Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War

Empire (UK) - - CINEMAS - OUT plot

TBC. 146 MINS. Di­rec­tors Joe and An­thony Russo CAST Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Se­bas­tian Stan, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Chad­wick Bose­man, El­iz­a­beth Olsen, An­thony Mackie, Daniel Brühl

Af­ter Cap­tain Amer­ica side­kick­turned-as­sas­sin Bucky Barnes (Stan) resur­faces, ten­sions be­tween Steve Rogers (Evans) and Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) turn into a full-on Avengers schism. hen the Avengers first as­sem­bled four years ago, it felt like a grand cul­mi­na­tion, the ul­ti­mate Marvel su­per­hero event: its Big Four char­ac­ters united (well, even­tu­ally) against a colos­sal plan­e­tary threat. since then, the stu­dio’s ever-ex­pand­ing Cin­e­matic Uni­verse has de­liv­ered se­quels of vary­ing qual­ity and in­tro­duced new he­roes in stand-alone movies (well, as close to stand-alone as Marvel can ever get), but it’s never quite matched the en­sem­ble-bal­anc­ing fi­nesse and earth-quak­ing-ac­tion scale of Joss Whe­don’s ini­tial as­sem­bling. Cer­tainly not in his clunkier, team-gath­er­ing fol­low up, Age Of Ul­tron. Un­til now.

Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War is the best Marvel stu­dios movie yet. there, we said it. First, and most im­por­tantly, it does what the best Marvel films do: jug­gling mul­ti­ple char­ac­ters so each is al­lowed its mo­ment in a story that pushes for­ward the se­ries’ over­all con­ti­nu­ity, while also form­ing and con­clud­ing its own co­gent plot. so here scar­let Witch (el­iz­a­beth Olsen) wres­tles with the con­se­quences of her im­mense power; vi­sion (Paul Bettany) starts get­ting to grips with be­ing ‘hu­man’; Black Widow (scar­lett Jo­hans­son) finds her­self torn when the bat­tle line is drawn; and sup­posed re­tiree hawk­eye (Jeremy ren­ner) just can’t stay out of the fight. even Paul rudd’s Ant-man re­ceives more than a to­kenis­tic ‘hey it’s him!’ cameo, and in spectacle terms at least, is given the film’s big­gest scene.

then there are the new re­cruits: Black Pan­ther (Chad­wick Bose­man,

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Su­per-pals Cap­tain Amer­ica (Chris evans) and Bucky (Se­bas­tian Stan), side by

side again.

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