Captain America: Civil War [2016] ★★★½

 teamsvscivilwarposterYou’d think after so many movies (including 2 “Thor” movies, 3 Iron Man movies, 2 Avengers, 3 Captain America movies, “Ant Man” and “The Incredible Hulk”), this series would run out of steam by now. Not a chance. Instead, “Captain America: Civil War” emerges as one of the best superhero movies ever made. It’s smart, original, dark, funny. Hell, it’s everything a superhero movie could hope to be and then some, making it vastly superior to both “Avengers” films… combined!  Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have built on the success of “The Winter Soldier” to come up with bold new ideas and they have infused their work with a bracing sense of humor, along with a serious strain of social relevance. And in the hands of directors Anthony and Joe Russo, who did a wonderful job with the previous “Captain America” adventure, the movie feels fresh and vibrant. As icing on the cake, “Civil War”  provides a great part for Tom Holland as a young Spider Man, who knocks it out of the park. I can’t spoil the film’s many surprises, but I can tell you that a political interference will cause Chris Evan’s Captain America (still as good as always) to stand against Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. I’m deliberately being vague about the details because, having read nothing ahead of time, it all came as a surprise to me, and I loved it. The action scenes are extremely well staged under The Russo’s brothers’ supervision; whether it’s hand to hand combat or CGI driven explosions, the movie will make Marvel fans jump for joy. The cast has never been better, with Evans, Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany delivering the goods, scene by scene. Yes, “Civil War” is superhero entertainment at its finest. No, I did not expect to love it as much as I did. For that alone, Marvel earns my gratitude and respect. What a ride!

Rating: 3.5/4

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