Sunday, 4 December 2011

Captain America Review.

Hollywood seems to be producing a huge amount of movies based on comic books from the most well known of all, Batman, Spiderman (which is being pointlessly rebooted) and Superman to the lesser known such as The Green Lantern. You would be forgiven if one was to say that they are tired of superhero movies but yet some are good and some are downright awful. Captain America: The Last Avenger is the latest Marvel comic book production to hit cinemas.

Chris Evans is Steve Rogers a skinny, ninety pound midget who is desperate to fight for his country; he has a deep profound respect for his friend and those who are dying for their country. However Steve Rogers is denied a chance to fight in the war due to his weak frame, asthma and various other illnesses. Upset by the news he falls upon a chance that will allow him to enlist in the army via Dr Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci). This chance is a piece of technology that enhances his human potential by an experimental serum that will allow Steve to serve for the United States.

Like I said there are plenty of superhero or comic books movies out there already, essentially if you seen any other comic book or superhero movie everything here will be completely familiar to you as Captain America does not break any new ground. So we get the superhero, the crazy villain, the impossible stunts and a spot of romance as a former weakling gets the girl. That, however, does not stop Captain America being a moderately entertaining flick. There are some bombastic set pieces and some exciting, yet never tense, action sequences that are likely to please most looking for a good spectacle. Clocking in at 125 minutes Captain America may overstay its running time by ten to fifteen minutes as the entertainment levels are not too consistent, mainly because the script is flawed and contains some quite mundane dialogue but overall there is enough enjoyment to be had.

In terms of the performances Captain America passes a critical examination, Chris Evans is satisfactory in the lead role but never charismatic enough for the audience to fully get behind and engage with the character. He seems to lack a humour element that will make audiences warm to him; any humour in the script is passed on to the supporting players. If Captain America was never going to be a serious comic book adaptation Steve Rogers should have been given more material for us to laugh at and allow us to enjoy ourselves more, maybe throw in a decent one liner to two. The problem with Captain America is he will never be a Batman or a Superman and Evans' performance will never match that of Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man and Bale in Batman, so there could be a chance that this would not stand out as brightly as the others, getting lost amongst the midfielders.

The accolade for best performance goes to Tommy Lee Jones who gets the most laughs out of all the supporting players ('I'm not gonna kiss you') and Hayley Atwell does a decent job as Steve Rogers' love interest. Captain America is knowingly stupid, most of the time I am perfectly fine with that but the villain Johann Scdmict (a generic German name if there ever was one) is an issue. Scdmict is played by Hugo Weaving, who adopts such a silly German accent (there are plenty of them in Captain America), that he is never really a threatening villain. Also stupidity needs to have a limit and the script is occasionally as stupid as they come, there is a vast amount of mundane conversations between the characters that can become enough to make some groan, the humour borders on completely lame and the quote 'You don't win the wars with niceness' is staggeringly bad, that said the script is not terrible but there is the occasional cringe worthy line of dialogue. Similarly to the enjoyment levels the quality of script tends to fluctuate, with the script far less consistent than the enjoyment levels.

The effects are exactly how you would expect them to be in a summer blockbuster, passable, but it does take a few minutes to adjust to Chris Evans' head added via a computer to a skinny body but when you grow accustomed to it (like Jeff Bridges head in Tron Legacy) it's not really a problem. Plot wise Captain American does everything you expect it do, not doing anything spectacular and plotting a very obvious route but Captain America still manages to do a good, entertaining job while not doing anything special. Perhaps if it tried something different Captain America may separate itself from the pack but it adopts a formula that works fine with audiences. The 1940 period detail is excellent and looks fantastic. However, more than anything Captain America is a chance to create a franchise, it ends in a cameo from an actor who has appeared in recent Marvel comic film adaptations.

Captain America is mostly good fun, it's a superhero movie and the director Joe Johnston is not quite as brave, bold and daring as the protagonist but that does not stop Captain America from being an enjoyable flick, it however is let down by a rather inconsistent script and an uninteresting megalomaniac villain that are all too common in superhero movies. It's not as good as Batman but it's more entertaining than Iron Man 2. A franchise is obvious but the rule of sequels is they only get worse, which is not too promising.



  1. good review Myerla, but I have to disagree on you saying "the rule of sequels is they only get worse". If we're only going by superhero films, then with films like X Men 2, Spiderman 2, Blade 2 and of course The Dark Knight, they all manage to improve upon the original, it's the part 3's that muck up. but if we're going by film in general, then Aliens, The Godfather Part 2 and Evil Dead 2 prove the rule wrong

  2. Indeed those are better but Batman Begins is a better film than The Dark Knight.

    Alien is better than Aliens, also the movies worse than the sequal are: The Exorcist 2, Halloween 2, Nightmare of Elm Street 2, Meet the Fockers, The Martix Reloaded, Back to the Future. I guess both lists are endless but it comes down to personal opinion.

  3. You're right. It was OK, but unlike the other Marvel movies, it can't stand alone, specially because of the ending.

  4. I like it a little better than you did but that's okay. very good review Myerla.