Oct 31, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) - heroes are made in America

directed by Joe Johnson / starring Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Hugo Weawing, Stanley Tucci, Dominic Cooper

 I realized I need to catch up on my superhero movies. I also realized it's been a month since I updated this blog. So here you go!

Ever since I saw the first trailer for The Avengers (and it looks good, by the way, even to the eyes of a Marvel amateur like me (and it's not just RDJ that makes it look good, I swear (though it's a contibutor))), I've felt the intrigue I once held for superheros start creeping back. (Spider-Man used to be The Thing for me. My wardrobe still suffers from the consequences of that phase...) There is something about them, isn't there? The men and, well, mostly men, that somehow are given a great power, and a great responsibility with it. And the thing is that the most important power they have is not their psysical strength, or their freaky, supernatural traits; it's the power of their mind, and their heart, the power they'd had all along; the power that makes them transform into superheros, instead of supervillains. This is expecially central in the case of Captain America, and one of the reasons I liked the story so much.

Steve Rogers is a skinny young man, with everything from asthma to heart problems staining his medical records. But he is brave and humble and righteous, and oh, isn't he patriotic. World War II is alluring noble wannabe-heros to go to Europe to "serve their country", and Steve keeps trying to join the army, to do his duty, but no one wants to sent a skinny little boy like him to die in the shores of France. Then Steve gets his chance: he volunteers to be a subject in a top-secret experiment, which turns him into the ultimate supersoldier. Thus, oh say can you see, Captain America is born.

I'm not comfortable around patriotism. It is possibly the aspect about this country that feels the most alien to me. It also makes me a bit angry. "Serving their country", and so on, don't even let me get started on that. But I decided not to let it bother me too much. It it vital to the story that Captain America loves America, so I just went with it. I even found the stars-and-stripes costume pretty cool.

Here's something else I found pretty cool. Chris Evans as a skinny little boy. It was weird, at first, but once you realized it actually looked realistic, and not like Chris Evans's head had been attached to another man's body, it was pretty cool. Thank you, technology. I liked how Captain America was first used as a propaganda machine, and how ridiculous that was. I liked Chris Evans. He usually plays the cocky guy, but he did humble really well, too. I liked Hayley Atwell as the tough chick love interest. Hugo Weaving always makes a good villain. Stanley Tucci is pure awesomeness. And I don't at all mind looking at Dominic Cooper. I'm totally buying that he's related to one Robert Downey Jr.

I also liked how Steve Rogers remained Steve Rogers even after he became Captain America. He never really goes through any kind of mental transformation; the main character of the movie doesn't really learn anything, or develop into something better during the film. This would usually bother me, a lot, but actually it's one of the coolest things about Captain America: there is no need for Steve Rogers to develop or change, because he had the goods all along. The skinny Steve in the beginning would have done the same things Captain America did in the end. It was just the matter of getting the right tools. He might have turned into a superhero, but he was still awkward around ladies. I suppose there might be a sequel with him exploring his darker side, too, รก la Spider-Man 3 (haha, yes, I kind of liked that movie), and that would actually be really interesting.

Speaking of sequels. I want one! Or two. You can't end a movie like that and not make a sequel. Or two. 'Cause I loved the ending! I loved the ending and loved the beginning. Wasn't so thrilled of all of what what in the middle, but that can blaimed on me being a stereotypical girl. Too much action makes me bored. I need some dialogue and relationships to keep me interested. Haha. It's true, unfortunately. I'm a girl. Guilty as charged. Anyway. I'll probably get my sequel(s) at some point, but before that, I'll get The Avengers. And I bet that will be a lot of fun. And a lot of not-at-all-bad-looking men to look at. Why, oh why are women intrigued by superhero movies, I wonder? (It's not just that, though. Seriously. (Really!))

(I love the posters of this movie. Kind of old-fashioned, but still modern and sleek.)

"Arrogance is not a uniquely American trait, but you do it better than most."