In the view of the sometimes very wise Kris Tapley, Captain America is “the best Marvel film since Iron Man, and perhaps better. It conjures the most endearing character of the build thus far, a well-defined leader who will certainly leave audiences ready to follow him into Marvel’s next ambitious project.”

And from MCN’s David Poland: “I kinda love the sepia-spirited movie that Joe Johnston made out of Captain America. Few films are perfect, but the ones that can keep you in even at moments they threaten to pull you out are almost as rare.” And costar Hayley Atwell — I’m paraphasing — could be the focus of a Douglas Sirk movie, and she has truly stirring ta-tas!

“The response to each movie is its own little war,” Poland once wrote. The word he was searching for was “battle.” And many of these are skirmishes. But the Captain America argument (which has begun to sound a bit more reasonable with Joe Johnston’s film managing a 62% Rotten Tomatoes rating as of early this afternoon) is, in my mind, a war.

At the very least it’s the Hatfields vs. McCoys, and I’m a Hatfield carrying my flintlock over my shoulder, and I mean to pick off as many of them McCoy varmints as I can.

I know I’m contradicting my previous remark about there being “no “wrong” or “right” in responding to a film. I guess I’m talking Hatfields vs. McCoys in an Iowa caucus sense of the term. It’s all about persuading the uncommitted and talking down the other side and then smiling and shaking hands the morning after the vote, etc. Something along those lines. Just as I knew Hillary Clinton and John Edwards had to lose to Barack Obama in Iowa, the enemies of Captain America — easily one of the best-made films of the year — must be surrounded and shelled and defeated at all costs.

Even though I realize that the pro-America team is probably destined to fail with younger viewers, and perhaps with people in their teens and early 20s. You have to be a little bit older, I’m starting to think, to really appreciate this film. You need to have gotten and appreciated the craft that went into mid ’70s-to-early ’80s Spielberg films and the quality that went into The Rocketeer and Sky Captain and to have fully understood what truly first-rate, beautifully designed, perfectly calibrated superhero chops are. You need to have that knowledge in your head and heart to really get Captain America, I think.

After last night’s screening I asked a couple of very young boys what they thought, and one of them half-smiled and said, “It’s okay.” In other words, he didn’t like it. And then a friend in his 40s said almost the same thing — “Not bad!”