With so many superheroes to choose from, “Captain America: Civil War” is a veritable Marvel smorgasbord. Most of it goes down easy, although the film is too much of what is, at best, a pretty good thing. The advantage of having all these Marvel characters in the same movie is that, if one subplot is not working, another, possibly better, one is sure to follow.
The story line centers on who should have control of the superpowered – themselves, or the governments of the world. At odds are Captain America (Chris Evans), who bristles at any world oversight, and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), who begs to differ. Choosing up sides is everybody from Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow to Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man. Even Spider-Man, looking distinctly boyish as played by Tom Holland, gets into the act. The film’s funniest moments come when Spidey, ever the fanboy, must square off against a few of his icons.
The action, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, is thuddingly effective without being terribly imaginative, but at least it’s not in the clobber-the-audience “Transformers” category. Downey Jr. persists in trying to give a real performance in these Marvel movies, and, against all odds, succeeds. I wish he would try to act more in movies that don’t require him to stand in front of a special-effects screen and wear a plastic suit. Grade: B- (Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem.)