Captain America's 'new enemy from within'

By Michele Manelis

Captain America and his fellow Avengers are back to fight new foes — each other. Michele Manelis reports.

Superhero movie fans fear not. Captain America: Civil War, which has Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey jnr) going head-to-head isn't Marvel's own spin on Batman V Superman, a movie that disappointed many.

It does have considerable action but Civil War is also a movie about politics and power. After Tony Stark's tech got away on him in 2015's The Avengers: Age of Ultron and yet more civilian collateral damage in the opening showdown in Civil War, the governments of the world want to put the superheroes under United Nations oversight.

Captain America wants to remain independent and free of political strings but Stark is happy to sign up for supervision for himself and the rest of the Avengers.

Add the return of Rogers' one-time comrade turned assassin, Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, and the addition of Ant-Man and Spider-Man to the superhero factions lining up behind Rogers and Stark, and you've got yourself the makings of quite a scrap.

It's a twist for Evans, starring in his third stand-alone Captain America film. His previous adventures and the two Avengers movies have come with a variety of super-villains to save the world from. This time is different.

"It's exciting to think that Marvel found a way to somehow create a new enemy from within. So in that regard, it was exciting to think this fight that I have done seven or eight times now is with somebody that will now have a different outcome. It means something. It isn't just punching a faceless villain, but rather, punching a family member," he explains.

"So in a weird way, there was a lot more acting involved. It's not just the face of strain and struggle and aggression. Now there is regret."

Marvel's Captain America: Civil War stars Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland).
Marvel's Captain America: Civil War stars Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland).

Civil War is a continuation of Captain America: Winter Soldier, and is adapted from the 2006-07 Civil War comic book storyline written by Mark Millar, which was even more ambitious in scope than the movie - it also involved The X-Men and The Fantastic Four.

Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo returned to direct following the success of Captain America: Winter Soldier. And with the departure of Avengers helmsman Joss Whedon, who said he had enough of working for the Marvel production line, the Russos will also direct the two-part Avengers: Infinity War, due in in 2018 and 2019.

Civil War was shot in Atlanta, Georgia, and in Germany, while its story swings between multiple African and European countries with occasional excursions to Siberia.

It might be a Captain America film but it features most of the Avengers (though Thor and Hulk are off doing their own thing), as well as some new additions.

That includes Chadwick Boseman as African superhero Black Panther/T'challa, who gets his own movie in early 2018 and the new Spider-Man/Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland as a warm-up for the web guy's reboot Spider-Man: Homecoming next year.

Black Panther/T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Vision (Paul Bettany), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson).
Black Panther/T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Vision (Paul Bettany), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson).

Also playing in the major league for the first time is Ant-Man/Scott Lang, whose 2015 film starring comedian Paul Rudd in the lead was a surprise hit.

"I felt like the new kid at school," says Rudd, a relative newcomer to the superhero world.

"I hadn't worked with most of them before, though I'd seen them all in movies. It was a bit surreal. Every now and then I'd realise, 'These are the Avengers!'" he laughs. Rudd says he enjoyed his once brief scene opposite Downey's wisecracking Stark, though his mini-superhero character does end up inside Iron Man's suit.

"I had never worked with Robert Downey jnr before and we had just one exchange in the movie but each time we did it, it was different. That was really fun to do because he's so funny and he likes to change it up a lot," he says.

"It really makes you be on your toes. I loved it."

The film may come with a decent amount of laughs but Sebastian Stan, who plays Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, agrees audiences are at risk of superhero movie fatigue, especially in the wake of Batman V Superman.

"Honestly, I feel like we are getting a lot of superhero movies. But that being said, that's why we need people like the Russos to come in and continue to make these movies original, stand apart and be different."

Stan is understandably enthusiastic about Civil War.

Captain America: Civil War: Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).
Captain America: Civil War: Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).

"We are at a time where technology is so incredible visually and people are constantly asking, 'Why should I go to the theatre? Why should I pay $15?' It's because of movies like this."

Says Anthony Russo: "It's become necessary to make these movies distinctive. And if you're not a high-quality film, you'll be dead by Friday 6pm. Social media will kill you. There's nothing to hide behind anymore."

"As for the old slugger of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jnr, does he still enjoy putting on that Iron Man suit year after year?

"Well, I'm not young any more. I have a 4-year-old and an 18-month-old at home. These movies have wound up being the perfect situation for me to stay in a certain way relevant, without having to attach myself.

"I've done movies that weren't put together as well and weren't as enjoyable to make or watch as some of these Marvel films.

"And with this Captain America, it's good to know that fans aren't pissed off at us or think we blew it. That's some pressure lifted. You feel a small victory."

What: Captain America: Civil War
When: Opens today

- Additional reporting Daily Telegraph

- TimeOut

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