Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Captain America

I was a little uncertain about going to see Captain America. He's always been very similar to Superman to me in that he seems a little too perfect and "All American hero" to really appeal to me. I've never read any of his comics or seen the older movies, I mostly only know him from his appearances in the X-men and Spider-man cartoons. However, since Marvel's films had made me care about both Iron Man and Thor, I figured they had a decent shot of making me care about Captain America too.

They did, in fact, do just that. Allowing us to see the scrawny yet brave Steve Rogers in the beginning of the film makes him seem like just an ordinary guy who wants to do good things. By the time he does become the super-soldier, you don't mind how ridiculously perfect he is because it's all about this man's journey.

The movie also manages to hold the line between a tribute to the era Captain America came from without feeling outdated or ignorant. I was continually impressed with the way it treated the other allied forces soldiers with respect and showed their heroism as well as Captain America. They also managed to pay decent tribute to the way the comics were often propaganda for the war in a way that made perfect sense within the film. At the same time, while the Nazis and Hitler are certainly mentioned, the true enemy here is Hydra.

The cast as a whole is pretty fantastic. Chris Evans manages to be nothing like the egotistical guys we're used to seeing him as, and Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, and Toby Jones are also great in their respective roles.

The story is not particularly unique, but that doesn't mean it lacks weight. I was very impressed with Joe Johnston's ability to create a film that was powerful and emotional with a decent amount of action as well. I thought the romance was also well handled, though stopping for a kiss when you've only got seconds to spare is just a little too cliche.

Out of this summer's other Marvel films, I'd put it behind X-men: First Class but right next to Thor.

1 comment:

  1. If you want a hard laugh, the older Reb Brown Captain America flicks are a riot. "He's standing two feet in front of you, why did you throw the shield? For that matter, HOW DID YOU MISS?"

    I was expecting it to be a port of the first issue of The Ultimates, and was pleasantly surprised to see it had some elements of that story but branched out into its own thing. The "War Bonds Tour" costume made me grin like an idiot, clearly being their way of pointing out how the classic costume plain doesn't work in real life.

    The character growth was clearly the most important aspect of the story, and it was handled very well. While the budding relationship between Cap and Carter was a slow progression (in a natural and organic way) that "good luck" kiss was a bit much. Could have gone without and been arguably more powerful, "we never had that dance" and all.

    In the end I really had an itch to watch Band of Brothers again, and walking out of a movie wanting to immerse myself further in the era presented for two hours is never a bad thing.

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