I have to admit, aside from X-men, I am not all that well versed in the Marvel universes. Not entirely sure as to why, probably because DC Comics had more awesome cartoons on when I was younger, Batman The Animated Series anyone? But regardless of not really knowing his back story, I was excited to get home Friday night to see opening day Captain America: The First Avenger.
So for those of you who are as unfamiliar with the Cap's story as I was, here's the sitch. Puny little Steve Rogers, constantly getting into fights which he refuses to run from, wants desperately to be in the Army. He keeps getting rejected, until he meets a scientist, Dr. Abraham Erskine, who after over hearing his determination, passes him through for a special experimental program. Though definitely not the strongest or fastest by any means, Steve proves himself the bravest, most determined and deserving, was there ever any doubt? Steve is picked to be the human guinea pig for a serum that will make him into a super soldier.
But as all Super Heroes must go there is tragedy, action and an almost romance. Standard stuff, now that you've got a bit of background, let's talk about this newest incarnation.
1) The Casting. Props go to Sarah Finn and Randi Hiller, the casting as a whole was spot on.
Chris Evans makes the perfect golden boy. Though his CGI "wimpy" body was a little weird to look at, it's all worth it for that shirtless shot of him after the transformation. Can we say Yum? Plus, despite being delicious looking, he's totally believable as a sweet, shy guy who lacks skills with the ladies.
Tommy Lee Jones as a hard ass, Colonel Chester Phillips. On a whole, I think he's a fantastic actor, who's had a great career. This role shows exactly what he does best, that kinda almost jerky guy who just wants what's best and who will come through in the end.
Stanley Tucci as a compassionate scientist with vision. Another amazing actor with a great career. He's so great that most of the time I forget who he is while watching him on screen. For example while seeing him in this movie I had a vauge idea of who he was, but it wasn't until after the movie that I was able to fully able to seperate the man from his character.
Hayley Atwell, who claimed to have based her Peggy Carter on Ginger Rogers stating "She can do everything Captain America can do, but backwards and in high heels". Now that's just AWESOME.
2) The explosions. Come on, it's a Super Hero movie, there's got to be explosions. And Captain America delivers several awesome ones.
3) The fact that there was a woman with rank who also kicked ass. I'm a sucker for a strong female character, since there, in general, are so few. So to have The Captain's love interest be more than just a pretty face was really cool. Throw in the fact that she actually was involved in the last battle, holding her own made me a happy lil lady.
The Not So Good
1) The backgrounds. Perhaps if I had seen it in 3D I wouldn't have noticed as much, but seriously, most of the time the backgrounds looked like paintings. It reminded me a lot of the backgrounds in Newsies, that's not a good thing. I realize this may have been done on purpose for effect, but with all the money they had, it would have been nice to have a bit more realistic scenery.
2) The battle scenes. I'm torn on this point, because on a whole they were pretty kick ass. That being said, I was a little disappointed in the fact that most of them were shown in montages. I would have liked to see a little more.
3) The ending. Ok, so it wasn't that the ending was bad, and watching the movie you kinda knew it had to end that way, still I enjoy happier endings...
1) The costumes/hair/makeup. I will admit right now to be a sucker for the hair & make up of the women of the forties. The neatly coiffed hair, the pale skin, the deep red lips, seriously I would LOVE to pull that look off. Also the Red Skull makeup looked kick ass. The perfect blend of strange & interesting.
2) The Avengers teaser at the end of the credits. While I admit to always having a slight interest in seeing the upcoming film, mostly due to the involvement of Joss Whedon, it wasn't until watching the teaser that I actually got excited for it.
3) Being that I am also a theatre geek, I got a chuckle out of the fact that Wonderland was all over the Marquis Theatre in the background of the present day scene, which sorta dates the filming, if you know theatre because Wonderland only ran for like a nano-second.
All and all Captain American was a pretty good film, full of action, adventure and fun. Groundbreaking? Not so much, but I'm definitely getting more and more excited to see The Avengers.