Curse of the Chupacabra

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

FINALLY! A Superhero I Can Get A Little Obsessed About

I know I'm going to get a lot of slack for this, but I was not a fan of 'Thor'; and I know I'm NOT going to get any slack for this, but I was not a fan of 'Green Lantern' either.  I was beginning to worry.  Not since the first 'Iron Man' movie have I walked out of the movie theatre, grateful for the movie adaptation of a comic book… until now.

'Captain America: The First Avenger' is not a perfect movie; however, it has many of the right elements that make this film a fun and exciting two hours.  After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals.

First, let me get the piece of bad criticism out of the way first, which in reality, isn't all that bad.  My biggest let down was that 'Captain America' was missing that "Wow" factor.  Sure, it had great action!  Sure, it had great special effects!  Sure, it had a big musical number with music and lyrics by Disney's Hercules team, Alan Menken and David Zippel!  But it was missing that extra bit of "zing" that catapults a good movie into a great movie.  This would be partly, if not wholly due to the Captain's relationships with the people around him.  His relationship with the girl, the best friend, the villain… all well acted but lacking in chemistry with star attraction (pun intended).

That aside, there are many, many fantastic details about this film.  Director Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park 3, The Rocketeer) creates a rich and detailed world set at the height of World War II.  I, personally, am obsessed with Hollywood's reenactment of the World War II area, with 'Where Eagles Dare' being one of my favorite films, if it is done right.  'Captain America' does it right with detailed costuming (love Captain America's final costume) and art direction, I even noticed some of the extras acting with the mindset of a person from the 1940's, as if they had an acting coach to tell them how their action would have been performed back then.  The look of the film would also not be possible if not for Shelly Johnson's wonderful cinematography.  But I think the other star of the film would be the special effects.  The team behind transforming Chris Evan's flawless physique into a short, scrawny beat-upable pip-squeak for many, many scenes was an amazing achievement.

As mentioned previous, even though I did not feel a lot of chemistry between Chris Evans and his supporting cast, I did think there was no bad acting.  Everyone did what was needed of them.  The all-American looking Chris Evans made a fine Captain America, Hayley Atwell (The Duchess) was good when as the tough-as-nails Sergeant Peggy Carter, Sebastian Stan (Black Swan, The Covenant) was fine as the best friend, Bucky Barnes, and Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive, Men in Black) was his typical snippy self as Colonel Chester Phillips; however, I did think there were two performances that stood out above the others.  Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, V for Vendetta) as the sinister Red Skull who sets out an evil and diabolical quest that would make Hitler look like the recipient of the Good Samaritan of the year award, and Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones, The Devil Wears Prada) as Dr. Abraham Erskine, who is the one actor that I feel really connects with Chris Evan's.

All in all, I definitely recommend 'Captain America: The First Avenger despite its shortcomings.  And if you're the type who, when leaving a movie theatre, like to feel the passion and vigor of American patriotism, there is no shortage of that here.  Come on, it is called Captain AMERICA.  What else did you expect?

Oh! And apparently there is a "teaser trailer" after the credits for The Avengers, although I cannot comment about this as Paramount decided NOT to add it during our screening.  Bastards.


  1. Oh yes, Mr. Thor Hater, you deserve all kinds of hate mail! ;-)

  2. Whatever!!! Let's ask the critic from the NY Times to see if I'm right or not.

  3. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times grades the movie a three out of four stars and calls Captain America a "hero we care about." He adds, "As we plunge ahead into a limitless future of comic-book movies, let this be an inspiration rather than 'Thor' or 'Green Lantern.'"

    - LOL, I didn't know Roger Ebert felt the same about Thor!

  4. OK, apparently I had read this and I just forgot! LOL!



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