CAPTAIN AMER­ICA: CIVIL WAR

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

Di­rec­tors: An­thony and Joe Russo Star­ring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Paul Rudd, Tom Hol­land, El­iz­a­beth Olsen Ver­dict: They are di­vided. We are con­quered.

IT was only a month ago that DC Comics’ Bat­man vs Superman slugfest left the planet feel­ing they’d been forced to chug a con­crete smoothie.

Now it is Mar­vel En­ter­tain­ment’s turn to blend up a multi-hero grudge match, and man, does it go down so much bet­ter.

Like the best block­busters of the mod­ern era, CACW can be as deep or as mean­ing­less as you want it to be.

There is such a pre­cise bal­ance struck here be­tween brainy myth­mak­ing and brawny earth-shak­ing that re­sis­tance is use­less.

The movie wastes no time in stir­ring up a six-a-side scuf­fle be­tween op­pos­ing Avengers-aligned squads coached by Captain Amer­ica (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr).

The di­vide be­tween the war­ring fac­tions has more to do with a com­plex dif­fer­ence of opin­ion on global de­fence pol­icy than any­thing as sim­ple as pure spite.

So who is right and who is wrong? Well, as is the case with any ide­o­log­i­cal ar­gu­ment, it is not as straight­for­ward as that.

What does mat­ter is who will be fill­ing the team sheets as Captain Amer­ica and Iron Man get ready to get punchy. The Captain’s mob are heavy hit­ters in­deed. Scar­let Witch (El­iz­a­beth Olsen) and Fal­con (An­thony Mackie) are at their leader’s side from the start; and are later joined at just the right time by Hawk­eye (Jeremy Ren­ner) and a newly-thawed Win­ter Sol­dier (Se­bas­tian Stan).

A wel­come wild­card re­cruit in the shape-chang­ing, wise-crack­ing form of Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) com­pletes an im­pres­sive line-up.

Mean­while, in his guise as in­dus­tri­al­ist Tony Stark, Iron Man has lit­tle trou­ble bol­ster­ing his ranks with like-minded peers.

Black Widow (Scar­lett Jo­hans­son) and War Ma­chine (Don Chea­dle) are in there like a flash. Vi­sion (Paul Bet­tany) takes his time, but grad­u­ally comes aboard.

Black Pan­ther (Chad­wick Bose­man) is brought into the fray on be­half of Team Iron Man at a vi­tal junc­ture. This new char­ac­ter gets just enough ori­gin-story busi­ness to jus­tify his pres­ence in the film, and he is not alone cop­ping the short-and-sweet treat­ment from codi­rec­tors An­thony and Joe Russo.

A fresh teenage it­er­a­tion of Spi­der-Man (Tom Hol­land) is also swiftly es­corted into the eye of the storm with sur­pris­ingly lit­tle fan­fare. In fact, by way of in­tro­duc­tion, all the Spidey-kid gets is a quick job in­ter­view with Tony Stark (which, it must be said, is the best-writ­ten scene in a well-scripted film).

Con­sid­er­ing the no­table sto­ry­telling heft main­tained through­out the pic­ture - as the Mar­vel Uni­verse ex­pands, so too must the dra­matic force fields at­tract­ing and re­pelling its gal­axy of stars – CACW briskly bar­rels through its 150 min­utes with bore­dom kept well at bay.

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