Friday, July 22, 2011
Captain America: The First Avenger
Is it just me or have we had too many superhero movies this summer? I like comic book films, at least in theory, but I'm happy to report that 'Captain America: The First Avenger' is the last one of the year, and summer blockbuster season is finally almost over. After 'Thor', 'X-Men: First Class', 'Green Lantern', and 'Captain America', I'm ready for a break. And the winner of this contest of champions? 'X-Men: First Class' by a mile. Hands down. 'Thor' and 'Green Lantern' really weren't even competition. But now on to the man of the hour, or at least the 1940's.
Chris Evans, who already lost his Marvel comic book movie virginity in two Fantastic Four films, stars as the man in red, white, and blue. He's a scrawny, yet uncommonly brave and patriotic man who just wants to serve his country during the second World War. He just doesn't have the physique for it. So he undergoes an experimental treatment that turns him buff and tough. And another super hero is born ... err ... made. And, of course, what would a super hero be without a super villain who arises at the same time? Enter, the Red Skull.
I can't really find a lot specifically wrong with the film but I also can't really find anything particularly good about it. It's your standard super hero story. World War II always makes for a good setting and Nazis always make for good villains, (I hate those guys), but even that wasn't very interesting here. I initially liked Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull, but quickly found myself wishing they had cast Christoph Waltz instead, who should be the evil Nazi in every World War II film. And the love interest played by Hayley Atwell just struck me as a poor man's Kate Beckinsale. And unfortunately even the great Stanley Tucci was a bore in his supporting role. How is that even possible? I will however give some props to Tommy Lee Jones, who's always fun to watch, and is the best part of the film, but wasn't given enough screen time.
The only other noteworthy thing about the movie is how they made Evans look so scrawny at the beginning. Ah, the magic of Hollywood and the wonders of CGI. (Of course, I was equally amazed at a similar technique in 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'.)
So should you see this movie? I personally wouldn't recommend it unless you just really want to be up to date on all the origin stories before next summer's hugely anticipated blockbuster 'The Avengers' featuring Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, the Black Widow, Hawkeye, and that cagey Nick Fury played by Samuel Jackson who pops up in each of these films. For that reason alone I suppose it may be worth a watch for the comic book geek in you. But really, it's just not that fun. Red, White and Blah.