Last weekend, Marvel held the first screenings for its Phase Three adventure Captain America: Civil War, and the early reactions were filled with praise for new characters such as Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). Earlier today, the embargo lifted, and the initial wave of reviews came flooding in. Although there are only 14 reviews posted on Rotten Tomates, all of them are positive, giving this superhero adventure a 100% RT score right out of the gate, with some critics even making some parting shots at Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice while calling this latest superhero epic a true Marvel masterpiece.
Marvel's Captain America: Civil War is set in the aftermath of Avengers: Age of Ultron, with Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps, one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark's surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.
Team Iron Man includes Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Vision (Paul Bettany), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and the new characters T'challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Team Cap includes Captain America (Chris Evans), The Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). Marvel's Captain America: Civil War also stars Frank Grillo as Crossbones, William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross, Daniel Brühl as the villainous Baron Zemo. Take a look at excerpts from some of these early reviews below, and stay tuned for more on Captain America: Civil War.
"The shaming of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will continue apace - or better still, be forgotten entirely - in the wake of Captain America: Civil War, a decisively superior hero-vs.-hero extravaganza that also ranks as the most mature and substantive picture to have yet emerged from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Very much an "Avengers" movie in scope and ambition if not title (the conspicuous absence of Thor and Hulk notwithstanding), this chronicle of an epic clash between two equally noble factions, led by Captain America and Iron Man, proves as remarkable for its dramatic coherence and thematic unity as for its dizzyingly inventive action sequences; viewers who have grown weary of seeing cities blow up ad nauseam will scarcely believe their luck at the relative restraint and ingenuity on display."
"Corporate filmmaking with an enormous economic investment at stake has the power to force creative people to operate within the art-destroying prison walls of a marketing strategy. But the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an empire building itself on a foundation that roughly amounts to a house style, tends to stay relatively on balance. Screenwriting team Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (responsible for the previous two Captain America films) efficiently move plot blocks into place and check off interlocking points of order, but they do so while never forgetting that their characters are more than brands to build."
"Who needs a villain when you have Steve and Tony? Both protagonists. Both antagonists. And drawing other power-people to their cause in surprising ways. The clashes go far beyond the set-up squabbles of Avengers Assemble. Or even that other big 2016 superhero showdown. Forget Batman v Superman. Here you get Ant-Man v Spider-Man, Hawkeye v Black Widow, Scarlet Witch v Vision, The Winter Soldier v Black Panther and (well, duh)Captain America v Iron Man, all rolled into one. And that is what you call the ultimate Marvel superhero event."
"In many ways, Civil War is the Marvel team-up sequel Age of Ultron should have been. If The Winter Soldier was about SHIELD being ripped apart from the inside, Civil War pulls the same trick with the Avengers themselves, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely carving out satisfying character arcs, or at the very least moments, for every major player (minus the MIA Thor and Hulk). Crucially, despite the colossal cast of characters and sprawling runtime, the oft-repeated assertion that this isn't just Avengers 2.5 holds true - it's also a Captain America movie through and through, further exploring The Winter Soldier's major theme - the cost of freedom - while Bucky is even more integral to the plot than he was in the film that bore his own name."
"Captain America: Civil War marks a watershed moment in the vaunted annals of comic book cinema: finally, a big budget superhero sequel that manages to be both effortlessly entertaining and utterly sobering, instead of just one of those things-or, as we've endured too frequently in the past, neither of them. (Looking at you, Batman v Superman.) You might argue that other films that have come before Marvel's Captain America threequel have achieved such equilibrium, but let's be real, you'd be lying to yourself. Not even Disney's Marvel machine has yet been able to shake off formula or self-seriousness in service of spandexed superhero franchising."
Captain America: Civil War will kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Three, which will be followed by Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017), Spider-Man (July 7, 2017), Thor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017), Black Panther (February 16, 2018), Avengers: Infinity War Part I(May 4, 2018), Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6, 2018), Captain Marvel(March 8, 2019), Avengers: Infinity War - Part II (May 3, 2019) and Inhumans (July 12, 2019). Are you more excited than ever for Captain America: Civil War now that the early reviews are in? You can visit Rotten Tomatoes to check out the rest of the Captain America: Civil War reviews that have been posted thus far.