Captain America The First Avenger – Review

I grew up reading Captain America and The Avengers comic books. The artwork by Jack Kirby and Jim Steranko from the late 60-early 70’s was so influential on the industry and how comics were drawn, I still contemplate how that has resonated in art today. So it was important to me that this Captain America movie got the vibe right to set the stage for what was to come in The Avengers movie next year. I was very happy with the result.

I loved the costume – practical but still a little flashy. The Shield is a character in its own right and deserved to be listed in the credits at the end. Red Skull was appropriately evil, powerful and easy to not like. All in all, the casting was excellent.

The movie spends a lot of time on the origin of Captain America, building the character of Steve Rogers and his relationships before becoming a superhero. Sadly, much of this gets discarded when Captain loses his closest friend and all we really get out of it is that he’s upset and can’t get drunk because his body metabolizes alcohol too fast. It was really just a missed opportunity that would have possibly elevated this story above popcorn munching fare to being something really exceptional.

The underlying message that integrity beats might was delivered without pounding the viewer over the head with it repeatedly in the style of Green Lantern’s willpower message. And unlike Green Lantern, Captain America is a not a movie aimed at kids. It had some smart dialogue without complicating the plot with real life issues. It is escapism that an adult can enjoy. At least I did.

For me, this story was exactly what I wanted from a Captain America movie, avoiding lapsing into wanton patriotism but still true to the motif. I admit to being partial to superheroes that aren’t all powerful, and Captain America fits that bill, even if it does seem at times that his greatest power is to cause the enemy to aim so amazingly bad they can fire hundreds of times and not hit him. I’m OK with that.

If you’ve been on the fence with this movie, I say give it a shot. The effects are top notch. If you are into the 3D stuff, it’s well done. I frankly don’t care for 3D movies much, but that’s just me. And you know… we all need a hero. Why not one donning the flag?

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