Captain America: Civil War
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
It begins with one of the sloppiest action sequences in the Marvel movieverse, limps along for a further two-plus hours and winds down not with a bang but with a whimper.
The Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe, who also helmed the previous installment of the franchise (…The Winter Soldier) bring no sense of fun or fantasy to the CGI tumult of the third unspectacular outing.
After a botched overseas mission where the autonomous Avengers team fails to retrieve a thingamajig in the possession of a diabolical villain, the government introduces a system of accountability that aims to reduce collateral damage.
Needless to pucker, the proposal polarises opinion and causes the superheroes to choose sides. The former allies are now pitted against each other, with the titular shield-wielding patriot (Evans) on one side and the high flying Iron Man (Downey Jr) on the other.
The ensuing battles royale between the rival factions, however elaborate, feel brazenly secondhand. The relentless pummeling has rarely been as lifeless or lacking in excitement. The post-production 3D effects merely muddy the viewing experience.
The absence of Thor and The Hulk from the A-team are sorely felt. The addition of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) to the roster of vigilante crime-fighters amounts to little more than an afterthought.
On the upside, a modicum of high-spiritedness is introduced with the unexpected inclusion of the friendly neighbourhood web-slinger. In the rebooted role, newcomer Tom Holland steals the show from his more fancied co-stars like Scarlett Johansson (who plays Black Widow) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye).
Most of the other actors are underused by directors who seem to have become preoccupied with the film’s bloated smackdowns.
Put simply, Captain America: Civil War is a fiasco. Even Marvel’s mandatory end-credits teaser feels tedious. And the prospect of the Russo brothers co-directing the forthcoming two-part Avengers: Infinity War series is shudder-inducing.
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