…but then it finally turns fierce and riveting in a holy-shit way during the last 40 minutes, and then it ends with a “yes!…oh, yes!” moment that I can’t and won’t describe, but it felt so good my eyes were almost damp with joy.

You can criticize me all you want, but this last scene delivered the kind of emotional satisfaction that I hadn’t experienced since the home-invasion finale in Zero Dark Thirty.

During the first 65% I was saying to myself “this is pretty good dystopian stuff but not as good as Children of Men.” Then it finally got into gear.

Yes, it’s about journalists (Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny, Wagner Moira, Stephen Henderson) covering a brutal civil war between (a) fatigue-wearing nativist whites with Trumpian, anti-POC mindsets (the fascist, Trump-modelled U.S. President is played by Nick Offerman) and (b) secessionist Western Forces (a California + Texas alliance that’s well-armed and helicoptered and determined to wipe out every last Offerman follower…shoot ‘em down like dogs)…an army that seems to be mostly composed of left-progressive whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics

Boil the snow out and we’re basically talking about a blues-vs.-reds Armageddon.

And yes, Civil War is obviously a slaughterhouse metaphor for the extreme left-right polarization that we’ve all been enduring for last 20-plus years but especially since Trump was elected in ‘16.

But don’t let the critics fool you into thinking it’s more about combat journalism than combat (although it’s told from a journalist perspective), and that it takes some kind of centrist, non-committed view of the war between the cultures…fiercely separate tribes despising each other to such a degree that nobody has any humanity left…it’s been burned and blown out of everyone.

And don’t let the critics fool you about which side this film is on. The journalist characters are just devices — if not distractions then certainly window-dressing and not the real subject (at least in my opinion).

Civil War is a blistering war-is-hell saga, yes, but there’s no dodging the fact that director Alex Garland sides with the lefties.

A24 and the critics have pooled forces in order to sell two deceptive descriptions — i.e., that the film is kind of neutral by not taking sides, and that it’s about combat journalism and not the war they’re covering.

And please understand that the second half of the following paragraph, excerpted from a 3.26.24 review by Empire’s John Nugent, is bullshit:

There is dying bravely and honorably (like Ralph Meeker died in Paths of Glory or like Harris Yulin died in Scarface…”fuck you!”) and there is dying like a whimpering dog (like Robert Loggia died in Scarface, two minutes before Yulin). Trust me — Civil War makes a very clear statement about the latter.

And let’s not forget Winston Churchill’s famous statement that “nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”