Last weekend was movie night, and the choice was between "Cowboys & Aliens From the Makers of Iron Man" (or something) and "Captain America: The First Avenger But The Last Avenger To Get A Movie". We had heard identical reviews regarding both movies, so we decided to let IMDB.com decide for us. Lo and behold, Cap' got a very respectable 7.2 while Cowboys & Aliens had a 6.5.
I had seen the trailers for the movie, and while I wasn't exactly fluent with the 'Captain America' storyline, I knew enough to get by. Basically this was going to be the last big blockbuster movie before they made the 'Avengers' movie which is scheduled for next year, and I was eager for what I was told would be a slightly 'different' superhero movie, since this would be set back in the late 1930's. Plus, Captain America is supposed to be the big daddy-O of the Avengers, the Superman of the Marvel Universe.
That being said, I haven't seen a good Superman movie since - well I've never seen a good Superman movie. I guess that in itself should have been warning enough.
Let's just say the first quarter of the movie was spent marveling at the technology we have at hand these days, technology that is able to make Chris Evans look like a scrawny 5'0" do-gooder that is thoroughly deserving of being beaten up by bullies. Set during WWII, the movie starts of with Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) being a total badass in some Polish church, in order to retrieve some mythical and magical cube that seems completely out of place in the year 1930. Cut to Steve Rogers, a diminutive little dwarf that is frustrated that he can't seem to clear any medical exam that will allow him to enlist in the army. Such is his desire to get killed for his country that he attracts the attention of Stanly Tucci, who plays Dr. Abraham Erskine (quite easily the most memorable character in the movie). Stanley Tucci plays his part to perfection, as always, and I was sad that he didn't have a larger role in the movie.
|It's every nerd's dream!|
Moving swiftly along (and without giving too much away), Steve Rogers is miraculously turned into Captain America (i.e., Chris Evans in all his chiseled glory) and is promptly hit upon by Hayley Atwell, who plays Peggy Carter - a rather stern and serious looking agent for the secret army wing responsible for the Captain America project. Cue the awkward romance, the whole "I'm not used to being a Greek god so I don't know how to behave around women" charade, followed by the "Oh I'm not interested in your bulging biceps and pulsing pectorals, I'm drawn to the only remnants of your crippled former self, i.e. your heart, which just so happens to be invisible to the human eye and therefore tolerable". Needless to say, it was terribly awkward, and seemed more suited for some high school chick flick rather than (supposedly) the mother of all Marvel superhero movies.
|"Why, Captain.. what a big - err - heart you have!"|
I don't want to give too much away of the story, but I will say this - it was not very good. While there were some humorous moments, and some very nice action sequences, the rest of the movie seemed completely at odds with each other. The level of technology that the Germans secretly possessed was just totally out of sync with the setting, and even if this was the original story based in the comics, I feel that it's one thing to read about it in a comic book and something totally different to see it on the big screen.
To conclude, the latter part of the movie was spent predicting how the cliched story lines would end, down to the dialogues (T is my witness - I called it out flawlessly) and the ending. The final fight sequence was terrible, but the ending showed promise. However, the dialogue towards the grand finale was so pathetically stale that it robbed whatever plus points the ending would have given the movie.
As usual, there was a short scene at the end relating to the 'Avengers' movie, with Samuel L. Jackson making yet another 2 minute appearance in a movie (when is he going to get to act in an actual full length movie again?).
|"I KNOW you didn't call me all the way here to wear this eye patch AGAIN for ANOTHER TWO MINUTE SHOOT..!"|
I was so disappointed with this movie, even more than I was with Green Lantern (which I shall review later), and I'm baffled as to how it garnered a 7.2 rating on IMDB.com. Honestly, this should have been in the 5-5.9 range, and nothing more. Chris Evans does his best, but perhaps the Captain America mythology doesn't give the writers or the actors much to work with in terms of making it 'cool' and relatable.
Let's just say I'll be rooting for Thor next year when 'Avengers' comes out. Him and Scarlett Johanssen of course.