Friday, July 22, 2011

Clif-Notes: Captain America - The First Avenger

I love me Captain America. Have for many a year. So you may be able to imagine how excited I was for this movie and how scared I was that they would ruin everything I had hoped for. Thankfully, this movie did not disappoint.
Story is the simple one that most comic fans know. Small, pathetic Steve Rogers wants to serve his country but can never get accepted until a secret, experimental serum turns him into the Super Soldier, Captain America. Now he can fight the the Red Skull and his Nazi army and save us all from their threats.
In a smart move, the movie actually begins with people finding the frozen Cap shield. It then flashes back to the story of how it came to be. I really liked this approach. Sets a certain anticipation for where and how it all finishes out (see, I can sound smart).
But I'm done sounding smart. This movie was plain fun. Other than the slower set-up at the start, once the action started, it never stopped. Cap and the Commandos hit Hydra base after Hydra base. Nazis flying through the air, Cap kicking names and taking ass. The way it should be. However, the fast pace did hurt in two areas for me. The "death" of Bucky (spoiler alert) felt out of place. It seemed like they almost threw a dart at a board for where they would place the scene. Moving so fast, it didn't feel like it mattered as much as it should have. Same thing with the final battle with Red Skull. It sorta just... happened. Nothing big and leading. But I'm ok with them still. It's more a case of what I wanted and expected as opposed to what kind of job they did with it.
Overall, as a comparison, I would say the writing of Captain America was on par with that of Thor. Awesome action, some cheesy lines, a good, fluid story. However, I have to give the edge to Thor because of Kenneth Branagh's directing. Nothing against Joe Johnston and I know that Thor and Cap are two completely movies and feels but it's my comparison so stifle it. Branagh brought a certain class (to a movie that needed the class) while Johnston brought fast action (to a movie that needed fast action). It was just prettier. Thor was visually better than Cap so I give it the edge but that takes nothing away from Cap.
It was awesome and cool and awesome and you should see it. And stay for that Avengers teaser at the end of the credits. You know, in case you were deciding to leave early.

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