Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The world owes the Avengers an unpayable debt.

Two Dollar Cinema recently turned five years old. I know, I know, hold your applause, please. 


In that half-decade, I have desperately tried to maintain some level of consistency. Sure, if logic and grammar are your thing, it's all a steaming puddle of piss, I get that. But if you're a similar breed of movie-obsessed nerd, well, a few of you have found a place that suits you just right.

In that same time frame, Marvel (in the MCU, anyway) has released ten feature length films. Ten. In five years! And while some have been better than others, the level of crowd-pleasing consistency is nothing short of remarkable. But possibly even more impressive? Comic book movies (maybe to the chagrin of the hardcore types) have been widely accepted by just about everyone

Captain America: Civil War seems like the end of this long cinematic journey, but clearly, it's also a beginning. Directed by the Russo Brothers, the third and final (?) Cap film divides all of Marvel's best and brightest (uh, except Thor and Hulk) into two teams, and has them play the most epic game of superhero flag-football ever. Tony Stark may want to punch Cap in his perfect teeth, sure, but he doesn't want to knock them out.

Pretty much following the same major theme of March's Batman v Superman flick [review], except being, you know, fun, Civil War finds our heroes again saving the world, but not without some collateral damage along the way. Tony Stark, always the nervous Nellie (at least since the alien invasion in NYC), decides that the Avengers need to be put in check, and bows to political pressure. Presumably, by signing the hastily cobbled-together Sokovia Accords, less innocent people will get hurt. I mean, if I signed a paper saying don't be a dick, I guess I wouldn't be a dick. As much.

Captain America, on the other hand, believes the suits are simply getting in the way, and his responsibility is to himself and to keeping the world safe. Period. It's somewhat strange to label the straight-laced Steve Rogers as the 'reckless one', but as far as Stark and his crew are concerned he his. Look, I'm not much of a cook, but I'm pretty sure you can't make an omelette without cracking a few eggs, right? Well, unless Cap just stares at them...'cause then they'd just melt. Sigh.

Not that I blame them, but all this posturing and in-fighting (and a Hell of a lot of it to do with Bucky) leads to an epic superhero rumble. While few things will ever be cooler than seeing a dozen comic-book characters in an all-out brawl, it's clear that no one really wants to hurt one another. And honestly? I was totally okay with that. At times it seems the stakes are pretty high, like some of this could be life-or-death, you know? Hell, I actually thought, gasp!, we might lose a hero or two...

So when they say 'we're waiting on a part' when my flight's delayed two hours...it's really this, huh?
You know what? I'm with Stark. These superheroes have gotten out of control.
But then I stepped back and considered the business side of the MCU for a moment. Does anyone really want to see even a part of this cash-cow hurt? Would have I been stoked for an severed hoof or a clogged teet? Probably not. Let me be clear: I absolutely loved Captain America: Civil War and if the whole thing ended today, I think it's a perfect way to go out (even if ultimately playing nice let a little bit of air was let out of the balloon in this ultimate showdown).  But clearly the end is nowhere in sight. Like...ever. 

Speaking of no end in sight, here are the Yays and Boos. I tried to get the No F--king Ways and the Woots! to join us for an ultimate mashup, but it was a logistical nightmare getting everyone free at the same time (coughThorcoughcoughHulk).

So, uh, Black Widow? You're skin-tight suit is bullet-proof , right?
And your cleavage? And your face?
  • Eye-candy for everyone! Hey, these dudes are all handsome and jacked...great. But they ain't got nothing on the ladies. Rowr. I don't even know what Scarlet Witch's super powers are, really, but I'm pretty sure it's rendering enemies unable to concentrate.
  • That initial battle was super cool. Cap's bouncing his shield all over the place...Black Widow's kicking ass...and bouncing all over the place.
  • Whoa. Young RDJ? That shit was 99% amazing. And, uh, 1% creepy as f--k. [still a Yay]
  • Vision! When he's not dressed for a job interview at a library, he's kicking ass and dropping truths. And, may I add, quite the babysitter.
  • Bird costume? Come on.
  • So, when Cap held that helicopter down? Let's just say my pants went up.
  • Peter Parker. I'm not going to go as far and say that Spidey was my favorite part of the entire movie...but it's pretty f--king close. (oh, and I love where we're going with Aunt May...yessss!)
  • Not in that onesie you're not.
  • Two words: Stairwell Battle. Two more words: Chadwick Boseman. Okay, that last one felt like four words.
  • Never ever ever, did I think I'd be glad to see Hawkeye in a movie. Not only that, I actually wanted more of Arrow Dude.
  • Stan Lee. Still inventing great Marvel characters! I can't wait to read Tony Stank #1.
  • Totally dug the shadow credits at the end. Even if the stinger wasn't all that cool, seeing those groovy credits was fully worth the time I could have been on my way home.
  • It kind of goes without saying, but the action, the comedy, damn near everything was exactly as I hoped it would be. Fun, engaging, compelling and action-packed, Civil War is a great example of how comic book movies can tell an interesting story without being unnecessarily gritty.
  • And finally, Paul Rudd. While I wrestled a bit with Tom Holland as Spider-Man being my favorite part, looking back the few minutes we get with Paul Rudd's Scott Lang are completely priceless. Not only does Rudd get to kick a little ass, but pretty much everything he says had me rolling. Rudd enters the movie so f--king stoked, it's hard not feel the same way.
Yes. I wanted more of this. Lots more.

