The tinfoil-hat types who think Marvel paid off critics to pan “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” must be gnashing their teeth at the near-uniform raves for “Captain America: Civil War” that surfaced over the weekend. Although the movie, which features enough of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s supporting cast to qualify as an unofficial “Avengers” sequel, doesn’t open until April 28, Disney publicists gave critics leave to start tweeting reactions late Friday night, tap-dancing on “Batman V Superman’s” box-office grave as it fell into second place behind Melissa McCarthy’s “The Boss.”
These are only the briefest of takes, albeit from more credible/identifiable sources than the first wave of BVS reactions. But there are a few recurring themes, most notably the praise for the introduction of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man, newly liberated from his ensiloed Sony world and free to join the MCU. (Sadly, that means Paul Giamatti did all that grimacing for nothing.) Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther seems to make less of an impression — less, at least, than the new Ta-Nehisi Coates-scripted comic book arc which also launched on Friday — but the final blow-out gets high marks, as you’d hope for a movie with “war” in its title. It’s worth bearing in mind that the “Civil War” reactions mainly come from established fans of the MCU, which isn’t to say that their opinions are suspect, just that Disney isn’t about to let any die-hard Marvel skeptics in the door this early. But even from them, the intensity of the praise is noteworthy.
Captain America: Civil War = somehow the most fun & the most sobering of our modern superhero movies. Would watch again right now.
— jen yamato (@jenyamato) April 10, 2016
Captain America: Civil War: A pseudo-Randian movie where superheroes fight each other can mostly make sense? Huh!
— Todd VanDerWerff (@tvoti) April 9, 2016
I’m pretty sure Captain America: Civil War is my favorite Marvel movie.
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) April 9, 2016
The big battle scene in #CivilWar is an absolute blast. Spider-Man, as you’d expect, steals the show. Ant-Man, as you might not, a close 2nd
— Mike Sampson (@mjsamps) April 9, 2016
I honestly don’t know how Civil War works. There’s so much going on but it does. Spidey is AMAZING. Made me smile & laugh till my face hurt
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) April 9, 2016
So to wrap it up: it’s not perfect, but it’s a blast. Better than Age of Ultron. Not as cohesive as Winter Soldier. #CaptainAmericaCivilWar
— William Bibbiani (@WilliamBibbiani) April 9, 2016
CIVIL WAR: This Spider-Man is SPECTACULAR. pic.twitter.com/AUex8LkE9c
— Russ Fischer (@russfischer) April 9, 2016
Perhaps a bit late on Twitter, but Captain America: Civil War is the superheroes fighting superheroes movie we deserve and need right now.
— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) April 9, 2016
Oh yeah, Cap America: Civil War was fine. Slow going, gets better as it goes. Makes a mess of the regulate-or-no? debate. Spider 3.0 ftw
— Matt Prigge (@mattprigge) April 11, 2016
Marvel lifting the embargo and everyone tweeting how great Civil War is: real power move. You can SMELL the glee at DC’s flailing
— David Sims (@davidlsims) April 9, 2016
I know it’s hard to resist, those who have seen Civil War, but maybe shut the fuck up a little?
— Marc Bernardin (@marcbernardin) April 9, 2016