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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Movie Review: Captain America - The First Avenger

For awhile I've wanted to steer this blog to a little broader of a focus. It will always be primarily music based, but throughout the next few weeks I will be trying out some new features, including movie reviews. I'm a movie freak (especially during the summer) and I just can't resist chatting about what I've seen.
I have a simple rating system, with four possible "grades."

Must Go
Go
Rent It
Run In The Other Direction


Captain America: The First Avenger

Growing up, I was a huge Marvel Comics guy. Like many comic geeks, my battle line was well and truly defined. It was Marvel all the way… no DC (except Batman… sometimes). And even though I’m “grown up” now, I still anticipate each Marvel movie release with great excitement. After all, throughout the past few years, they’ve had a pretty dynamite track record.

And they’ve done it again. Despite loving (and knowing every little aspect about) the Marvel Universe as a kid, Captain America was never one of my favorite characters. That being said, they’ve just made the perfect Captain America movie. I’m not saying it’s a perfect movie, but I can’t imagine anything better being fashioned from this character’s story. It easily ties X-Men: First Class as my favorite comic book movie of the summer.

The film works so well for so many different reasons. For one, it has an ultra appealing lead actor and a main character with equal parts heart, humor and symbolism. It also features a charismatic (and truly badass) villain in the Red Skull (played by the always reliable Hugo Weaving). This was one of my main quibbles with Thor earlier this year, and definitely Green Lantern last month. A hero’s only as good as its villain. Bonus points for the make-up job. Very, very cool.

Best of all, the movie’s old-fashioned in the best possible way. True, the vast majority of the story takes place in the 1940’s (and the parts that don’t are pretty dang awesome), but like X-Men was, this is a heavily stylized setting, amping up reality to create a comic-book vibe that doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet honors the story’s roots at the same time. Most tellingly, the story itself has a good old-fashioned feel to it. The inevitable crash boom bang parts are there, but they’re sandwiched within a story with characters you actually care about. One of my fears going into the theater was that this was going to turn out to be a boring trudge through history. Not so. I had an absolute blast. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie ups Captain America tenfold in the superhero pop culture pantheon. He’s like Superman, but relatable. Oh, and stay for the end credits.

MY VERDICT: Must Go!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Brent said...

I am embarrassed to say that I haven't seen this yet...sigh.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Valentine said...

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8:05 AM  

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