Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Captain America: The First Avenger

July 26, 2011

Captain America is probably the cheesiest of all the Marvel superheroes, with his star-spangled, red, white and blue costume and all. Maybe that was why this was the last solo Avenger movie to be released before the big Unified movie next summer. This hero was really very dated, so they had to go "period" on him and tackle his origin in World War II era. I do not think there can be a second solo Captain America film after this. I think it will really be difficult to create cool solo movie about the Captain in the modern time.

Although the face looked a bit awkward, the computer-edited scrawny body of pre-serum Steve Rogers was the most impressive visual effect in the movie for me. It looked very realistic and Chris Evans effectively captured that character's good heart and gallantry. The rest of the special effects in the movie were merely variations of effects we have seen before in all of these super hero films we have been seeing lately.

Don't get me wrong. This is not really a bad movie. In fact, if you like old-fashioned style movie-making, this one was quite a spectacle in set and costume design for the 1940s. The camera work and the color palette was also very well done to bring us back to those war years. Behind Chris Evans, the supporting cast led by Tommy Lee Jones, Dominic Cooper, Hugo Weaving and Stanley Tucci was also very good. Leading lady Hayley Atwell was a little like a young Geena Davis. Their acting with a sense of humor effectively keeps Chris Evans' heroic posturings from becoming completely corny.

The main limitation of this film is the very limited story. I felt it was just prolonged by repeatedly redundant war scenes pitting men (led by CA) vs. the robo- cop-looking, laser-gun toting army of the Red Skull. There also seems to be very limited things that Captain America was capable of doing, well, aside from miraculously escaping everything the enemy shot or hurled at him using his mighty shield. Ultimately however, I felt disappointed because I think the trailer already showed us too much. There was nothing much else in the movie that wasn't already seen in the trailer. There was only that exciting ending in Times Square and the Avengers clip at the end of the credits that buoyed up the day.

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