Saturday, July 23, 2011


I'm kind of amazed that in this Whedonesque age of irony and being too cool for the material that you can have a movie this old-school, sentimental, and idealised, but I'm damn glad they went in this direction with it. Hard to believe Chris Evans was the same jackass who played Johnny Storm in those two Fantastic Four movies everyone collectively forgot about (seriously, no one talks about them) because he's really damn great as Steve Rogers here.

There's also tons of fan service if you know your 40's era Marvel (seriously, Roy Thomas' head would explode upon seeing it)--they even pay homage to that stupid TV movie in one bit. There's also a lot of crackling dialogue, tons of cool fights (let down a bit by the CGI in places--it was somewhat glaring in 3D, maybe less so in 2D) tons of gonzo Nazi/HYDRA tech, and and honest-to-god musical score as well (Told you it was old-school) The wartime poster credits were awesome as well.

I have to say, that while I liked Thor and liked how it really sold Asgard as a real world, but I think Captain America edges it out a little more in terms of being a more completely entertaining movie. Then again, I'm biased, as I really liked The Rocketeer (directed by the same guy) and this works in that same quasi-retro vein.

The trailer for Avengers at the end? Well . . .it made me plan to see it, so I guess it worked.


Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Haven't seen it yet, but I had a good feeling about this one. :)

It's interesting that Marvel seems to be taking a redemptive approach in their more recent adaptations: they're picking likeable actors for the roles, placing a fair-to-decent emphasis on characterization, and generally making an effort to ensure that you leave the cinema with some measure of appreciation for the protagonists.

Of course, it's not going to translate into comic sales - largely because they're not applying the same precision to their books, so Robert Downey Jr.'s Stark is infinitely more interesting than, say, Matt Fraction's...

Kazekage said...

I had a good feeling about it, but then I liked The Rocketeer so I was kinda already favourably disposed to it.

I've noticed that. The comparison is especially glaring when you hold it up against Green Lantern, which is like an identikit superhero movie that hits many of the same beats, but really doesn't seem to invest any emotional content in them.

More's the pity, really, but if we're that determined to keep comics segregated from the rest of the culture, it's kind of inevitable, isn't it?

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Quite right - in fact, if "The Avengers" turns out well, comics will have lost the only real advantage they have on their various media adaptations: the shared universe. If that concept translates successfully into film or TV, what will comics have to offer anymore?

Kazekage said...

I think they may have already lost that, though--Thor and Captain America both really do a great job of indicating a shared universe (stuff from one film comes up in the next) without requiring that you see all the movies. If anything, the movies have made the crossover feel less forced and more organic than comics has been able to manage in a long time.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Well, it helps that Joe Quesada's fat head doesn't pop up like the Toasty Guy from Mortal Kombat: "To find out why Howard Stark has a moustache, see Iron Man!" :)

Kazekage said...

Well, what doesn't benefit from not having that?

As a bonus, here's my current witty rejoinder about the Captain America movie: it's the best Superman movie in about thirty years.