24 minutes ago
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield
I managed to pull myself away from SDCC to see Captain America: The First Avenger while I was out there. My verdict: Best superhero film of the year. It doesn't really do anything surprising, but it does what you expect it to do very well.
The film follows familiar lines, as telegraphed by the trailer. "The formula that made a man out of Steve Rogers!' with bits from the Ultimate Universe and the 1991 limited series The Adventures of Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty. A few new twists have Bucky being the senior partner in their duo (at first) and Cap as a war bonds sales performer before becoming a real soldier.
The World War II period is pretty well evoked (at least for a film like this)--it was certainly more convincing that X-Men: First Class' 1960s. True, its Hydra seemed less Nazi and more Cobra at times (in fact, Nazis seemed to have been oddly verboten in this WWII film), but by the time they're playing a major role, the story was moving along too fast for me to care.
This film had to carry the weight of all Marvel references from the previous films to get them to the upcoming Avengers movie. It could have easily collapsed under their weight, but the script handles the cosmic cube, the Howling Mad Commandos (if not in name), and Howard (father of Tony) Stark as if they were all there naturally and not as fan service. As always, stay through the credits for the inevitable link to the next film.
After the (slight) dissappointment (or maybe just weariness of the genre) with Thor, The First Avenger has renewed my excitement to see the team get together.