You wait years for a film in which two much-loved superheroes go head-to-head in a film with a colon in the title, and then two come along at once.
But whereas in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice the protagonists barely know each other, this is family. It’s like when Michael Corleone realises that his brother Fredo betrayed him – it hurts.
Against a backdrop of debate about whether The Avengers should be subject to more stringent international oversight regarding their accountability, this is actually – on several counts – very personal.
Which is why it works so well.
Nobody starts to act against type. It’s easy to understand why our heroes respond as they do because we’ve got to know them over the years, and we can see both sides of the argument. The action sequences (some a little over-long to be a tad critical) punctuate a narrative which is sensitive and personal, giving reason to everything that happens.
The introduction of the new characters is handled exceptionally well, and promises much for future films in the universe. There’s space for levity – which isn’t overdone – and personal loss which I will admit brought a tear to my eye. It was horrible to see people who clearly care for each other engaging in combat, but this just added to the overall feeling of being invested in what was happening.
I would say that the film is just a little too long, and I’m convinced Elizabeth Olsen’s accent wandered around quite a bit. But there’s no denying that Chris Evans is absolutely perfect for this role. He manages to make being earnest and honest totally compelling instead of annoyingly bland, and I completely accept whatever he tells me.
This was both great fun and touchingly personal, and I loved spending time with these people.