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  • Writer's pictureKatie Jefferis

Civil $noozefest

Updated: Apr 22

The last thing War is, is Abstract. A single analog snappy doesn’t tell the full story and I doubt any photojournalist would claim that. War is visceral, palpable, grotesque, traumatizing, brutal, and dirty... Unless you’re Alex Garland, then it’s just black and white and one dimensional like the photos you took with your Nikon FE2 in high school.

His latest gobbledegook, ’Civil War’ (2024), is 94% rinky-dink prologue leading up to a “Money $hot” of blowing up the Lincoln Memorial, with overly simplified characters, scenes, and situations dragging us toward a very predictable anti-climatic stop. (Sir Garland, you could have put Nick Offerman anywhere but the Oval Office. Was the Oval Office toilet occupied by the Chief of Staff?)

What this conflict is about, we never know. Why California and Texas have to invade Washington DC and kill the president in order to secede, is never addressed. (Pst — in this world of candy-coated under-realized conflict, combat would more likely take place on the west coast, and a gaggle of prize-winning journalists would definitely be talking about the nature of the conflict constantly.)

It seems no one thought about this film before shooting it, or maybe parts of the script were AI generated. A war with no context, leads to a film with no purpose.

The first Civil War sought to abolish slavery. If we’re going to have a second, its target will be Capitalism, the erosion of the middle class, and the exploitation of the working class. That’s not a terribly difficult thought experiment to undertake. But a timely, contemplative film looking at the very real forces alienating Americans from their own existence and survival (inflation, lack of health care, debt, an impending recession) is not what you make when your singular goal is to get that “Money $hot” and cash that check.

—April 17, 2024

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