Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Captain America: The First Avenger

Lowdown: A superhero with a conscious saves the world from an enemy worse than the Nazis.
The oversupply of Marvel material nowadays meant that we were late to jump on the Captain America bandwagon. This one, Captain America:  The First Avenger dates from 2011 and by now has found itself sequeled by Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If you’re really into Marvel lore then you could also argue that The First Avenger was there to set up 2012’s Avengers puzzle of superheroes up. Me, I don’t care much as long as I get myself a good movie to watch.
As per typical first of a series superhero movies, proceedings start with the tale of the superhero’s creation and progress with the story of this brand new superhero fight against evil while coming to terms with said new superpowers. This time around our hero, Captain America, aka Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) starts off as a flimsy New York teen who is so small and fragile the US Army won’t recruit him at the height of World War 2. By far the best achievement from our filmmakers was digitally gluing Evans' head to the body of a far smaller person during that part of the film.
Salvation [from the digital] comes in the shape of a doctor running an experimental program to develop super soldiers. That doctor identifies Rogers to be the meek person that he is, which renders him more suitable than your average brute of a Joe for the superhero role.
In parallel, we have the same doctor’s previous experiment, Schmidt (Hugo Weaving). He’s on the Nazi side, he’s already a super person, but he has also been corrupted as his extra powers took what was a bad person to begin with and made him worse. Schmidt now heads an organisation worse than the Nazis, Hydra, that aims to use some recently acquired godly powers to wreak havoc on the world. Would our hero in the making step up to the plate in time to save us? Would the sun rise tomorrow morning?
Generally speaking, Captain America offers promising material. The execution, however, is lacking in multiple departments. First there are the pace and the length: The First Avenger is simply too slow and too long for its own good. Let’s be honest, one doesn’t watch Captain America in order to embark upon thought experimentation; it’s is all about action, thank you very much, but the action is too rare and too ordinary when it does happen. The whole film is shrouded with a rather grim atmosphere that may coincide well with the Captain’s origins but ruins the movie’s fun department.
Then there is the cliché element. The baddie is just too uninspiring, effectively ordinary, a waste of a Hugo Weaving. Into that you need to throw in the usual cliche of the loss of a best friend at the right time for the film + the "love me/love me not" love interest for our Captain (a love interest who, by the way, is always equipped with extra glossy red lipstick – never leave home without it!). You catch the drift. Captain America is just more of plenty we’ve seen before.
Overall: Where is the humour? Where is the fun? Not with Captain America, it seems, shielded as he is at 2 crabs out of 5.

P.S. This is this blog's 1000th post. That's a lot of reviews!

1 comment:

Uri said...

I liked it.

Unlike Superman and Spiderman, Captain America wasn’t really a part of my childhood, so I can’t claim nostalgia here, but I did have fun. Maybe it was because I watched it with two kids.