Is this a new trend? Having superheros fight other superheros? In March we had "Batman vs Superman" and now this... Like "B vs S" in March, the issue once again is collateral damage. 117 countries are signing an agreement that exerts bureaucratic control over The Avengers and their violent activities.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo ("Captain America"), this PG-13 non-stop (but top-heavy) actioner is designed to make us examine our loyalties. Personally, I like Captain America's straight-forward outlook; Iron Man's knee-jerk reaction seems abrupt. Yeah, I'm Team Rogers...
Here is a small part of the massive cast:
- * Chris Evans ("The Iceman") Steve Rogers/Captain America is a military man. He is accustomed to taking risks and accepting responsibility for collateral damage.
- * Robert Downey Jr. ("Sherlock Holmes") Tony Stark/Iron Man has been a rebel from the get-go. Why should he change now? Because he has just met a grieving mother who puts a face on the collateral damage.
- * Alfre Woodard ("State of Affairs") is that grieving mother.
- * Scarlett Johansson ("Hail, Caesar!") Natasha Romanoff/Black Widowunderstands their conflict, but she doesn't have to like it!
- * Sebastian Stan ("The Martian") Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier has NO choice in the matter. His programming by Hydra is so deep he can't trust himself.
- * Anthony Mackie ("Triple 9") Sam Wilson/Falcon can't avoid this one but we all remember how he met Captain America, so we aren't surprised to see which side he is on.
- * Don Cheadle ("The Guard") Lieutenant James Rhodes/War Machine has been with Tony Stark from the beginning and has no regrets.
- * Chadwick Boseman ("42") T'Challa/Black Panther was a surprise!
- * Jeremy Renner ("American Hustle") Clint Barton/Hawkeye just wants to stay completely out of the whole mess. He is trying to be retired!
- * Tom Holland ("The Impossible" he played the teenager who saved his mom after a tsunami) Peter Parker/Spider-Man is a smart-mouthed geek, busy trying to do heroic stuff of his own design. His dialogue is funny and his initial exchange with Iron Man is engaging, witty and welcome.
When our superheroes are told to stand down, guess who follows orders and who doesn't? There is no face you see that you don't recognize. When I said "top-heavy" I really meant it. Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Hope Davis, John Slattery, Marisa Tomai, Alfre Woodard, Daniel Brühl, Emily VanCamp, Chadwick Boseman, Martin Freeman, William Hurt and John Kani. Every character is a star but the only one who gets a vocal response from the audience is Marvel's own beloved Stan Lee, who, once again, lands the funniest line in the entire movie. We LOVE the guy!
The audience, dominated by 18-24 year-old men, was appreciative and happy. I'm not an 18-24-year-old male, so I became bored with the endless fisticuffs, gunfire and blowie uppie stuff. This one will make a LOT of money because Marvel's characters are familiar, attractive and superhuman.
By the way, this brand new Spider-Man provides very welcome comic relief and I personally enjoyed this change of pace in a movie so heavily laden with CGI.