Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Captain America

Yes, Captain America is probably one of the dullest heroes in the Marvel pantheon. But he’s also one of the most iconic. Writers are constantly struggling to keep Steve Rogers relevant despite his one-note patriotic raison d’être. Bearing all this in mind, Captain America, the movie, hits all the right spots and if the result is a little dull, it's not the movie's fault, but its own star-spangled super soldier.
Hugo Weaving wavers in his Red Skull performance (not very menacing despite the kick-ass wardrobe) but Tommy Lee Jones is perfect casting as Colonel Chester Phillips. And there are great touches such as a visit to the New York World's Fair of 1943, a non-corny depiction of Caps' relationship with sidekick Bucky, and the great retrofit of putting Iron Man’s father, Howard Stark, as the government’s tech guy who helps create Captain America. And, like X-Men: First Class, this period piece is rooted in real-life events, this time the Nazi occupation of Norway and World War II theatre.

Say what you will about the Summer of Superhero Blockbusters, but Marvel comes out with a respectable group of movies that pave the way nicely for next summer’s Avengers movie. On their own, Captain America, Thor and the first Iron Man movies are entertaining and competent and even the Hulk failed attempts had their moments. Bravo to Marvel for turning more of its characters into marquee names.

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