It's official: Captain America: Civil War is a hit with critics! The latest movie from Marvel Studios won't be hitting American theaters until May 6, so it will still be a few weeks before we get to determine for ourselves just how good Civil War is.
It's certainly hard not to have an optimistic outlook when the third Captain America film is being called a "great film," by movie reviewers, and with a particular emphasis on how it reaches beyond the comic book genre to offer something more. As Justin Chang at Variety noted, "[It's] the most mature and substantive picture to have yet emerged from the Marvel Cinematic Universe."The high praise from the first full reviews released for Captain America: Civil War suggests that the film will likely be a critically acclaimed early summer blockbuster -- just as Marvel anticipated. It was evident based on the studio's rush to get early social media and full reviews out (weeks ahead of what's typical for "tentpole" films) that it was confident that this would be a hit with movie critics.
More importantly, Marvel has been very smart about building buzz for Civil War. Although there's now the huge risk of spoilers leaking to the internet, a risk that grows with each passing day, it will probably be well worth it if the tidbits about characters and storytelling prove true.
The movie tells the heart-wrenching story of two superheroes -- Captain America and Iron Man -- at philosophical odds over the mess that's been made by the Avengers team throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They eventually come to blows in a way that will reportedly be painful for fans because as film critics have claimed, both men are ultimately right. How they're right is something movie audiences will have to both see and determine for themselves.In addition to praise for directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Marcus McFeely, there was also some kind words for the newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Spider-Man and Black Panther.
Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland is said to be the best incarnation of the character to date. Vox's Todd VanDerWerff wrote, "[Peter Parker is] back to being the punk-ass teenager he is in the comics and was way back in the first Spider-Man movie in 2002."
"It's fun to watch Holland and Downey bounce off each other, and fans of the character will likely breathe a sigh of relief that he's been rescued from the awful Amazing Spider-Man movies."VanDerWerff also shared that Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman) "plays a semi-substantial role" in Captain America: Civil War, describing the character as "a strong, regal presence, befitting the character's status as royalty of the fictional nation of Wakanda." It seems that as with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, one of the major players will be dead by the end of the movie. Unlike Batman V Superman, all signs point to this character death being a permanent one, with far-reaching consequences.
Speaking of Batman V Superman, critics can't stop picking on the poorly received DC and Warner Bros. film. Many feel that Captain America: Civil War is a superior "superheroes at odds" tale, in part because the point of the movie was to tell a good story; it wasn't just there to set up a future "tentpole" blockbuster. The continuous criticism reportedly has Warner Bros. closely monitoring the development of the upcoming Justice League: Part 1.Studio and fan rivalry aside, Captain America: Civil War is being hailed as an outstanding, must-see film -- one you don't have to be a hardcore comic book geek to enjoy. As of now, Civil War has a perfect 100 percent "fresh" rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. That can (and likely will) change as more reviews pour in. Even so, the odds are in Civil War's favor for being a success with both critics and the moviegoers.
[Image via Marvel Studios]