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The summer 2016 movie season has launched in a big way with Marvel Studios offering up the eagerly awaited “Captain America” Civil War” which once again stars Chris Evans and the title character.

The film is set in the aftermath of “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” where the governments of the world have grown fearful of the devastation that can be unleashed by their super-powered protectors and their enemies and devises a plan of action.

A law is introduced that requires heroes to register and be held accountable to governing bodies which for the most part would also control their activities.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is still reeling from his part in the Ultron threat and the usually smug and cocky Iron Man is all in favor of the new legislation proposal.

Captain America/Steve Rogers on the other hand remembers the evils of making various groups register and answer to the government during World War II and he is very opposed to this new development.

As if this was not enough for the heroes to deal with, a villain named Crossbones (Frank Grillo) is causing trouble and then there is the matter of The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), which is like adding gasoline on a raging fire.

The Winter Soldier is blamed for a horrific tragedy and the forces of the world are poised to bring him to a final justice no matter the cost.

Rogers believes that his former friend can be saved and as such is willing to take great risks to do so. Stark and his supporters believe that The Winter Soldier is a threat that must be stopped at all costs. This combined with the already growing tensions over the new legislation divides the former allies and puts friends and allies at odds with one another.

The resulting backlash is a battle that threatens to destabilize those sworn to protect society and makes the world an even more dangerous and volatile place especially with an ever darker threat looming in the shadows.

The film does a great job mixing in intense action sequences that are visual effect spectacles, yet never losing the fact that is story powered by real characters with real issues.

The characters may be super powered, but they are dealing with real issues ranging from trust, loyalty, betrayal, and accountability in an ever changing world that seems to be caught in the crossfire of their heroic deeds.

The large ensemble cast works very well with one another and this is the key to making a film like this work. This is not simply pitting characters against one another in a conflict; this is a well-developed story that sets up future films very well but uses compelling and interesting characters with some timely humor to carry the film.

There are plenty of surprise moments in the film and Directors Anthony and Joe Russo proved that their last Captain America outing was no fluke, as they have delivered an action-packed and gripping film with some very mature content and themes set against some dazzling and intense action sequences which have become a trademark of the Marvel Film Franchise.

4.5 stars out of 5.

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