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Have been to the movies again. This is a Marvel flic. It got really good advance buzz, so I was looking forward to it, with decent results.

The Avengers are in trouble. They’ve conducted several epic battles with bad guys that have resulted in extensive property damage and loss of life, which they take no responsibility for whatever. Once this has started, then challenges seem to increase. World governments are trying to bring them under UN control to reduce the problem. There’s a split in the ranks about whether they should agree to this, with Tony Stark taking the position they should sign and then work on issues, and Captain America taking the position that they need to maintain autonomy. Besides this problem, he has just located his friend Bucky, who has become a “winter soldier” controlled by Hydra. Bucky is still dangerous, as he can be triggered by the right code, and he’s carrying a lot of baggage because of things he done under Hydra’s control. Still, Cap wants to support him because of their past friendship. It also looks like there are other of Hydra’s winter soldiers who can be activated. This situation opens a wider split within the Avengers, and they start to battle it out.

This film is beautifully made, has fun moments, great acting from the cast, and features the usual cameo by Stan Lee. However, it turns out to be somewhat ideological, given the individualism vs. cooperation conflict that is the main theme. The usual formula for action-adventure movies is smash, smash, sentimental interlude, smash, smash. This one went smash, smash, dramatic interlude, smash. Normally I prefer movies with substance, but this one seems to be a parable for our times, where you can fight to a standstill, but somehow never win. Four stars.

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