ellie_nors: (socialist steve)
I really don't get why the critics were so all over this film; it was good, but it wasn't that great. Maybe it's just by comparison to Superman v. Batman?

Anyway, have part 1 of my thoughts: things I liked and things I didn't like -- under the cut, because SPOILERS.


Things I liked

The fight scenes

They were beautifully choreographed, so beautifully choreographed. And when all the Avengers + friends got together for the big fight at the airport? All the fun banter and snark. It made Tony's desparation and inability to manage his emotional state, and Steve's determination to save the world regardless stand out all the more from the rest, who were mostly -- Vision and Scarlet Witch notwithstanding -- having a good time with their friends and heroes.

Um... that's about it for specific things I can pick out. Most of the other stuff I liked is under character thoughts (to come).


Things I didn't like

It wasn't a Captain America film

It was an Avengers film. This isn't a problem, per se, but the naming of the film set me up with certain expectations about its direction, pacing, etc., which left me with an underlying cognitive dissonance throughout.

The kiss

The kiss between Steve and Sharon was completely unnecessary to either the film, or to either of their characters' development. In fact, it was seriously out of character for both of them.

What it was was a blatant enforcement of compulsory heterosexuality, especially with the dudebro reaction from Sam and Bucky (which I thank my friend J for naming as such). It was aimed squarely at Steve/Bucky shippers, and everyone else who noticed that both the previous Captain America films were one long love story between them -- whether one reads sex or romance there or not.

Why do writers and directors feel the need to control the audience's interpretations and experience? Gah!

It was also really squicky, given who Sharon is and who Peggy was and that they'd literally just put Peggy's body in the ground. The only way I could parse it at the time was to set aside the squick of Sharon being a stand-in for Peggy / nearest available female, and erased as as person by that, and read it as a Steve/Bucky/Sam situation, and they'd either dared him to kiss her, or they were laughing at him for acting out of character, or for being awkward, or... Even then, just... NO.

This feminist is even less pleased than this queer Steve/Bucky shipper.


The accords

This is still under "Things I didn't like", but it's such a huge flaw in the film, and especially the scriptwriting, that it needed its own section.

The Sokovia Accords are presented as a solution to the Avengers causing civilian casualties. Except that's not the problem they address at all. The problem they (seem to) address is that anyone or anything with that much power needs civilian oversight.

And normally, I would agree; except that what's driving the accords isn't a calm-headed approach to managing the position of powered people in the world. What's driving them is anger, panic, and fear of powered people -- especially from politicians who need to be seen to be Doing Something about civilian casualties. Which the accords will do absolutely nothing to prevent.

I think it's especially significant that the prime mover on the accords is Wakanda, which is an absolute monarchy, as far as can be seen from the film. 116 additional countries support the accords; how many of those are democracies in any real sense? This isn't about international, democratic oversight of the actions taken by the Avengers; it's about nation-states, especially the leaders and bureaucrats of nation-states, attempting to gain control over the one moving part in the chaos of the past several years that they can identify and pin down.

If it was really about preventing civilian casualties, it would need a very, very different approach. Because whether or not an action gets the go ahead from a UN committee has absolutely no bearing on whether or not civilian casualties will result. Pinning the blame on the Avengers for civilian casualties in New York, Washington, Sokovia, and even Lagos, is plain wrong. They were taking the least worst actions they could. They didn't choose to locate the battles in centres of population; those threatening the world did. The Avengers simply stood against the threat.

If the Avengers had not done what they did in response to Loki, to the Chitauri invasion, to Hydra, to Ultron, to Hydra again, how many more civilians would have been killed? Millions, if not billions. To blame them for the collateral of death, injury, and property damage that happened in preventing that far worse outcome is to look in the wrong place: the blame lies with Loki, the Chitauri, Hydra, Ultron. But they aren't there, and the Avengers are, so guess who gets the rap?

