Sunday, July 24, 2011

Captain America

Even if you aren't familiar with the comic it's based on, you can still enjoy this action adventure as a fun "popcorn" summer film. Actually purists familiar with the source material may be upset with certain liberties (no pun intended) taken to the original origin story. The character of Bucky Barnes, for instance has completely been rewritten and during WWII, Nick Fury is nowhere to be seen but his "Howling Commandos" play a prominent part in the story.

Aside from these plot deviations, the film is still fun and sticks to the core of Captain America's origins. Chris Evans is perfectly cast as Steve Rogers, the puny soldier destined for greatness. Tommy Lee Jones is also perfect as the gruff Colonel in charge of the Super Soldier project. Hugo Weaving, always a good villain, brings the "Red Skull" to life with the right attitude and great makeup. A wonderful addition to the story and a fun nod to fans is the important part of Howard Stark, played by Dominic Cooper. Howard Stark will become the father of Tony Stark, who we all know by now is "Iron Man". Mr. Cooper is a great choice as you can really see the resemblance to Robert Downy Jr. and believe he could be his father. It also lays down the foundation for next year's "The Avengers" movie, especially with the addition of Samuel Jackson's "Nick Fury" cameo at the end.

The battle scenes are good but get a bit repetitive. Fortunately Cap's shield is a great special effect of it's own and fun to watch every time he uses it. The first third of the film takes a while to get going but there are some clever bits about a USO tour and a growing love interest, Peggy Carter (played by newcomer Hayley Atwell), who's daughter just has to show up in "The Avengers".

It's pretty obvious to the real fan that all the recent Marvel films have just been pieces of a bigger puzzle which will be next year's superhero blockbuster. The introduction of the Cosmic Cube in this film, a glimpse of "Hawkeye" in "Thor", Nick Fury at the end of "Iron Man" all help set the table for "The Avengers". Let's hope it's a meal worth waiting for.

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