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Captain America: The First Avenger

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  • Captain America: The First Avenger

    Just came from a showing of Captain America: The First Avenger at the Ward Theater. I was kind of surprised that this movie was still being shown.

    As a superhero action movie it does the job pretty okay. Tommy Lee Jones gets off of a couple of one-liners early on in the movie. The Red Skull (the bad guy) has a cool set of wheels (car) while attempting, well I don't know if he was trying to rule the world or blow it up.

    For this movie it kind of helps to be familar with the Marvel Universe, I don't remember anyone mentioning the character played by Neal McDonough by name in the movie (which is Dum Dum Dugan).

    If you do see this movie you will need to stay past the credits as they show a preview to another movie that opens in May 2012.

  • #2
    Re: Captain America: The First Avenger

    Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
    Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Stanley Tucci. Directed by Joe Johnston

    You know how, in those side-scrolling video games of your youth, you were so familiar with the early levels that you could guide your character quickly to the boss monster, running, leaping, punching, slashing, and firing your way past a hundred no-longer-challenging minions and pitfalls? There are sequences in Captain America: The First Avenger like that, and if you don’t overthink them, they’re pretty fun to watch.

    Chris Evans is Steve Rogers, a scrawny young man trying and failing to enlist in the Army to serve his country in World War II. He’s beset with a shopping list of physical ailments that keep him out, but so sincere and pure are his motives that he’s an ideal candidate for a scientific military experiment that turns him into a super soldier.

    I’m kind of a superhero newbie, and it seems that superpowers are the
    result of military ambition, science experiments gone haywire, or alien birth. Of these, I suppose the military angle is most believable, but it comes with an underlying cynicism that works against my sensibilities. I once scoffed at the rich guys with expensive toys because they don’t actually have superpowers, but their stories are dark enough for my tastes while not originating with physical and mental abuse by the government.

    Despite these ignoble beginnings, Steve Rogers adds enough brains and
    earnestness to rise above the intentions of his creators and become an admirable hero without cheap sentiment. My only experience (at all, in any medium) with Captain America before now had been the first Avengers film, in which he was mysteriously bland and poorly defined. I’d missed Captain America in theaters, and after The Avengers, I was in no hurry to get caught up. But then one Captain America film became three, and for some reason, I recently decided I wanted to be completely fluent in the lore of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, and I was pleased to discover such a likeable, vulnerable hero. Apparently, one needn’t be the Dark Knight to be a tortured soul with a reason to kick butt.

    Supporting characters in this film are interesting if cartoonish, but I guess you can’t really complain about comic book characters being cartoonish, so I won’t. I won’t even complain about the main villain’s ridiculous visage. There’s a canon that needs to be served, and I’m a visitor in this world, so I’ll accept the Red Skull on its terms.

    Captain America: The First Avenger is a fun, engaging movie with a reasonable explanation for the dorky name and costume, and the kind of main character I want to see more of.

    7/10 (IMDb rating)
    74/100 (Criticker rating)
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)