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Old 07-29-2011, 05:04 AM   #118
away for a while
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Down Under
Posts: 31,659
Default Re: The Official Captain America: The First Avenger Review Thread! - Part 1

Posted in the wrong thread.

Finally got around to seeing Cap America today after it opened here yesterday, review as follows.

First up I don't know a hell of a lot about Captain America other than the basics, so I'm as clean a slate as you can get, I don't really know what is faithful, what isn't, so before anyone jumps on my back about 'that's how it is in the comics' let me say that all I can do is review what was presented to me,and in this case it's the third by the book, straight hitting, safety first, walking on eggs shells, scared of it's own shadow superhero film of the year.

Look, this film isn't bad, it's just rides along the same labourious level in every aspect, the characters, the story, the acting, it's all flat lined at a certain point and not once does it strive to do anymore than what it intends, and then there's the almost obligatory third act problems. These factors are being spread around other superhero films which is starting to make watching the genre outside of a Nolan Batman film a chore. I was hoping that maybe the period setting would have helped and it did to an extent, it had a genuine war film feel to it, but overall this suffers from the same issues I've had twice already this year (not as well avoided as the certain Norse god yet far more successful than a certain green space cop).

Evans is fine for what he's got to work with, I know he wasn't a popular choice but given his character is kind of a one note wonder he really doesn't have to do a hell of a lot. Steve Rogers to me is the least interesting of Marvel Studios leading characters, I get it that standing up for what you believe in and being a good man is noble, but it makes for such ordinary viewing. His character journey isn't a really deep one, I would have liked to have seen some struggle within in terms of dealing with what he's become, but there isn't much focus on that say for a scene or two, I'm hopeful however that he will have a better character arc next time given he's no longer in his own time period.

His relationship with Peggy is better than I expected, I don't know about these reviews that say it's the best superhero romance ever, although given there hasn't been a great history of such occurrences they may well be right. Their last conversation is probably the best part of the movie, in a film that lacks emotion at times this was a highlight, would have made more of an impact had he actually died of course, sort of a sombre reminder of the sacrifices of WW2, but that was never going to happen given the Avengers but hey one can dream right? lol.

Rest of the cast is good, but again not great, competent is probably the best word to use, no-one really tries to do anymore than what they need to. Hugo Weaving does his thing, Red Skull isn't all that menacing, not quite the weakest villain to date but not the best either, he's there to be the bad guy really and that's what we got. Tommy Lee Jones makes up for his disastrous Two Face, Haley Atwell is fine, Sebastien Stan also fine, again no-one was awful, but they weren't that interesting either.

Action wise it's pretty good, final battle on the jet is pretty good, a little cheesy a times but overall good, the action montage in the second act felt a little disjointed, I think the highlight is Steve saving the POW in the first Hydra hideout. I'll give kudos to the look of the film too, the cinematography really made it feel like a war film although seeing the Cap costume in and amongst it did kind of make me chuckle, but other than that the design is really great although there's a little too much use of CG backdrops on occasion, some real sets would have made a big difference, but overall this is a surprisingly grounded film for the most part, probably Marvel's most grounded. (Note on the small Steve CG thing, if you're gonna shrink the actor make his voice a higher pitch, it was hilarious seeing this small guy with a deep booming voice).

Overall, we end the year almost exactly where we began, out of the four superhero films this year this ranks 3rd for me, could have been higher had it tried to do more but it is what it is, a competently made superhero film that has it's issues but sets up nicely for the big team up movie next year. Not sure what to expect from that, just have to wait and see I guess.

Flat at times but a decent effort none the less and not nearly as stars and stripes flag waving as I anticipated. 6.5/10

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