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).