Civil War Review: Boring, Dumb People Doing Dumb Things

Alex Garland refuses to pull the trigger which leads to something dull rather than teetering on the razor's edge.

civil war review

Alex Garland and A24’s Civil War movie is out which due to the cool trailer and marketing offered a lot of promise.

However, did you notice a synopsis for the movie was never released?

The only thing the studio teased was: “An adrenaline-fueled thrill ride through a near-future fractured America balanced on the razor’s edge.”

And it’s all bullshit.

civil war poster

An adrenaline-fueled thrill ride?

The first hour+ of the movie is actually pretty boring. All the good parts you see in the trailer happen at the end for the most part.

I actually found myself looking at my watch to see how much time was left. I knew it had a run time of less than 2 hours, so I was waiting for the good stuff to happen. When it does, the movie is over. And the ending sucks.

A near-future fractured America? Huh?

America doesn’t even really feel all that fractured as it seems as if the “civil war” is only happening in a few states.

There’s talk how moms and dads are on the farm not having a care in the world the “civil war” is happening. There’s a town in the middle of the “civil war” that acts like it’s the 1950s, but with a few guards on the top of buildings wielding big bad guns. Oh, no!

The president only appears for a minute or two at the start and then again at the end.

Balanced on the razor’s edge?

The only part of the movie this applies to is the 5 minutes or less Jesse Plemons appears in the film, and it’s the best part of the movie. But you saw it in the trailer.

So what’s the movie about?

Note: Spoilers follow.

The movie is a wannabe artsy sort of documentary about war journalists covering the civil war. That’s the best I can explain it.

Kirsten Dunst plays a famous war photographer who along with some dude decides to go interview the president. Well, the movie makes it clear the president apparently kills all journalists who are in D.C., but they don’t care and decide to go anyway.

So on the way they decided to bring Dunst’s mentor, who is some fat old guy who can’t f’n move.

Oh, and they bring a 12-year-old girl, too. Scratch that. Cailee Spaeny plays Jesse who looks 12-years-old, but since the 50-year-old Wagner Moura was hitting on her when he was drunk, the movie makes a point of stating Jesse is really 23 years old.

What the movie is, is dumb people doing dumb shit that leads to dumb things.

Case in point:

It’s dumb to bring the fat old guy with you in the middle of a war zone.

It’s dumb to bring some 12-year-old girl with you in the middle of a war zone (but Joel apparently wanted to bang her).

How about this one: Yeah, let’s drive through crazy Christmas Town where the body of a dead soldier lies in the middle of the road. Nope — there isn’t some crazy sniper in the million dollar ranch, way on the side of the road.

What else?

So in the trailer, there is a scene where two cars are driving side by side which looks like one is attacking the other or trying to save someone. The scene is DUMB AF and of course leads to some dumb bad shit happening.

The very end is DUMB AF, too, with what happens to Dunst.

It’s also the type of movie where people have an ego because of who they are and then when things go south, they’re flabbergasted. It’s like the entitled* realize “oh, this can’t happen to me!” and then it does. I’d love to ask real war journalists how they feel about it.

*The start of the movie sees the war journalists covering a riot in Brooklyn where the feds have a water truck, and with the help of the NYPD, the civilians are kept away who are desperate for water. After that scene, all the war journalists are partying it up in their hotel.

Is Civil War woke?

Garland doesn’t explain much of anything about what is going on but only drops hints, and it’s disappointing. Pull the trigger, dude. You find yourself not really caring about much.

Now that could possibly mean that Garland meant to highlight the extremes on both sides (Barbie does it better) which is why he teams California with Texas, but I don’t think he goes far enough (and we know that could never happen).

From my perspective, Nick Offerman is more of a Donald Trump, and it seems as if all the white guys are bad in the movie and the non-whites get killed or a part of the other side, so take that from what you will.

civil war movie review

Final thoughts: Watch the OG Red Dawn

What you really want from Civil War is it to start at either the Plemons scene or when they get into Washington D.C.

Again, the start of the movie is boring and unnecessary, and you really don’t care much about the characters, at least I didn’t except for Dunst but she’s pretty bland and mopey the entire movie.

Go watch the original Red Dawn. Million times better movie.

Civil War gets 2 stars as the action at the end is at least decent.

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