Here it is then – the second super smack-down of the year following the darker, slightly incoherent but epic Batman v Superman. Disney’s Avengers get their turn to beat each other up in a slick movie which is easily the best Captain America film to date, but might feel a little neutered for fans of the Mark Millar comic book it’s loosely based on.
The plot sees an incident involving the Avengers causing yet more future collateral damage in a foreign country and shrugging it off with a sheepish ‘sorry’. But a mixture of fear and condemnation from the public raises the political pressure to put some form of accountability on the super team.
This splits the Avengers as Steve ‘Captain America’ Rogers (Chris Evans) doesn’t want to sign up to new rules and would rather protect his brainwashed baddie pal Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) from justice. Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) however is all for a new level of government oversight and accountability in the face of the whole Ultron affair which he is still feeling the guilt over.
The Russo brothers, who directed The Winter Soldier and who will get their chance to ‘go big’ with the next full scale Avengers film, do a great job of character development. Effortlessly bringing in new faces which include the movie-stealing Spiderman (Tom Holland), the cool and funny Scott ‘Ant Man’ Lang who has a new trick up his sleeve and the noble Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). Plus there are the returning Avengers who each get some quality screen time – on team Cap we have Falcon, Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye, on team Iron Man it’s Vision, War Machine and Black Widow. Hulk and Thor are MIA.
There are great supporting cameos from Community’s Jim Rash and Fargo’s Martin Freeman too – as well as the obligatory Stan Lee moment.
Civil War is at heart quite a personal film, with less actual threat level which you can view as both a good and bad thing. The fights and chases are great but there’s never a feeling that anyone’s really in mortal peril – good news for those wanting to enjoy spectacular super action with young people in tow.
Exciting and funny, this is a super treat for the senses which gives great fan service without upping the ante too far.
Normally war is hell but this one is a blast.
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