CAP­TAIN AMER­ICA: CIVIL WAR

Fight For Your Right To Par­lay

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Contents - Doc­tor Strange. James White

As it hits the small screen, we look again at Mar­vel’s mega-movie.

re­leased 5 septem­ber 2016 | 12 | blu-ray 3d/blu-ray/dVd/ down­load Di­rec­tors an­thony russo, Joe russo Cast Chris evans, robert downey Jr, scar­lett Jo­hans­son, se­bas­tian stan, an­thony mackie, Chad­wick bose­man

How dif­fi­cult must it be to or­ches­trate a mas­sive su­per­pow­ered rum­ble that has to ser­vice mul­ti­ple char­ac­ters, jug­gle (and move for­ward) sev­eral plot­lines, in­tro­duce new peo­ple into the fray and still make a movie that doesn’t keel over from the sheer weight of ex­pec­ta­tion and story? Well, just pulling off Avengers: Age Of Ul­tron gave Joss Whe­don the pro­fes­sional equiv­a­lent of night ter­rors, so imag­ine the pres­sure on the Russo broth­ers go­ing into Civil War. Yet they pull it off with style, aplomb and charm.

That’s de­spite not hav­ing the fuse that set off the comic book ver­sion, as in the movies al­most ev­ery­one’s iden­tity is out in the open. In bring­ing the sim­mer­ing ten­sion be­tween Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark and Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers to the boil, the idea that such staunch friends might dis­agree over how much gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tion the su­per­heroes’ ac­tions need works just as well.

De­spite the pres­ence of Cap’s name above the title, Civil War still of­fers Iron Man some wor­thy mo­ments, al­low­ing for the usu­ally smug, ar­ro­gant Stark to dig deep and tap his in­ner angst like never be­fore. The Star-Span­gled Man isn’t short-changed, though; Steve scores plenty of won­der­ing about his place in the world (es­pe­cially fol­low­ing the death of his emo­tional an­chor, Peggy Carter) and a burn­ing drive to save his old pal Bucky, even if said chum is now the brain-twisted Win­ter Sol­dier.

Civil War works so well be­cause it re­mem­bers what makes all the char­ac­ters tick even as it plunges them into con­flict – even Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang/Ant-Man, who (while he only shows up briefly) is at full comedic power, par­tic­u­larly in the scene where he first meets Cap and co and dis­solves into a bit of a fan among his he­roes.

Then there are the new­com­ers. Tom Hol­land’s Spi­der-Man, only used spar­ingly, in­stantly be­comes one of the best on-screen por­tray­als of the web­slinger, freed from yet an­other pon­der­ous ex­plo­ration of his back­story. This Peter Parker is truly young, joy­ful, quippy and skilled, while still main­tain­ing his ground­ing as a nerd some­what out of his depth. Chad­wick Bose­man’s T’Challa, mean­while, the Wakan­dan war­rior also known as Black Pan­ther, is more of a coiled spring, in­tense and qui­etly fum­ing af­ter his own tragedy, but more than will­ing to ac­cept when he’s wrong. The Pan­ther’s a great new ad­di­tion to

This thing pulses with move­ment and life

the team, spark­ing a heart­stop­ping car chase scene that’s edited like some­thing out of a Paul Green­grass Bourne film.

Al­most all the he­roes re­ceive use­ful arcs. One or two are short-changed, es­pe­cially Paul Bet­tany’s Vi­sion – but then you can un­der­stand why you wouldn’t want him in the fight too much given his power level, and even he has a great line in quiet hu­mour (like his taste in sen­si­ble sweaters). Civil War oc­ca­sion­ally feels over­crowded, but it doesn’t drag the story down: this thing pulses with move­ment and life.

And the di­rec­tors (along with writ­ers Christo­pher Markus and Stephen McFeely) have pulled off an even neater trick: find­ing a way to end a Mar­vel movie that doesn’t re­quire a mas­sive FX over­load (that set­piece is re­served for the air­port fight). In­stead it’s a per­sonal strug­gle, one born not out of an alien in­va­sion or ram­pag­ing ro­bots, but of real peo­ple with very deeply-felt is­sues. Civil War may not be per­fect, but it’s the best Mar­vel movie to date and shows that the team still has it. It had a lot to prove, and does so with am­bi­tion, pas­sion and verve.

Ex­tras A pretty de­cent se­lec­tion, fea­tur­ing a com­men­tary by all four of the writ­ers and di­rec­tors; “United We Stand, Di­vided We Fall”, a Mak­ing Of in two parts; a pair of “The Road To Civil War” fea­turettes, look­ing at the evo­lu­tion of the char­ac­ters of Cap­tain Amer­ica and Iron Man; deleted and ex­tended scenes; a gag reel; a sneak peek at the forth­com­ing, Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch-star­ring

The wait for the air­port trans­fer bus con­tin­ued.

Nerves were frayed on the Ski Sun­day set.

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