Ror Reviews: Captain America: TFA
Better late than never. I'm sure most or all of you have seen this by now, but click for my opinion on Marvel's last solo movie before The Avengers. Joe Johnston's take on the Sentinel Of Liberty..
Sorry for the extreme lateness of this one. The movie only came out here on Friday and then I was tied up over the weekend. Anyway, I'll start off by saying that I really enjoyed Captain America but that it had quite a few problems. The biggest of these for me was the almost complete lack of any real tension. Now I'm well aware that this is a Superhero movie, and a PG one at that. But it's also supposed to be something else. A War movie.
In the first act we are introduced to the skinny, frail Steve Rogers. A man who is not bloodthirsty in any way, but recognizes the threat posed to the entire world by Hitler and the Nazis and is determined that he will do his part to end their tyranny. So he is given that chance and becomes the ultra buff fighting machine known as Captain America. Then goes to fight a bunch of left overs from Gi Joe: Rise Of Cobra instead of Nazis. Where is this threat? The movie makes no effort to convey the situation at all. I'm not saying we needed to have shots of people being herded into the gas chamber(although at least a mention of the Holocaust would have been nice..well, not nice but...err, ah you get me) but something needed to be shown beyond a shot of a bomb with "New York" written on it imo. Sure there are action scenes, plenty of em(although there are a few cheats via montage) and they are for the most part well choreographed and exciting. But we know nothing is going to happen to Cap. And the rest of his Howling Commandos may as well have been left out of the movie for all they bring to it. Only Bucky Barnes(Sebastian Stan) is established as something approaching an important character and is then "killed off" in an almost nonchalant way leaving us with no choice but to not really give a damn. There are also a few dodgy choices made in the edit. One example would be Cap swinging on a chain and never coming off it. We simply cut to him running. That might sound a bit nit picky but for me it's ignoring one of the most basic rules of film making.
Now, you might think I'm bashing a movie I claim to have enjoyed a bit too much and if you have already glanced at the star rating you might well be baffled. Don't be, this is a 4 star movie. Because what is done right far out-ways what isn't. And one of the most important factors in this story was always going to be getting Cap right. And low and behold the ol Human Torch knocks it out of the park with a great performance. The script doesn't require him to showboat or come across too intense, but if we didn't relate to Steve Rogers, care about him and genuinely like him then this would never have worked. Something else that works very well, possibly better than it ever has in a super hero based CBM before, is the romantic element. Evans is supported very well by Hayley Atwell as his love interest Peggy Carter and the two have great onscreen chemistry. If you're not moved by their final scene together I'd be checking my pulse. The rest of the cast are also very good. Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci bring the gravitas and well, awesomeness. Tucci in particular was crying out for more screen time. But I wasn't really feeling The Red Skull at all. Hugo Weaving does a good job with what he has to work with, but what that is, and always has been imo, (sorry Skull fans) is a pretty one note villain. Sure the requisite amount of evilness is present and he and Cap have a couple of decent scraps but a few more scenes featuring both of them or at least more screen time for Weaving would have helped a lot.
Another triumph is the overall look and tone of the movie. Director Joe Johnston has always had a superb eye for detail and flare for atmosphere and it has never been showcased better. There are obvious influences, and even a few nods to the likes of Indiana Jones but that's not a bad thing. The special effects are practically seamless too, with "Skinny Steve" being a real success. Unfortunately the 3D did nothing for me. I think this will be the last time I fork out for it. All I got was slightly duller picture for my extra cash.
Overall we are left with a very old school adventure, which is just lacking more of an edge. Still, a definite success. Marvel haven't made a misstep character wise yet even when their movies have been a bit disappointing. If Joss Whedon pulls off The Avengers they will indeed have made history. Imagine sitting down to watch that box set with your kids/grand-kids someday?
: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct
. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under "safe harbor" provisions and will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. For expeditious removal, contact us HERE