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 ThorThe First Avenger has renewed my excitement to see the team get together.


Jim Shelley said...

Yep, that was a very good movie. I wish Green Lantern had invested as much time into their characters as this movie did. I also thought they way they skirted the Nazis was interesting. (I was expecting it, but it was nicely done.)

The Angry Lurker said...

Damn I need to see this soon, thanks for the positive review.

Gothridge Manor said...

This is on my list to see. Glad they did it well.

Anthony said...

My wife and I went to see it Sunday and both of us thoroughly enjoyed it.

Of course, Cap has always been one of my favorites.

Alex Osias said...

I did the get the Ultimates and Sentinel of Liberty references from the trailers, but wasn't that enthused.

Good movie, eh? Okay, will rethink watching it in the theaters then!

Unknown said...

Been looking forward to this all summer. Alas, I won't get to see it until next week at the earliest.

Shane Mangus said...

"Hydra seemed less Nazi and more Cobra at times"

Interestingly enough, I read an article Jim Shooter (once Editor In Chief at Marvel) posted on his blog about the "secret origins" of G.I. Joe. Something that goes along with your statement about Hydra reminding you of Cobra, when Hasbro approached Marvel about helping them develop a new line of G.I. Joe toys. At that time a new Nick Fury reboot was already in the works, and it sounds like the work already put into that was re-skinned for G.I. Joe, so in a round about way Hydra and Cobra have more than a passing similarity to one another.

Here is the link for those interested:


For all the True Believers out there, make sure you check out Jim's entire blog. He has some fascinating stories to read.

Trey said...

@Shane - I had heard about the Hydra/Cobra link, but I was unaware of Shooter's blog. Thanks for the link!

Needles said...

Nice link Shane & damn it I need to see this movie right now!

Martin R. Thomas said...

Interesting - my wife also thought it was the best superhero film of the Summer, whereas I wasn't quite as impressed as her.

That's not to say that I didn't like it. I think part of it comes down to expectations. I expected Thor to be awful, and was generally pleasantly surprised by how well done I thought it was, taking a character that is relatively unknown outside of comic fandom, and one that's a bit tough to handle (he's not as accessible as the more familiar Superman, Batman, or even Cap), and turning it into a good movie.

For Cap, I think my expectations were higher, and therefore I wasn't as impressed. Hopefully that made sense.

One thing I was a little bit surprised at was how the entirety of the Cap movie takes place in WW2. I guess I figured that they'd do at least part of the movie in the modern day era after they find him. (And I don't count the post-credits snippet as being "at least part of the movie").

Trey said...

@Martin - I think your on to something there about expectations. I think all the recent hero films have been well done, but now that's become my expectation of them, so I'm going to begin to want more.

bliss_infinte said...

Great flick and thanks for the review. I enjoyed it a ton and thought they did the retro WWII thing great.

And the post-credit tail-- words can't describe!

Xyanthon said...

For years Cap seemed to have been relegated to a second rate cheeseball. Now with the whole Ultimate bit and the subsequent revamp in the main line MU, he's quickly become one of my favorites. I am so going to see this when I head back Stateside next week. I'm planning on taking Bear to see Thor on Friday. I figure it'll be a great way for me to spend some father son time so we can geek out together.

The Happy Whisk said...

I can't read this blog yet because we're going to see it tonight. But I wanted to stop in and say howdy.

Hope work is going well and that's you're having a groovy day.

Trey said...

Hey Whisk. I hope you guys enjoy the film my day is falling short of groovy, but not too far. ;)

The Happy Whisk said...

At least it's not too far from groovy. Here's hoping tomorrow is 100% groovy.

That would make a fun blog title for me. 100% Groovy. Now I just gotta come up with a post.

Thinking ... thinking ... oh, I got distracted by this toasted bagel.

Catch you next time.

Greg Gorgonmilk said...

I really enjoyed it. Howie Stark made the movie for me really. The romance angle felt a little forced, but all in all a solid Marvel picture. (We need more of those!)

Trey said...

Amen to that, Greg.

The Happy Whisk said...

I thought Tommy Lee Jones was funny when he said he was gonna cry. Something about that guy. He delivers his lines so naturally.

Didn't care for all the singing. Could have done with a lot less.

The romance didn't bother me in Captain America but it did drive me nuts in Green Lantern. I kept hoping the female would get killed off.

No such luck.