Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review of the movie Captain America

Okay, let's get this off the bat first:  Yes, Captain America was worth seeing in the theaters.  :-)

Overall, it was a fun ride, and definitely a comic book feel to the story.  I really enjoyed it.  You sense a "but" coming, don't you?  Well ...  maybe that's coming.  ;-)

But first, the obligatory


Possible spoilers ahead!  If you haven't seen the movie Captain America and don't want what's in it spoiled for you, then STOP READING NOW!  You have been warned!

First, let me say that I loved the 1940's scenery.  It was gorgeous!  It was probably my favorite part of the movie.  Also, it was a refreshing change to see a movie that didn't eventually devolve into anti-Americanism; something that I feared would happen in a movie titled "Captain America", in which a Hollywood director might feel the need to add the obligatory anti-American jab just so that he didn't lose cred with his fellow anti-American colleagues in the film industry. 

Well, it was indeed respectful of the era! And good for them! It was also interesting to see Tony Stark's (aka Iron Man, of course) dad in the movie. Oh, you know that they had to tie in CA to Iron Man! LOL  Anyway, I really enjoyed the way they told Cap's story, and I also appreciated the fact that they didn't make his sidekick Bucky a teenager.  While it may make a good story in the 1940s, no self-respecting superhero would ever put a child or teenager in the kind of danger that being X superhero's sidekick would bring.  Remember, some of these supervillains are downright evil, and they'd think nothing of torturing or killing kids, especially if they know they are X superhero's sidekick!

Really, the only reason a superhero would take on a teenage sidekick is for themselves, and not for the sidekick.  But if a given superhero needs the ego boost that having an adoring sidekick brings, then they shouldn't be in the hero business.  Bit I digress...

All in all, I think the movie was great, and overall, on a scale of 1 to 10 in which 1 is a bomb and 10 is THE bomb, I give CA a 9.  It would have gone as high as 9.5, but the use of the 3D was totally unnecessary, and thus it earns a demerit from me, as all movies do when it's made 3D solely for the purpose of leeching out more money from us moviewatchers.  See, this is why I generally refuse to go see movies when they are in the theater. 

However, there is a little bitty hope that I could tack that .5 back on, and it wholly depends on what they do with Cap in the next movie with him.  Before I continue, consider the fact that when Marvel Comics first de-iced Cap, it was a mere 20 years after WWII.  While there were certainly quite a bit of social, technological, and many other changes over the course of the 20 years, it's nothing like the kinds of changes that have occurred from 1945 to 2011, which is when Cap was de-iced in the movie!

That has to be taken into account.  That is, they can't go all PC on Cap and have him accepting of all the changes that have come about since WWII.  I'm not saying that they should make him some sort of racist, sexist and homophobe, but to consider that Cap is a product of his age, and coming to terms with all that has changed in society is going to take a considerable amount of time.  In other words, the writers SHOULD explore his attitudes in such a way that doesn't intentionally make him look bad or ugly, but that should still be uncomfortable. 

For example, he can reflect that women in the 40s who dressed like the women he sees in the 21st century were usually called prostitutes.  Given time, he can adjust to the changes, especially in the way that women and minorities have progressed, and he can even say something along the lines that "It's good to see more and more people sharing in the American Dream." 

The writers also might make mention of Isaiah Bradley, another Captain America of the 1940s, and reflect on how the government had engaged in ethically and morally questionable research into creating the super soldier formula.  It would also be a legitimate way for the director to get his anti-American dig into the movie.  I may be conservative, but I was as shocked as anyone when the Tuskegee syphilis experiment became publicly known.  We should all be reminded of the limits of what our government should and shouldn't do, and mentioning Isaiah Bradley can be a very good way of doing that.

If the movie writers do indeed include my ideas and suggestions, then my friends, you will witness the very first time I changed one of my movie ratings!  And believe you me, I will be very glad to change it!  Even if they do make the next movie in 3 effin' D!

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