25/07/2011

Captain America: The First Avenger


First things first, Captain America/Steve Rogers is boring as fuck. He has no teenage angst, no dark back story featuring murdered parents, no Playboy-esque lifestyle and he's not a space God with magical powers, so Captain America: The First Avenger was always going to be tough to adapt as the flag-waving square on the comic book page would be rubbish on screen. Thankfully, a combination of the focus shifting from an ode to uncle Sam to one man's mission to never give up and Chris Evan's toning down the smart allecky performances he's become known for in the likes of Fantastic Four and The Losers make CA:TFA (fuck that title) quite good. For one hour.

The first 60 minutes are practically perfect and manages to tackle the biggest obstacles such as his transformation from skinny to buff, from man to soldier, from soldier to Captain America swiftly, succinctly and seamlessly. It's perfectly cast (nods to Hayley Atwell's subtle performance and big knockers, Tommy Lee Jones' one-liners and Hugo Weaving's delivery of "You are FAILING!!!") and thanks to some top-notch work from the costume designers and make-up team, you get a genuine feel for the era in which it's set, something you wouldn't usually expect from a comic book movie. It's clear why they hired Joe Johnston for the job since it has more than a few similarities with 1991's The Rocketeer but that is by no means a criticism. Nope, here come the real criticisms:
  • It quickly runs out of steam and turns into a computer game. Hey! A snow level!
  • There's no weight or peril.
  • There's very little to care about.
  • What is up with Dominic Copper's accent? Howard Stark is American, yes?
  • 3D, what is the point?
  • When the climatic battle finally arrives it doesn't live up to the previous 100 minutes of non-exsistent build up.
  • Nick Fury showing up. I'm so sick of ole one-eyed Jackson and the bloody Avengers film. Just fuck off.
  • NO FUCKING POST-CREDIT SEQUENCE?! And to think we all sat around waiting like idiots.
If it managed to maintain the blistering, fizzy pace of the first hour and made it a stand alone film instead of yet another prequel to 2012's The Avengers this would have been brilliant, but no. Still, it does contain a musical number (*worships Alan Menken shrine*) and everything else is so practically faultless it's hard to understand why my first reaction was distinctly meh. It's kind of like when I was in chemistry class at school and I'd throw all this amazing crap ino one beaker expecting to blow up the building (I was bored) only to see it fizzle out. Of course it goes without saying that there isn't enough of this:


And because I know you all love it when I do this, Chris Evans is still number one despite those blonde highlights.

1) Chris Evans (Captain America/The Human Torch)
2) Michael Fassbender (Magneto)
3) Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
4) Tom Hardy (Bane)
5) Michael Keaton (Batman)
6) Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
7) Hugh Jackman (Wolverine)
 
One last thing, The Avengers better be amazing, I want its awesomeness to blow my face off after three years of build up. Joss Whedon has been warned.