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Captain America – review

Captain America 

PhotobucketAh yes, yet another comic book movie to grace the screen, and Captain America is an important one.  He is the first Avenger, and this is the last solo movie to be made before The Avengers movie comes out next year.  The film has been in development hell since the mid 90’s, and after watching it, I kind of wish it would have stayed there.

The film takes place in 1942 as the US is out to stop Hitler’s army and protect the American way of life.  Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a pint-sized puny wannabe soldier, with numerous health problems.  All he wants to do is help fight for his country, but no one will give him a chance.  That is until he runs in to Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) who believes that Steve may just be the right candidate for a super soldier program that he is heading up.  Dr. Erskine allows Steve to enlist.  Rogers then begins his training as a soldier. He lags behind everyone in training, but soon proves he is smarter, and has more heart than any of them combined.  He is then chosen to become this super soldier, and be injected with Dr. Erskine’s secret serum that will make him faster, and stronger than any human being.

Rogers undergoes the experimental procedure, that is being watched over by the US government and also by Howard Stark (Tony Stark’s, Iron Man’s father).  Howard plays a pivotal role in the film as a scientist and engineer.  Even though Rogers is transformed into Captain America, Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) refuses to put him in to combat, believing the experiment has failed.

Rogers soon begins to go around the country as the face of selling war bonds to people to help the war effort.  Rogers is a puppet that has become a laughing stock to the real soldiers fighting the war.  He is forced to stand by the wayside until one day he dis-obeys orders and sets out to save a group of soldiers being held captive by a man that is presumed to be even more evil than Hitler, The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).

All is well and good up to this point until The Red Skull is introduced into the film.  After this point what you get is a half assed attempt at a war film, that plays more like a schlock sci-fi film, that rips off more than one theme from Star Wars. The Red Skull sets out to find the jewel of Odin’s treasure room which he intends to steal and take all of the energy from to create super weapons to….you guessed it…rule the world.  He then assembles his team of knock-off Stormtroopers, called HYDRA, who run around shooting laser beam guns at everyone, ride around in 23rd century automobiles and aircrafts, and file in blindly behind the tyranny of The Red Skull.

Evans is capable of pulling off Captain America, but he’s stuck with an awful script that makes him spit out ridiculous lines left and right, all while assembling his team to track down The Red Skull and have justice be served in the name of the red, white and blue!  I would have loved to see a film that really delved into warfare during the second world war.  If Captain America did exist back then, how would he have actually dealt with these evil forces?

Another major, major issue with the film is that it is responsible for some of the worst CGI shots I have ever seen in an action film in the past 10 years.  This is completely uncalled for, and makes the film look amateurish at best.

When comic book films work it’s because they live with one foot in the realm of reality.  Sure they’re super heroes that don’t exist, but a good comic book film has you find the ability to relate with the main character on a basic level.  I couldn’t relate to Captain America one bit.  This along with the absurd sci-fi angle makes it fall way short of the better comic book films out there today.

Grade: C-