There are legitimate questions of responsibility: about whether individuals can take on, or be asked to take on the responsibility for actions that affect the entire world; and equally, whether anyone has the right to take the responsibility for an individual's actions away from them, regardless of how many other people they affect.

Those questions of responsibility were vaguely touched upon by Tony and Steve's positions in the dicussion of the accords, but the central logical failure of the accords to address the question they said they were addressing -- civilian casualties -- was nowhere to be found. What we got, instead, was Tony Stark's unhinged personal guilt, Vision's irrelevant and frankly bizarre reference to superheroes creating supervillains, and Steve being firm but inarticulate, which is a huge failure in the scriptwriting. Seriously, those scriptwriters should have been fired.

But hey, who wants a real discussion when we can get on to another fight scene?

Date: 2016-05-09 05:26 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] siduri1959
siduri1959: (Default)
So...

I think many of the reasons for the Accords were rubbish. As you point out, the casualties in NYC were the result of an attack on NYC by aliens and the city was defended. How would things have been any different had a regular army taken charge-besides loosing the battle?

Thor took the guilty party and the Tesseract back to Asgard. The Scepter remained in SHIELD's hands and then landed in Hydra's hands and back again? Who is responsible for that and the ensuing enhanced people? Who was responsible for Ultron and the ensuing battle to save the humanity from Ultron? Yes, lots of casualties again but exactly how would this have been any different had someone else taken charge? Did we learn from Ultron being a mistake? Not really because we now have Vision-not sure about him at this point. Some of his actions feel very questionable.

For the record-we may not know where Banner went save he got out of the way since he was always the real danger-through no real fault of his own. We know exactly where Thor went. He said he saw trouble on the horizon. Asgard has always protected the Nine Realms so how is Thor a threat and in need of regulation? LOKI is always the problem...

Wanda moved that bomb and it happened to hit the building. If it went off any sooner it would have been on the ground and just taken out a different set of people. (Wakanda has had its own checkered history so I can understand why they they are taking to go a different route.) I didn't see her as loosing control of anything. The bomb went off because the bomb went off while she was pushing it away.

So, really, who is out of control? The person who created much of the technology/weaponry continually looses control of it and then everyone else steps up to the plate to correct the situation. Yet, the entire team is being held accountable when really it was the actions of one or two who were "out of control" What I see is a lot of national/collective/personal guilt being assuaged with these Accords.

We also should recall that at the end of Winter Soldier who was in control-Hydra. If there was any kind of infiltration, the team could be given wrong information and sent out to further some destructive agenda unknowingly. Had Coulson not taken down Hydra...!

I also take great issue with someone enticing an underage child into full on battle with...The Winter Soldier, for one thing. Really?

Date: 2016-05-09 07:55 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] ellie-nor.livejournal.com
All My Yes. I was getting worried there that I'd lost my mind, so many of my FB friends were Team Iron Man after the film. I mean... WHUT?!

Date: 2016-05-09 08:18 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] siduri1959
siduri1959: (Default)
I know. But if you actually look at the history, the events of the past, the facts, the facts do not support the theory that the Avengers are somehow out of control. Only one person was ever actually out of control.

Tony is very much responsible for the issues that have come into play since the Chitari invasion. I realize he has some PTSD issues come into play but those are issues he needed to deal with. Limiting the ability of the team to address future conflicts is not going to change anything because he still maintain some measure of control and Steve is no longer a balance for that.

Date: 2016-05-12 12:53 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] meepalicious.livejournal.com
ext_80205: a pink haired girl holding a guitar with a broken string (Default)
I'm Team Iron Man, definitely. I always liked Steve better, but I agree with Tony that there needs to be oversight. The Sokovian Accords aren't perfect (even Tony admits it and says things can be smoothed out), but the idea of the Avengers working without any accountability… as someone who'd likely just be a nameless casualty in the defense of the greater good, I'd like to think there's someone other than just Steve Rogers (or whoever) calling the shots. (Steve's the one who came off worst to me, like oh, you always know best?)

… the kiss was completely out of character, out of place, and inappropriate.

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