Captain America Review

captain_america_the_first_avenger_ver6While I admired Superman, The Sentinel of Liberty was my childhood icon. I loved the 60’s cartoon, that crappy 1990 flick, owned alot of merchandise, dressed up for Halloween, and even took pictures with a guy in costume at Wizard World Philly back in 96′ when I was a kid.

The embodiment of USA ideals (liberty, equality, democracy, opportunity, and rights) that this cynical world we live in desperately needs. So this film was the one I was anticipating the most out of Marvel Studios’ slate.

With a production cost of 140 million dollars, the canvas was larger, grander, and more epic then Thor‘s 150 masses. Joe Johnston’s previous directorial work on Rocketeer (which was the first movie I ever saw in the theater) paid off in fold. It certainly redeemed himself after that letdown called a Wolf Man remake.

Chris Evans became one of my favorite actors over last few years (those abysmal Fantastic Four films, Cellular, The Losers). Unlike Ryan Renyolds, he made the transition from being a Jokester to serious / dramatic actor (with occasional humor) smoothly. He absolutely pulled off Steve Rogers, The Little Guy from Brooklyn before and after the Super-Soldier experiment. I still stand by my early statement about the frail effect.

Hugo Weaving is a chameleon. The man embodies every role he plays (Agent Smith, V, Megatron) and The Red Skull is no exception. Glad he was an Übermensch that can go toe to toe with Winghead as opposed to his comics counterpart who was human. I didn’t mind Hydra being the antagonists instead of The Nazis. They’re involved (Hydra being the science division), just not at the forefront. Stanley Tucci (Dr. Erkskine) followed in the footsteps of mentorship left by Shaun Toub (Yinsen) very well. Tommy Lee Jones (Colonel Chester Phillips) definitely earns an award for Most Funny Pick-Up Lines. You care about Steve’s friendship with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in the amount of screentime they have together.

I was also skeptical about the USO sequence. The last thing anybody wants to see is the superhero himself singing and dancing on Broadway (Spider-Man and Batman not withstanding), but thankfully that didn’t happen. Still, The Star Spangled Man written by Alen Menken was a catchy song. But also in context, Steve inbleshes it a little before being hit (literally and figuratively) by the harsh reality of World War II.

Alan Silvertri (the Back to The Future trilogy, Predator 1 & 2, Judge Dredd) delivers a magnificent score. I’d say the Captain America March is a close second to John Williams’ Man of Steel rally.

However, I didn’t like The Misunderstanding cliche thrown into the ligament Love Story for being the reason Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) shoots at Steve shown in the trailers prior. (Nothing against his acting) Dominic Cooper came across more young Tony then Howard Stark. He clearly was the most youthful person there compared to the rest of the supporting cast. Even resembling Robert Downey Jr. then the other guys that played his character’s father (Gerard Sandars and John Slattery). I don’t see the connections between them.

Neal McDonough (STF: The Legend of Drama Queen) was another Ray Stevenson (Volstagg). Completely miscast, popping through the Dum Dum Dugan makeup, and blatantly wearing padding underneath his military jacket to make him look overweight. Also, there should’ve been an extended scene with The Howling Commandos (Derek Luke, Kenneth Choi, and Bruno Ricci) stumble at first then triumph in one their missions to blow up the Hydra facilities rather then splicing all of it in a montage.

But aside from those minor complaints, it blew all the other big comic book movies (one good and the other pitiful) out of the ballpark this year.

Rating: 9

Next year, Avengers Assemble. While the after-credits preview had me pumped, it still bugs me though to see Mark Ruffalo and not Edward Norton as Bruce Banner aka The Hulk.

With Thor’s look, it appears they’ve gone back to one of Alexandra Bryne’s early concepts. My only gripe about Cap’s new threads are the white stripes on the shoulders.

Anyway still looking forward to this culmination of the past three years despite the recasts, miscasts, speed-bumps, and shortcomings.