Posted on Monday, August 08, 2011 at 06:00 PM
The story of Captain America is one that tugs on the heartstrings. It has the usual mantra of “it’s what is inside that counts,” as long as you have a genius scientist notice it and make it happen on the outside. Oh, that’s not 100% true of course. I’m being overly cynical. Perhaps the message is more typical of a Marvel Movie – “Power and Strength matter only in what you choose to do with them, and it is a hero’s heart that makes them heroic.”
I have to admit that Captain America is one of my favorite superheroes. I’ve been reading his comicbook for years. I have something of a soft-spot for the leader with the strong moral code (so strong a moral code that it can often be rendered as a perceived weakness.) Getting the chance to see him on the big screen is a real event for me. So bear that in mind while I dissect the opposition… I mean, negative reviews out there.
3D. I saw the movie in the traditional style – you know, the style where I get my brain to generate perceived 3D as opposed to putting on a pair of glasses and having my brain fooled into believing that a two dimensional image suddenly has depth. All of the negative reviews I have read have listed 3D as one of their chief complaints about the movie. Post-Production 3D doesn’t work and I’m surprised that a year after Avatar: The Last Airbender, we’re still seeing it done. But fortunately we can avoid this complaint and see the movie in 2D.
Too many good characters without anything to do. I don’t even know what to say about this! Someone complained that Stanley Tucci didn’t have enough screentime. If the majority of characters you see in a movie are dynamic and interesting I think you’re seeing something of quality. Captain America has few flat or static characters though there are several characters that are only casually involved in the film and who don’t have as much to do as the central characters. The Howling Commandoes group is one such example. They support Captain America in his pursuit of the Nazi weapons caches in a montage of Captain America being one step ahead of the Red Skull. Yet they seem to have a relationship, a rapport with each other that is complex and intriguing. You don’t get much from them though so we are never given the chance to see deeper into the workings of this group.
A 2 hour long preview for The Avengers. On the one hand I can see this being a fair complaint, but really that’s not the case. The biggest failure of Captain America: The First Avenger, is that the movie’s conclusion and denouement are stifled by the preview for The Avengers. We have to hope that the conclusion of this movie is resolved in The Avengers because we don’t get a feeling that Steve Rogers will have that dance with Ms. Carter. We don’t get to see his recovery from the long cryogenic sleep he’d been forced to undertake. There are so many loose ends at the conclusion that as they introduce characters we haven’t even had the opportunity to meet in the last 2 hours with nary 5 minutes left in the film we feel cheated. And I believe this is a fair assessment. The movie should have ENDED with the hunt for Captain America in the present, offset by the sorrow and memorial in America surrounding his death and disappearance. “He gave his life to save us all” should have been the mantra at the end because that, in essence, is what he did and does. He’s just re-born 70 years later into a world that only slightly resembles the one he left.
You should have had the balls to end the movie with Heartache, Marvel. You should have ended with the suspected death of Captain America and then found him at the start of The Avengers. While I don’t doubt that you’ve got plans for The Avengers and those plans involve so many Big Names that you didn’t feel you could spend the time on finding Captain America and acclimatizing him to the modern world, I worry that because you’ve buried the end of this film in amongst the start of The Avengers you’ve hurt the potential story for The Avengers as a result.
We’ll have to see though. But for me, this was a great movie and I highly recommend it. The last 15 minutes may get confusing and hurt the overall plot arch of the movie, but despite that setback this is good eye candy and a nice bit of summer fun.
4 vibranium shields out of 5.