Thursday, July 28, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

How many Comic Book movies does that make now just for the last four months? Not that I'm complaining or anything I've seen most of the biggies and I'd have to say I'm about 65% satisfied with the lot of them. But I do think in the future it might behoove these film companies to spread the spandex out just a little bit. For instance having Thor, Green Lantern, X-Men: First Class, Transformers 3D and Captain America all come out within 4 months of each other was kind of overkill. Which brings me to my next point about Cap's box office haul opening weekend last week, it had pretty good reviews and opened to a solid 65 million. Yes, that's a pretty solid opening for a superhero that isn't enjoying Spider-Man size popularity across the board. But honestly, it should have been bigger, which makes me think it had something to do with Cape and spandex fatigue. I mean after all the bloated shit the U.S. has had to deal over the last few years in addition to real super soldiers from Seal Team 6 putting two in Osama's face, there was no doubt in my mind that a guy who wears a star spangled shield and is named Captain America kicking the Nazi's ass in WWII was, and frankly should, be number 1 at the box office for three straight weeks. America, Fuck Yeah!
Weakly Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), is determined to join the Army to fight the Nazis at whatever cost. He may be a 90 pound asthmatic weakling but he's got courage and heart which count for a lot. He's denied several times at various recruiting stations until a kindly scientist, Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) offers him the chance to serve his country by being the first test subject for a Super Soldier Program.  Cap gets to join forces with the Howling Commandos; his old pal Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Gabe Jones (Derek Luke), Dum Dum Dugan (Neal McDonough), Jim Morita (Kenneth Choi), James Montgomery Falsworth (JJ Feild) and Jaques Dernier (Bruno Ricci). Their mission is to bring down the science division of the S.S, Hydra, led by Johann Schmidt aka. The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) and his toady scientist Dr. Arnim Zola (Toby Jones). Cap gets some extra support from his gal Peggy Carter (Haley Atwell) a British agent who is fiesty, smart and gorgeous. Also from the craggy Col. Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Billionaire industrialist and father of Iron Man Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper).
As a fan of the comics and the Avengers it's easy to forget when you are reading about this adonis with the super shield actually started as a weakling. You get a few random sketches of him, in those books, as a thin rail but most of the story he's already Captain America with his heightened strength, speed and agility. So for the film it was really great seeing the Cap you know and love in the body of this little runt. It really gives the performance a lot more weight. Yes at times it was a bit hokey and the script wasn't perfect. But it really captured the essence of the time period, that spirit of the Greatest Generation and Evans' Steve Rogers embodies that perfectly. I really did enjoy this flick, director Joe Johnson has, for the second time, been successful in transporting me back to the early part of the 20th Century. The first was the Rocketeer from 1991, a truly fun flick if you haven't seen it I recommend you check it out on Netflix. Cap also fits in nicely to the larger story that everyone, including myself have been waiting for, The Avengers. There is a great teaser trailer for it after the credit sequence, it's like being a kid at Christmas. It's a truly fun flick and if you are looking to just get away and see something that will make you feel good to be an American, where it seems like the "Can do Spirit" still exists. So avoid the Smurfs, go and see something worth a damn, God Bless America!
Grade: 3 Buckets


Speck said...

The first half of the movie was downright awesome.

But once cap went on his mission to free the POVs it fell apart. It was like there was another 2 hours chopped into 45 minutes. Out of place montages, no more character development, action scenes that went too fast with no set up, and the red skull went limp.

The howling commandos? Had no clue that was their name til I read this. all those actors were wasted.

I was really disappointed how quickly it faltered. Especially again after the really great first half.

Jeff said...

Yes I will agree that the first half was awesome and that they cut out some good character development for the Howling Commandos but I wouldn't say it fell apart. I think if anything Cap suffered from what Iron Man 2 and Thor suffered under--the build up to the Avengers movie. As much as I get giddy for the crossovers it does detract from these stand-alone films. Cap probably suffers the worst from this when they sped up the end, his disappearance and cryo freeze only to be thawed in the 21st Century. But otherwise it's still, in my mind, a solid fun flick.