Superhero films are getting harder to review, they are becoming so self referential and convoluted, they are in danger of disappearing up their very own super power.
Captain America (Chris Evans) was always one of the more interesting Marvel creations, a man lost in time, out of place in the new world with his 1940’s sense of honour and decency.
To delve too deeply into the plot would not only provide spoilers but also would be largely pointless. Just like the “Simpsons”, lot of stuff happens, allegiances are made, broken and fights ensue but by the end, we are back where we stated.
Arguably, it’s about the exciting journey rather than the destination.
The team are suddenly at odds following the proposed “Heroes Registration Act”. This represents a public backlash for all the unnecessary destruction superheroes create. Who knew saving the world could be so messy?
The film pitches the Avengers effectively against themselves, representing the “Civil War” of the title. “Black Widow” (Scarlett Johansson), “Tony Stark/Ironman” (Robert Downey Junior), “Falcon” (Anthony Mackle), “War Machine” (Don Cheadle), “Hawkeye” (Jeremy Renner), “Vision” (Paul Bettany) all literally fight for screen time.
Diluting the mix further are newcomers Tom Holland “Spider-man”, “Black Panther” (Chadwick Boseman), “Ant Man” (Paul Rudd) and “Scarlet Witch ” (Elisabeth Olsen).
Evans continues to be one of the better actors in the group, Mark Ruffalo notwithstanding, whose “Hulk” incidentally does not appear. Evans always appears to be taking the whole enterprise more seriously than the others and consequently tries harder. Downey Junior and Tony Stark are now almost the same person but he does have a humorous scene with yet another incarnation of “Spider-man”.
At times the film represents a promo for the next set of standalone characters. Take one step forward even newer and younger Spider-man for the next generation and new character “Black Panther” who at least promises to be something different.
As in previous film, “Bucky” (Sebastian Stan) or the Winter Soldier is the catalyst for some of the histrionics. Solid in the previous outing Stan again proves his worth here.
Overall this is a well made superhero film, following the usual template of humour, action and an increasing myriad of characters to follow. A huge set piece set in an airport is impressive but these films increasingly look like CGI show reels with real actors in very few scenes or at least physically present.
Daniel Bruhm gets to show his dark side, sneaking up as a nemesis without anybody really noticing, we may well get to see more of him in the future.
The film curiously mixes real life institutions and situations (i.e. UN) into the mix which on occasion seems too close to reality. Similar to “Ironman’s” earlier dalliance in Afghanistan, with these characters interacting with the “real world” the story occasionally jars the tone somewhat.
Of course your average 14 year would care less and there is much to enjoy here. No-one does this genre better than Marvel and the evident spin off’s can last until “The Avengers – The Rest Home years” is upon us.
Enjoyable to a point, now emminently recylcable, like a fast food meal, pleasant and tasty at the time but eminently forgettable thirty minutes later.
Slick, on trend mind candy for the right target audience and guaranteed to have huge box office receipts