Sunday, 17 December 2017

Captain America: Civil War (5 Stars)

I saw this film in the cinema in May last year, and I voted it the third best film of the year. Watching it again today I'm asking myself whether I should have rated it the best film of the year. The Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe, have captured the essence of super-hero comics even more accurately than Joss Whedon. They've already been named as the directors for the next two Avengers films, which can only be good news.

The film is very loosely based on a mini-series published by Marvel in 2006. In the comics all super-heroes on Earth had to make the decision whether to register with the United Nations or not. In the film it's only a decision that has to be made by the Avengers.

The film's premise is rather foolish, but it's typical of the foolishness in everyday politics. It's more typical of the reasoning of third world countries than big nations. Basically, the thoughts are:

1. An evil person (or group) threatens to kill many people.

2. The Avengers battle against the evil person to save people.

3. The Avengers defeat the evil person, but they don't save everyone.

4. The Avengers are blamed for the deaths of the people they couldn't save.

This is absolute nonsense. If the Avengers had never been involved millions might have died. Because they were involved only a few hundreds were killed. Why should they be blamed? There's only one possible answer: prejudice. The Avengers are a symbol of America. Over the last few decades America has repeatedly battled against countries with evil leaders, such as Iraq and Saddam Hussein. In their attacks civilians were killed as collateral damage. Even though the American involvement saved thousands of lives people blame America for the deaths of a few dozen civilians and say America should never have got involved. The people who make these accusations are so prejudiced in their anti-Americanism that they don't realise how stupid their arguments are.

But getting back to the film, the Avengers have been asked to submit themselves to the United Nations Security Council. Rather than deciding for themselves, the Avengers will be required to go into action only when the Security Council asks them to. This will be effectively never. The UN Security Council is too weak to act because any of the five major members can veto any resolution. Most commonly it's Russia and the USA who veto resolutions they consider to be opposed to their national interests. Because of the self-centredness of the world's two major powers the United Nations can rarely make decisions.

Tony Stark (Iron Man) agrees that the Avengers should submit to the will of the United Nations. Steve Rogers (Captain America) says that the Avengers should be allowed to make their own decisions. The other Avengers take one side or the other, dividing them into two teams of Avengers that fight against one another. These are the best filmed battles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Once more I praise the Russo brothers for their skill as directors.

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