "save the world" from all kinds of strange / NEW Super Villains that now seem to arise / arrive OUT OF NOWHERE ...  BUT ... end up killing _a lot_ of innocents in the process.  So early in the film, after a botched Avengers' led anti-terrorist raid in Africa, the leaders of humanity, ask, nay DEMAND that The Avengers submit themselves to United Nations oversight, and ... SOME of the Avengers gang accept this, and OTHERS do not.

FASCINATING HERE is the composition of the two groups and their reasons for choosing one way or another..  My hat off to the makers of the film here.  THIS FILM can be used / REFERRED TO by Junior High / High school teachers ALL OVER THE WORLD to discuss the relative merits of freedom/sovereignty of the individual (or individual nations) vs responsibility to others / society ("to the collective") and to the other nations / peoples of the world.

IMHO this film _really is brilliant_ in pointing out that NONE OF US (or Nation) have the right to be COMPLETELY SOVEREIGN (to do whatever we like ...).  And yet, we have a Right even Duty (!) to be suspicious of those who lead Society ("the Collective") or the "Family of Nations."

So guess who chooses NOT to submit himself to United Nations oversight and WHY? ;-)  It's absolutely brilliant.  And yet the film also shows the cost, and the Avengers "on the other side" argue a good case as well (notably that A Just Order will have space for Conscience as well as the necessary checks and balances (if nothing else, bureaucratic levers / inertia) to keep the responsible (hopefully elected) Leaders of said Order (in Catholic parlance "Competent Authority") in check.  (So again, guess who's willing to submit to said U.N. oversight, while confident that there'd be NO "Order" that really could contain him anyway? ;-)  AGAIN, JUST BRILLIANT :-) ;-)  

Again, my hat off to Marvel.  This is one FASCINATING / FANTASTIC teen oriented film that teaches both responsibility to Others (Society / "the Collective" as a whole) and the need to _always be suspicious_ of the "Great Leaders" (perhaps even "really cool Super Heroes" ;-) of our World.

Four, Four Stars!  

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