Friday, July 22, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger - Review

Just got back from this and here are my impressions.

The good:
This was a superbly constructed film! It hit the right beats at the right time. The casting was brilliant with Agent Carter looking like she lept out of 1941 and Lee Jones playing a military leader with pitch perfect precision. Weaving was believably mad but smart as Red Skull and I could go on down the list of actors. Everyone felt like they fit snug in their role.

The action sequences were so much fun to watch. One really got the sensation of danger and violence present on the battlefield and Steve Rogers’ combat style fit within the context. Explosions abound and its a hyper-stimulating feast for the ears and eyes.

I also enjoyed how the cosmic cube was linked to Thor movie mythology. That was a clever add-on which lent a feeling of wholeness to the Avengers franchise-in-the-making. I’m always concerned this will be overdone but so far so good.

The less good:
I had a bit of an issue with shot compositions sometimes when certain elements seemed to obstruct the view of what was the subject of scenes, but it was a very minimal issue. Blame it on 3d?

The fact that this was set in the 40s made the “rah rah rah stay true to your country” flavor of the film a little more palatable. And there is not too little of it. There is enough in fact that I wasn’t sure how comfortable I was with it. The writers lept at the opportunity to place a representative of each American ethnicity in Captain America’s rag tag crew of soldiers. Irish, black, french english, asian. Because after all America is home of the free and land of the brave *wink wink*. And Steve of course, despite being reticent at being a spokesperson for war bonds still went a ahead with it because hey “anything for my country”. Though you could argue that the script provided a balanced counterpoint when “chorus line” cap goes to entertain the troops but is received poorly by the war-worn soldiers in the trenches. But that point was made superficially at best. Relating to this, Steve’s reasons for enlisting in the army were not to kill but rather to stop bullies. I appreciate this sentiment but I doubt anyone in the audience saw this as anything other than a generic oversimplification.

All that being said, I have to admit that there’s practically no successful way of dealing with this character in an action flick without blazing past some of weightier issues associated with it. So to be honest, this film did just about the best job it could faced with the task it had to accomplish. The film took Captain America from then to now and dealt with its war era roots and ended by displacing him to a more fictional straight-up superhero context.

I was entertained, I was dazzled and I had a good time with this movie. And I’m glad Captain America in the future will probably be more of an international superheroic leader and less of a poster boy for American patriotic sentiment.

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1 comment:

  1. Been hearing nothing but good things from the fans about this! Probably won`t end up seeing it in theaters, so I`ll patiently wait for the blu-ray in a couple of months.