  • Cool! Crossbones is in this. Oh, wait. He was in this.
  • And by the way, Mr. Bones? Um, could you keep your mask on? You're scaring the children.
  • No Pepper? But, she's pretty much a super-hero at this point, right? (I hated that part of Iron Man 3 [review])
  • That drowning contraption was moderately horrifying, no? In fact, that was the first thing my wife brought up (she took Matty to it a couple of days later) before looking at me sternly.
  • Nooooo, not Peggy. I don't care if she's three hundred years old. It's a superhero movie. Doesn't somebody have a special serum they can inject into Agent Carter. Well, other than me....(gross...but I'm leaving it in...that sentence...not...nevermind).
  • Speaking of, I'm also going to Boo those f--kers carrying her casket. C'mon, guys. We all know Cap's doing all the heavy lifting.
  • Undercover Cap looks like a combination of dock worker and sexual predator.
  • Did anyone else notice that the edits when anyone lands after a jump are all f--king terrible? Anyone? F--k you, guys.
  • Scarlet Witch can't go to the spice store? What the Hell, Vision? 
  • Why would anyone try to fight the Winter Soldier when he's in Rage Berseker mode? Superhero or not, that just seems like a bad idea, you know?
  • Man...they started talking about the names of their moms and I flashed back to MARTHA! WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME?
  • Great scene, sure....but uh, good thing that entire airport was empty, huh? 
  • So...why exactly was that camera on the side of the road there...and recording...waaaay back then?
  • And finally, Bucky. Good dude, great friend. But, uh...Cap? Is this dude really worth dividing the f--king Avengers over?
So, where do we go from here? Yes, Infinity War is going to be bananas, no doubt (and Guardians 2...and Ant Man 2, dammit). But is this the beginning of the end? I hope I'm totally wrong...but Doctor Strange looks kinda silly. Not sure Black Panther really needs his own flick, either.

Look, Disney...you're already giving me a Star Wars movie every year. Don't turn Marvel into Guitar Hero, okay?

Yes, I'll still see anything you produce...on opening night...and I'll still write stupid posts about them, but I'm not going to that happy about it.

Unless we get a Punisher: War Zone [review] sequel, of course.

Yeah, I saw that one, too.


  1. Yess!! I can't agree with you more, on like, everything! Paul Rudd absolutely stole the show for me, in fact I can't wait to see this again because I was laughing so hard at most of his lines I must have missed a bunch of the movie.
    As much as I complain about the overwhelming number of superhero movies around right now...Marvel just seem to nail it everytime!
    - Allie

    1. Totally with you, Allie. I felt like Rudd played it like a guy who won the role in a contest and was walking around enthusiastically blown away by everything he was seeing. It was soooo perfect, you know?

      I could totally be over the superhero-thing for awhile, but it Marvel keeps churning 'em out like this one? I'm in.

  2. Yes, way more fun than BvS, or more appropriately, BS. Hey, Martha shows up on my blog today, too. Great minds...

    I wondered about THAT CAMERA,too. Awfully, random place to put one. As for the airport, I wondered about it being empty, too, but dammit that was a fun scene so I'll let it slide.

    I am in all in on a Black Panther solo flick. He just owns this one so I'm pumped. In other words #BlackPantherSoLit (search Twitter if you missed it).

    No yay for the Stan Lee cameo? Not as good as the one in Deadpool, but it's good stuff. While we're at it can we get another yay for Black Widow, um, bouncing around.

    And I would be all over a Punisher: War Zone sequel. That one was perfectly craptacular.

    1. I hope you got the Schwarzenegger half of the brain we share, because I totally got the DeVito portion.

      Yeah, I'm cool with the camera...just seemed silly. Like, Howard Stark might as well have been wearing a GoPro.

      Look, I'm down for BP as long as it gets me some more time with CB...but, uh, what the Hell are his superpowers? He's intensely...polite? Fill me in, Dell.

      Dammit. I had the Stan Lee cameo ready to go...but apparently I forgot it. I think I even drew a little heart around it. Yeah, it's pretty uh, literary around here.

      So...let me get this straight. You're saying BW over SW? I mean, either way it's win-win...


  3. Nope. I just cannot. I'm having such a serious case of Marvel fatigue I cannot bring myself to seeing another let's crack jokes mid-battle movie where nobody dies because Marvel would lose money. Not even for Rudd.

    1. I fully support Marvel-fatigue and all its symptoms, but I'm still thinking this one is worth it just for Rudd alone (though, no abs here)...and even Spidey.

      It's a shame that this CIVIL WAR had so few casualties. They have to start making these movies have consequences for somebody other than the lame villain.