Random Thoughts (Not a Review!) on Captain America

I finally caught Captain America last night. It’s funny that Comic Con 2011 was the reason I wasn’t able to attend a screening or catch it on opening night. My initial feeling was that it’s a fantastic movie — up there with the recent Iron Man and Batman films. Certainly it’s better than Thor, which I enjoyed earlier this year. However, I can’t help but wonder if I’m being overly enthusiastic about Captain America because I was traumatized by the last superhero movie I saw (the amazingly crappy Green Lantern). Perhaps writing down random thoughts will help me figure it out. Prepare for musings and spoilers!!!

– Chris Evans was a fantastic Steve Rogers. I enjoyed him goofing it up in The Fantastic Four and being a Hollywood parody in Scott Pilgrim, but I wasn’t sure if he could pull off Captain America. He totally did. I was impressed by how he flipped between sincere and commanding throughout the movie. He showed range and depth, unlike Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern.

– The way the movie was written, Cap didn’t have any training. He went from receiving the Super Soldier Serum to hocking war bonds to becoming an amazingly skilled combatant with a tactical mind and the ability to fly airplanes. Yes, the Super Soldier Serum granted Cap increased strength, durability, and stamina, but where did the new skills come from?!? Perhaps I missed the part where Dr. Erskine injected him with Tactical Genius Serum and How to Fly a Plane Serum.

– I really enjoyed the tone of the movie. It was innocent, positive, and uplifting. Most of the scenes took place during a time when America was rapidly on its way to becoming the most amazing country in the world. It’s such a stark contrast to the tone of America today. The country has problems and ridiculous politicians — on both sides — are making maters worse. America is in a lull at best or in an irreversible decline at worst. Captain America gave me a feel-good vibe that made me miss my idea of America as a teenager.

– Hugo Weaving was great as Red Skull. On paper, this character should be completely ridiculous. Weaving made him fearsome and believable. More importantly, I stopped thinking of him as Agent Smith from The Matrix. One of my fears going into the movie was that I’d constantly expect Red Skull to say (in Agent Smith’s voice), “Mr. Rogers…we’ve been expecting you.” That only happened once (maybe twice).

– Hayley Atwell was brilliant as Cap’s love interest, Peggy Carter. She was strong, capable, and sexy-as-hell. I wish more Hollywood love interests were like her. I’m so tired of damsels in distress (in movies anyway). The writers made her look silly for a few minutes by including a completely unnecessary jealousy scene that added nothing to the movie. Aside from that, she rocked it.

– I was pleasantly surprised by Tommy Lee Jones. He’s mostly bugged the crap out of me for the last decade. He also made a pathetic Two-Face in Batman Forever. Jones deftly portrayed an intimidating colonel that delivered fantastic comedic lines. It would have been easy to make this character completely silly, but Jones did a great job at portraying a believable military leader with surprising humor.

– The shield usage was powerful, but never ridiculous. The fight choreographer did a great job at making the shield a natural part of Cap’s fighting style. The shield also made a satisfying “thunk” when it hit Nazis. I was worried that the director would go nuts with crazy shield ricochets, but that never happened.

– At the end of the day, I enjoyed Captain America for being a great superhero movie with an unusually positive tone. Most superhero movies strive for a gritty realism that attracts hardcore fans and adults or excessive comedy that attracts kids and general viewers. Captain America, being the (Western) paragon of the Marvel Universe, is way different from the X-Men, Batman, Iron Man, etc. He’s supposed to stand for something bigger than himself. He’s supposed to inspire. This movie reflects all that. The cast and crew did a wonderful job at crafting an uplifting superhero film.

Author: RPadTV


5 thoughts on “Random Thoughts (Not a Review!) on Captain America”

  1. I saw capt america too over the weekend and it felt it to me something was missing. I left the theater feeling a little underwhelmed. I was hoping you would post ur not a review so maybe we could talk about it and maybe i'll feel better or worse about it. I really didnt like the bonus scene at the end but the trailer did get me a little excited for the avengers but im still wondering when theyre going to add the hulk because from the trailer shield does eventually capture loki.

    1. Even if S.H.I.E.L.D. does capture Loki, he should still be fully capable of mind controlling Hulk from wherever he is. He is a god after all.

      I haven't seen it yet, but I get the feeling that no matter what the magnitude of what Cap is just can't be translated to screen in one or even 2 movies. I was thinking about this while thinking of my underwhelment over Thor. Hear me out…

      With these characters in particular, there is a VERY long history for them in the comics. With Thor in the comics… alot for me was left to imagination. In order to make a character like that fit into a realistic setting… you would have to bend the suspension of disbelief quite a bit.That said, Brannagh kinda kicked it's ass. I thought all the Asgard scenes were awesome and well done. Thor on Earth though wasn't a believable performance in my opinion. I don't know if that was more actor or director or a combination of both that caused that.

      Cap… has this majestic background in the comics that stems from reminiscence of a time in our culture that is long gone. Before the economy crashed, before Iraq, before 9/11, before OJ, before Reagan, before Vietnam and Nixon, and before the JFK assassination… there was Cap in a culture that trusted our government to a degree that it's never been at since the JFK assassination. That is what Cap means to me. He represents the happiness I saw in those old 50's sitcoms like Donna Reed and Lassie. Cap isn't just a superhero as Ray said… he's an icon meant to inspire.

      Translating that to film has to be an immense task that I'm not quite sure is entirely possible due to how culture has changed.

    2. I liked the bonus scene a lot more on the big screen than on YouTube. Same goes for the Spider-Man trailer. Both of them looked way more funny at the theater.

      Are you sure SHIELD captures Loki? Or is Loki controlling a bunch of SHIELD grunts?

      As for Hulk, I don't expect a ton of him. It's a new actor and the CG would be expensive. I'm guessing they'll save his scenes for money shots.

      For me, the movie hinges on Jeremy Renner. Hawkeye has often been the heart and conscious of The Avengers, similar to how Martian Manhunter is the heart and soul of the Justice League. Hawkeye was great in that anti-authority role, always giving Captain America and Iron Man crap.

      1. Oh you got me on that one Rpad. It probably is the other way around. I'm really looking forward to the avengers now.

  2. I was hoping this was going to be a decent movie. Sounds like it is from your not review :)

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