Studio: Disney (2hrs. 26 min.)
Plot: The Avengers are split on whether to let themselves become regulated by the world’s governments, or continue to operate independently.
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan
Bottom Line: **1/2
By Laurence Washington
With all the world’s super villains supposedly dispatched, I guess there’s nothing left for superheroes to do – except beat the hell out of each other. That’s the case with “Batman v Superman,” and pretty much the premise of “Captain America: Civil War.”
In fact, like “Batman v Superman,” the warning is on the label. But I shouldn’t be so cynical, obviously there’s more to “Captain America: Civil War” than superheroes crackin’ open a can of whup-ass on one another.
So here’s the plot: After considerable collateral damage sustained in –
* Battling Loki’s army of killer robots in New York City (The Avengers ‘12)
* Blowing up a fleet of Hydra airships over Washington D.C. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier ‘14)
* Vaporizing a sizable chunk of real estate (a city in fact) in the country of Sokovia. (Avenger Age of Ultron ’15) the United Nations ratifies a charter requiring enhanced individuals, namely the Avengers, to register and have their missions directed under the supervision of the United Nations.
Which goes over like a lead balloon, thus causing dissention in the Avengers ranks. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), thinks the Avengers should be accountable to the government, and Captain America (Chris Evans) believes the avengers power should be kept in the Avengers’ hands – not controlled by the United Nations. The usual suspects Black Widow, Scarlett Witch, Hawkeye, Falcon and Vision begin to choose sides.
To the film’s credit, if there were a real Captain America or Iron Man, the Republicans and Democrats would probably demand they register their shield and helmet ASAP at the nearest Homeland Security office, or be deported to some black-ops rendition prison.
Actually there is a villain whose is fueling the riff amongst the Avengers, but he’s so weak that 20 minutes of his role could have been safely cut from the movie’s 2 hr. 26 min. running time and moviegoers would have gotten to go home 20 minutes earlier.
The fighting sequences are fast moving and spectacular, but we’re getting a little numb to them, because they have lost the original razzle-dazzle of the first Avengers movie. However, the introduction of two new characters Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and a cameo by Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) adds a little fresh blood to the franchise.
“Captain America: Civil War” is not the best Avengers movie, probably because Disney cranks one out every year, so audiences don’t have a chance to properly digest the last one. But anyone who hasn’t seen an Avengers movie will be awe struck.
A gentle reminder: There are two after credit scenes foreshadowing a possible Spider-Man and Black Panther stand alone movies. You know the rules: “Stay through the credits until the houselights come on.”
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This article was printed in the June 26, 2016 - July 9, 2016 edition.