Thursday, 11 August 2011

Captain America Review

I must be suffering from some sort of Comic Book Movie Fatigue or something because I should feel a lot better about seeing this movie than I do.  It really was not what I expected.  First, I expected it to be a lot more "hey Johnny" 1940s than it was.  With the exception of the big USO production number, it really wasn't at all like that.  I also expected it to be a lot more American patriot than it was.  After all, the character is Captain America.  If ever there was justification for over the top American patriotism in a movie it was here.  But, thankfully, they stayed away from that and made it more of a good vs evil type of story that audiences outside of the United States can enjoy just as much.

The best part of this movie is Tommy Lee Jones.  He really steals every scene he's in.  I think part of that has to do with most of the good one liners going to his character.  But he delivers them with his signature "deadpan yet oddly animated" style that only he can do.  As for the rest of the actors, there's really nothing bad except for maybe Stanley Tucci.  His German accent was slightly less worse than Vincent Schiavelli in Tomorrow Never Dies.  Between that and his look, it kind of reminded me of a caricature of my Dad's cousin, Bernd who is actually from Germany.

One thing a comic book movie has to be is visually appealing.  While Captain America didn't knock this one out of the park, it isn't bad either.  There are some shots where I thought they could have spent a little more money on the CGI to make it a bit smoother (especially when he's jumping) but, as a businessman, I understand the need to stay within budgets.  Most of the other effects are decent as well.  For example, the Hydra's weapons are well done.  The effects aside, the fact that this movie is set in the 40s doesn't actually help it.  Most of the costumes, props and lighting, etc. are overstylized and give it more of a Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen feel to it.  This is because they combine old analog technology with stuff that just didn't exist back then.  As a comic book movie, it needs to be a bit over the top but it doesn't seem to fit with the other Avengers movies in that regard.

If you are planning on doing the whole "Avengers" movie thing, it is obviously essential to see this movie (and, yes, stay until the credits are done).  But, if you are just looking for a stand alone action movie, you should probably not see it.  Especially with all that has come out this year.  And that's a shame.  If they had waited until they were out of the wake of Thor and Green Lantern, I'd probably feel different.  But, if you want to release the Avengers next spring, you have to cram as much of the preliminary material in before that as possible.  I just feel like we're being saturated with action this summer.

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