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Captain America: Civil War (3D)


Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Brühl, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, Tom Holland, Paul Rudd, William Hurt, Martin Freeman, Marisa Tomei, Hope Davis, John Slattery, Emily VanCamp, Alfre Woodard, Frank Grillo

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Grab the insecticide! Spider-man and Ant-man join The Avengers, albeit on different sides, when the unit, as you'll gather from the title of this further super-blast, splits into two factions.

It seems that The Avengers' rescue missions around the world have been accumulating too much human collateral damage in recent times (just like Superman) - flashpoint comes when the Scarlet Witch (Olsen) diverts a bomb into a huge office building - and the US Secretary of State (Hurt) demands that they should only be called on in future when required by the UN, or be disbanded altogether.

Iron Man (Downey) thinks they should sign the agreement offered and think of ways round UN strictures, but Capt America (Evans) refuses to sign altogether, and is backed by Falcon (Mackie), his old wartime buddy Bucky (Stan), whom everyone seems to want dead, Hawkeye (Renner) and others, while the Black Widow Johansson), the Witch, War Machine (Cheadle) and of course the robot Vision (Bettany, stealing all his scenes) side with Downey.

Hovering on the sidelines are Black Panther (Boseman), the son of an assassinated king, and a demented Austrian (Brühl), who wants to pit the Avengers against each other, a job that Hurt seems to have handled perfectly well already.

The plot, though wafer-thin, is actually quite confusing at times and its slower patches may have you looking at your watches. And sometimes it's hard to remember, especially in pitched battles, who's on whose side.

The action sequences, however, smoulder with dynamism and represent a considerable technical achievement.

No Hulk, Thor, Pepper Potts or Nick Fury this time round, but the cast is already top-heavy with star names as it is. This doesn't strike quite the same emotional chords as Winter Soldier or Iron Man 3, but the hammer-hard action is sure to send Marvel fans home happy. Marvel alumnus Stan Lee pops in with an amusing cameo at the end.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Disney. Technicolor.
146 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 25 Apr 2016