Saturday, 30 July 2011

“Now we can see what all the fuss is about”

Captain America: directed by Joe Johnston; written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

In the grander scheme of things, I suppose that a current tally of seventeen reviews films for 2011 is not as abysmal as I make it out to be. But, each time I peruse the films I’ve watched this year I feel like I haven’t watched much, and maybe that’s because the films I have seen haven’t made much impact on me. I wasn’t madly excited about Captain America’s release but I couldn’t help but hear positive rumblings from people who always have interesting things to say, and the promise of the throwback to the 40s piqued my interest. It’s another Avengers prequel, and I know virtually nothing of its source material – I’m not American, so perhaps that accounts for the divide. I don’t mean to me flippant at all, but the prospect of reviewing Captain America had be feeling grossly ambivalent. Perhaps it’s not a terrible film, but almost everything ended up rubbing me the wrong way.

Like every superhero (with the exception Clark Kent, and perhaps, Thor) Captain America’s powers aren’t inherent. He begins the film as Steve Rogers, a diminutive Brooklyn boy in the forties with dreams of defending his country at war despite his incessant list of ailments. By way of a dubious scientist he ends up getting the opportunity he seeks, but it’s really to act as a guinea pig for some scientific breakthrough which sees the scrawny Rogers turning into the very buff Captain America, the prototypical image of American valour, I suppose. The muscles, apparently, aren’t essentially because Captain America’s purpose is to be a propaganda machine of sorts – a pretty face for the war. But, that wasn’t Rogers aims and eventually he puts those muscles to good use and saves a couple hundred men from Nazi capture (in a manner I’m still uncertain of).
I can’t even muster up the energy to adequately assess what my issues with the film are but essentially I find Captain America to be woefully lacking in bite. The movies looks lovely, but the movie is not very compelling. What reason do we have to follow Steve’s trajectory? His would-be relationship with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell)? Evan’s charisma? A band of riveting supporting players? No one all counts. Evans and Atwell have scant chemistry, and Evans lacks the drive to carry the film. And the supporting characters hardly demand your attention and it doesn't help that the film moves along for the most part in a humourless stupor.. I don’t know, maybe my general movie funk has blinded me to the good in Captain America, but I feel as if I’ve missed the bus on this one. I’d love to get the memo as to its worth, but I don’t get the reason for the fuss.


Candice Frederick said...

i actually really liked this movie. thought the supporting characters were, well, supporting. the movie is supposed to be about him. i was really engaged in his story and how he became a hero.

Castor said...

Totally agree Andrew although I liked it a bit more. It was underwhelming and a bit dull for me and the story was just so generic and Marvel factory-stamped. The movie really exists only to lead to The Avengers.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

candice the thing is, i WANTED to like it, but i just found it so bland.

castor that last line is so right, it's as if they were more interested in showing how he tied in with the avengers than telling us a story autonomous to itself.