Sunday, 31 July 2011

Movies I've Seen: Captain America

So, I watched the new Marvel movie, Captain America, and colour me suprised, it actually turned out to be really, really good.

For those who somehow don't know, the film is based on the iconic comicbook character created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, not Stan Lee as his cameo in the movie implies, who is a regular, albeit small, guy who is given a suepr soldier serum in order to give him the chance to fight Nazis and, later, their better equipt replacements Hydra.

Going into the movie, I was at most cautiously optimistic. Chris Evans, the actor playing the main character, Steve Rogers, hadn't really filled me with confidence in his last Marvel superhero outing as the Human Torch back in the Fantastic Four movies, and I was worried we might be in for a modernised and edgy take on the character.

And, to my shock, Evans actually does a really, really good job. His Captain America manages to come across as sincere, eager to help and heroic, without becoming detached like some depictions of Superman or overly jingoistic, as was the risk in a movie like this.

Really, all of the cast in this movie do a really good job with what they're given. Hugo Weaving does his standard good turn as the villain, the Red Skull, even though he isn't really given that much to do for the most part. Hayley Atwell, as Steve's love interest British Army Major Peggy Carter (not an anachronism, suprisingly) does a good job as the main leading lady, though it was kind of bemusing that she was really ONLY main female cast member. Tommy Lee Jones stands out as Colonel Philips, on his sarcastic and hilarious best.

And these are just a few of the people in this movie.

I know that a lot of people has complained about how the shift of the main villains of the movie from the Nazis to Hydra, which is kind of explained in-movie, but I think that by about the first quarter, I think that you could safely put the movie in the alternative history segment of period dramas.

This isn't our world's version of World War Two, it's the comicbook universe's version of it. It might start with the SS and references to Hitler, but as soon as the Red Skull gets the resources to build all of the wacky weaponry that the Nazis lacked due to them not having the time, power etc. to build we go into a whole weird area.

But at the same time, the movie seems to include a lot of details about the War that seem to be left out of other movies. About how Japanese American soldiers fought in the European Theatre, for example, the aforementioned female British army majors, or the fact that the friggin' Blitz happened! Sure, some things could argueably have been changed for political correctness purposes, but they could be covered within the movie's internal logic for the most part.

For example, the team that Steve creates for secret missions includes a British paratrooper, an African American soldier, a Japanese American soldier and a Free Frenchman. This movie taking place when the army was still segregated means that two of these guys normally wouldn't be allowed to joint he group, but it being a request by Cap probably got that ugly bit of legislation bypassed.

Anyhoo, this was a fun, well put together movie, and I urge people to go and see it.

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