Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Directed by Joe Johnston

Produced by Kevin Feige

Screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

Based on Captain America by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

Let me go straight to the review.

***EXTREME SPOILERS ALERT***

Honestly, I thought the movie was fairly boring, and intermittently ridiculous. Since I haven’t read the comics, I won’t judge it as an adaptation. I had a vague understanding of its superhero nature from the trailer I saw a while ago, and of course, I expected to see the normal routine of a superhero movie: introduction, power acquisition, and world-saving. That all happened accordingly–and I would have been satisfied with that, as long as the movie has a nice decent plot flow and adequate action. It would have been great entertainment.

But–here’s the but. I don’t understand the movie at all. It makes me want to laugh. Firstly, the screenplay is poorly written and the characters are poorly designed (in most parts of the movie). Other than the film’s aesthetics and the WWII American atmosphere–it really has nothing else to offer. Okay maybe the costumes. The costumes were great. But the story–man. Captain America is set in the time of WWII: US (mainly) vs. Germany, and it’s supposed to be intricately nested within the war. However, as I was watching the film I just felt the story is completely disconnected from the war. The technologies and the power both sides acquire are, again, supposedly deterministic of the outcome of the war but from my point of view–all I saw was a muddy conflict between the Red Devil, who like all super-villains wants to take over and destroy the world, and Captain America, whose motivations to kill him are very unclear (other than the obvious reason: to bring about justice).

And of course, the war is automatically won right after Captain America sacrificed himself and crashed the bomber plane into layers of ice before it reaches New York…(it’s not like all the other super weapons are simultaneously destroyed…though the mystical cube of power does get lost in the sea forever, and has efficiently destroyed the Red Skull upon touch)

In short, the movie was a mess. It lacks a strong foundation for the characters and everything else. And thus, I was bored out of my mind.

So onto the characters–for me, characters are a biggie. I felt that the initial setting for Captain America had been an intelligent one–only someone who knows of humility, weakness and compassion can be chosen for great power. His stubbornness and persistence are also favourable traits that I really liked.  However, I felt that the power came to him much too easily. He didn’t even spend time adjusting to his new size and physical strength.

(I laughed so hard during that scene…he entered the capsule a scrawny man and came out a muscular hunk…after some roaring and NOOOS DON’T TURN IT OFF I CAN DO THIS!!!!! Hahahahahahahaha. )

I understand that his physical size now reflects his inner self–for he is valiant and noble, and he should be able to easily come into terms with his new body. Basically, he acquired such power just by being himself–enlisting again and again despite the denials and using himself as a shield around a fake grenade to secure his comrades–but once he’s got that power and expanded in size, this part of his character faded. Sure, you can say that the fact he decides to sneak into Red Devil’s camp all by himself to rescue his fallen comrades is pretty noble–but I think there’s a difference between that, and utter stupidity. The whole setting is stupid. How can he manage to remain undiscovered while holding a huge metal shield with the bright colours of the American flag painted on it? How is that the security cameras haven’t been able to discover him until the very last moment? And how is it possible that he can sneak into a lab full of people, hiding here and there behind poles and equipment, and manage to avoid attention? And ALL THIS TIME carrying a huge-ass shield with the American flag pained on it, in a GERMAN base camp! 

Why, I was dying of laughter. Yes, he is Captain America and he needs his shield, but holding it during what’s supposed to be stealth mode isn’t a very good idea. And the fact that he actually succeeds in rescuing the fallen soldiers and returns to his main camp in a heroic fashion accompanied by uplifting music is completely idiotic. Whatever happened to his humility? His cleverness? All the good parts of him died along with the movie.

Okay, now onto the Red Devil. Personally, since I haven’t read the comics, I didn’t know he was going to turn into a red-faced Voldemort. If I had, however, it probably wouldn’t have been quite a shock. There were foreshadowing scenes that hinted at his “true nature”, but it wasn’t enough to create an impression. Obviously, his redness is a result of the super-soldier serum, but being the bad guy with an unhealthy ambition, what’s “bad” inside him turned into “worst”. And of course if super muscular body = heroic prototype, then a red demonic face = evil prototype. The serum affects a body on the cellular level, so his face turned…red?…and it’s never explained properly, or maybe I just dozed off when he was explaining it. It just didn’t make sense at all. Maybe the serum would cause some sort of mutation, that Captain American would later have to face? It would have been so much better if this were the case, but it wasn’t. How can there be no consequence in attaining great power? Well yeah yeah he lost his dearest friend, but that’s really something external. Maybe he needs to rely on the serum to maintain his power and to survive, or something. Something! Something that acts as the “catch” for his abilities. But no…he’s just so perfect, eh.

Man…you can tell how disappointed I am by how much I rant. I really had great expectations for this film. I was expecting a great ride. Look at Avatar! The whole story is a rip-off from Pocahontas but at least it’s got a decent, logical flow! And also great visuals. (wails) THIS MOVIE IS HORRIBLE…

Yeah. My reviews tend to end like this. It’s just basically me ranting…so disorganized of me. But oh well. I just write this for fun. (excuses!)

And what’s with the noble sidekick who still sticks with the Red Skull after the way he’s been treated? C’mon, there has to be SOME twist in the story…

Oh and that scene where Captain America is seized by a sexy blonde and discovered by the heroine what’s-her-name, as usual it ends with “I can explain” or was it “it’s not what you think”? And nothing happened afterwards. It didn’t even get resolved properly.

#$&@#(*$&@#)(*$@#&)(*$&@#*()$&)@#*($&()@*#$&)(@#*$&)@#*($&)@#*($&@#*($&)@#*($&)@#*($&@)#*(

I have run out of all possible strength to continue typing…

LAST THING: HUGO WEAVING IS AWESOME.

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