Saturday, July 23, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

Marvel Comics rolled out yet another superhero this weekend in the form of the red, white, and blue-cloaked Captain America.  This seems to be the summer of the superhero and, not being a fan boy, I have enjoyed the all of the movies thus far.  A friend of mine, who grew up reading these comics, has not liked them very much, but I haven’t had much issue with them.  They all have entertained me and that is all I ask for in a movie.

Captain America: The First Avenger is not a big fan of historical accuracy and I don’t how closely it follows the comic creation of the patriotic superhero.  Keeping in mind it is a movie about a scientifically enhanced super soldier and not a World War II documentary,  I tried to forget the rewriting of history and just enjoy the movie.

Good action and a cool villain (The Matrix’s Hugo Weaving), plus decent special effects kept the film moving along.  Chris Evans in the title role was a bit stiff and stuffy but his character was easy to cheer for.  Stanley Tucci’s mad scientist was a big enough role for the talented actor.  He provided most of the film’s humor in his brief stint and veteran Tommy Lee Jones added his talents as the crusty army commander.  The lovely Hayley Atwell is the love interest, although her character’s presence isn’t fully explained. 

As with Thor and Green Lantern, I have few complaints with this beat-the summer-heat offering.  The plotline broke few barriers for originality and wasn’t hard to follow.   As with the previous superhero films, there will be no awards won by cast and crew.  As with the others, it is set up to have a sequel, ending very abruptly.  It wrapped up the main story line but had every intention of not answering some key questions.  Marvel Comics has been intent on setting up the Avengers, so I see a big movie involving all of these heroes in the next summer or two.  As with all super hero movies, enjoy it for what it is.  It is better than Thor and Green Lantern but it is no Spiderman, Dark Knight, or even Iron Man.

I attended the early Saturday afternoon show and the theater was nearly full.  It surprised me a little because I went to the same show last week for Harry Potter and wasn’t near as full.  Evidently, Captain America is bigger than I thought.

As with all others of this genre of film, it carries a PG-13 rating.  It does so for a reason.  It does contain a couple of rather grisly scenes and the villain, Red Skull, could frighten younger children.  If you are a fan of this genre of film, I can’t imagine not having fun with this one.  It definitely is less alien, more human, than the aforementioned hero films of the summer.  Chris Evans is not as likable as Ryan Reynolds or Chris Hemsworth but he is adequate enough.  As with all the other super hero movies this summer, lean back, grub on some popcorn, and just let go.  Have fun everyone.  The super hero genre has not run out of gas yet.

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