Cap: The First Avenger

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Updates/Gen. Info
Tags: , , , , , ,

So, Cap: TFA.   I did a story in the earlier Captain America: The Winter Soldier review, so no story this time.

So basically the premise is – this is Captain America’s origin story.  The Captain introduces us to himself, and he does become the Captain.

Don’t doubt this guy.

We see Cap kick ass.  We see Cap rescue the people nobody wants to.  We see Cap decide he’s not some guy in a Star-Spangled-Spandex-Suit.  We see Cap decide it’s up to him to do his own mission – nobody will help him and people will only stand in his way.  We see him still help the people who stand in his way.  We see him do amazing things – and happily so.  This movie really does Cap’s good nature and past justice.

But really, the entire movie has a very upbeat tone.  Once again, Marvel dazzles us with their usual superhero formula. Marvel pretty much makes everything be sort of the same while being different with their superhero origin stories.  Everyone sort of overcomes some kind of personal challenge.  It was a good way to introduce us to Captain America.  As a once member of the general audience, especially when I first saw this movie, it was a good way to set the stage for The Winter Soldier and also introduce us to Captain America.  Overall, it felt like it was about time we got a serious film about a character that is basically known because he exists.  I mean, it was only fair to assume America would enjoy a movie about a guy named, I don’t know, Captain America.

The movie, unlike a lot of superhero movies, had a very light tone to it.  I mean, we see this scrawny sickly kid trying to get into the army with his best friend urging him to forget it.  I mean, obviously, we know he’s going to get in even if you’re unaware of him being a living science project.  We all know he was in the military even before it needs to be said.  I guess I liked that about it – that it was lighthearted.  Nothing was imminent to blow up, nothing was like really crazy tense and dark.  I guess it was a step back from what we usually see – The Dark Knight was dark, The Winter Soldier was dark, the entire Batman trilogy was dark, and Superman even was dark.  Captain America gave us a break.  If everything is dark, it just eventually get’s old.  It feels like everything is always going to be in ruins.  And I like Captain America for giving us a break.

But sometimes, we get too much of a break.  The plot was decent, especially the juggle between origins and plot.  However, it really felt like it dragged.  I mean, I watched this movie with non-comic book people, and toward the end they just were pleading with me for the movie to end.  While I don’t consider it quite that bad, I think for the time it spent on the screen we could’ve gotten a bigger bang for what we sat through.  It did feel long.  The acting was great, especially Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell, and Evans himself – but there were just some parts of it that felt like you were doing the army exercises yourself.  Loooooong.  The movie as a whole could’ve been paced better and I think part of that problem was trying to weave in all the information they were.  They were weaving in a plot, weaving in HYDRA information, weaving in Captain’s origins, weaving in Bucky, weaving in the future of Cap, weaving in Peggy, and so on and so on.  It was a lot to take on.  It felt a little bit jumbled to see all that stuff thrown in, and I think as a result, some things were lacking.

HYDRA.

HYDRA definitely came off more as a threat in The Winter Soldier.  It felt underdeveloped.  Red Skull was semi assumed to just know who he was, same with various other HYDRA officials.  It was just somewhat assumed that we know who they are.  Aside from that, they just didn’t get developed enough as a villain or villains.  A lot of it was Cap’s origin story, and Cap and Peggy.  At least, though, we learn something about them for their big debut in The Winter Soldier.  At least we get a taste of Bucky.  It’s hard to not view this film, solely, as the predecessor to The Winter Soldier.  As a standalone, it’s a little harder to appreciate this film for what it is.  I mean, yes, it’s still a fantastic film, infinitely better than The Amazing Spider-Man ever could have been, but when you do put it in perspective that this was truly the first of the trilogy, you sort of realize why HYDRA itself can’t be terribly developed.  Maybe Red Skull still could have used it, especially since he is such a harsh enemy toward Captain America, but not HYDRA, otherwise thunder would’ve been stolen from the sequel.  I generally like the plot, and the acting.  Out of all the films I’ve seen, I probably love the underdog tone the most in this movie.  It’s not hard to relate to a scrawny kid who can’t live his life’s dream.  I mean, maybe none of us are entering an Insta-Buff (TM) machine, but even so.  How many people do you know can’t do their dream job?  Whether it be illness, location, or just rejection, it’s an easy thing to relate to.

Especially if you happen to be a dermatologist.  You are screwed.

But, perhaps that’s what I love about this movie.

Even after Captain America get’s the Instant Buff treatment, he still is true to the character he was before.  Like, for example, being awkward around women.  He just doesn’t get it, despite the fact in the movie women are throwing themselves at him (the cheating scene).  I’m going to be honest.  I didn’t consider a lot of things memorable about this movie.  I mean in the sense of one liners or particularly really strong scenes.  But the part I will not forget about this movie – ever – is the tension and affection between Steve and Peggy.

I just loved it.

I wish I could explain why, but probably because in movies like The Dark Knight we see a slightly feeble Rachel be taken.  We see a Rachel split between Dent and Batman who obviously hides his identity. Gwen Stacy proves to be just as passive. I just loved seeing how strong of a character Peggy was.  Peggy shot at a super soldier.  And made him cower.

She’s a badass.

She’s the badass I needed in a movie.

And she’s not even a superhero.  She’s a love interest.

I needed that.

I don’t think we need absolute bombardment of women in media to get equality.  And I am a woman.  I don’t think we should make an All-Female version of Avengers (I don’t mean different female Avengers.  I mean a female Iron Man).  We need more like Peggy.  We need more like Black Widow.  We need more like Wonder Woman and Batgirl.  Peggy is totally aware of this whole spandex thing.  She doesn’t hide from it.  She’s so snarky even just when we first meet her.

The dynamics between them, for me, literally made the movie.  And it also made Captain America.  Captain America still managed to seem human despite being a technical superhuman.  Seriously, no other superhero than Captain America is so human.  Everything about him is so down to earth, like his “kid from Brooklyn” line.  Like rescuing the men they wanted to give up on.  I will say it again – Captain America is The Man (TM).

Overall, the music was good, the plot was good, the effects were great, but things needed improvement, especially Red Skull and his development.  Red Skull felt almost childish at some points.  Captain America, though, not only saves the day, but his movie from his villain.  And his relationship saves it too because it’s adorable.

Overall, it’s just a good movie. It’s just one of those movies you just sit and decide to watch because you can.

And where is the fun in anything else?

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