JD reviews Captain America

“Sissy Commie Pinko”, “Clueless Doucherag”, “Liberal Elitist Asshole.” These are just a smattering of the names I was called when I reviewed Captain America #1 a little over a week ago. All because I don’t fully accept Captain America as a character, and find him a bit propaganda-y, which, let’s face it, he is. At least, he was at the outset. And I only say these things so that, as a reader, you know how I felt about the character going in.

This movie never quite gelled with me as I was seeing the trailers as they were released, and I while I knew I was going to see it, I was never really pumped about it. Can a movie that has a guy wearing an American Flag as a costume really capture today’s jaded and anti-hero obsessed society?

YES. Yes it can! This film marks 3 pitch-perfect Marvel movies in one summer. If you traveled to the past and told 10-year old me that I would one day get to enjoy excellent comic book movies about characters I loved, that would be one thing. But that I would love comic book movies based on characters I didn’t even LIKE? That’s a whole other ball of kittens. As a geekboy through and through, it’s just a wonderful time to be alive.

This film dragged my jaded, tired self kicking and screaming into a realm of unabashed wonder and enthusiasm, without being overly hokey or silly. There weren’t any embarrassing or douche-chill-inducing scenes. Hell it even pokes fun at it’s own idea, in a wonderfully era-appropriate fashion (you’ll know what I mean when you see Steve Rogers’ first job as a super soldier and where he gets his name from)! I love that not only does Steve have to go from scrawny mini-man to buff super-man, he then has to PROVE himself a capable soldier before anyone trusts him. It’s not just “oh, we’ve created Man at his peak, now let’s allow him to lead us all to our potential deaths in the battlefield”. That being said, I think a montage of him learning to fight would have been a nice touch. Just because this kid got huge, that doesn’t mean he know instinctively how to USE that strength. I imagine it would be a lot like Avatar. Sure you can upload your brain into a giant blue creature, but you sort of need to relearn how to move. But that’s just be being nit-picky, I admit.

Chris Evans gave me a bit of pause as well. I loved him as the wise-cracking Human Torch (one of the only good things about the Fantastic Four movies, actually) but could he pull off a character like Cap? The answer, I now know, is YES. Everything Chris portrays feels true and honest. At no point does he try to be COOL. Or TOUGH. He just…IS. Even under all that bulk, he is still that same scrawny kid who never got a chance to dance with a girl. Evans did a great job here.

He isn’t the only one either. Kudos also go to Tommy Lee Jones for doing what he does best and Hayley Atwell gives Cap’s girl Peggy Carter some nice weight as well. Hugo Weaving was his usual self here and did a great job, despite his accent occasionally slipping, and his Red Skull looking a little too latex-y. He could have used a touch more texture. Maybe some veins or burn-marks or something. It really is kind of distracting instead of intimidating. And Stanley Tucci! Good god, man. Of course I’ve always known who Dr. Erskine was and how much of an effect he supposedly had on Cap, but I never FELT it until now. Tucci portrays a man that’s impossible to dislike here. This role would have been wasted on another actor. Great stuff.

Overall, this was a fantastic wrap-up to an amazing summer of comic book movies! There wasn’t one in the bunch that I didn’t enjoy, and that’s pretty swell.

JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, drawing a weekly webcomic, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at www.poptardsgo.com, graphically designing/illustrating/inking for a living, and Booking his Face off over here. Follow his twitter @poptardsgo. His talkback name is PopTard_JD

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5 Comments to “JD reviews Captain America”

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  1. I just have one thing to day. I agree. Loved the movie.

  2. jaydee says:

    i agree with you agreeing with me!!
    i wanna see it again!

  3. FlannelGuy says:

    This is exactly what Superman Returns was missing. Heart. Of all the scenes, that grenade sequence is my favorite. It just makes you smile and understand why this kid is perfect for the job. It takes more than muscles and power to make a true hero and Evans made me believe it.

    Of all the films, what a great way to wrap up the start of the Avengers (and hopefully the end of waiting after credits!). Marvel learned from Iron Man 2 and I have yet to be dissappointed since.

    I think my only beef is that this Captain America portrayal doesn’t really seem like he belongs with Thor or Iron Man….power base wise. I know Cap doesn’t really have super powers, but has the abilities of an above average human, I don’t think this guy could take Black Widow in a showdown. He does;however, have the leadership qualities and the mold of a true hero to be their leader, so yeah, I can see that angle.

    This is our golden boy. The All American Hero. Tony Stark is going to hate loving this guy, but I know I’m in for a treat. Especially with Joss Wheddon behind it. The banter, the effects. I’m so game for this.

  4. Reau says:

    This was a great review. I also went in with little doubts hanging in the back of mind, but Chris Evans is without a shadow of a doubt Captain America now. He did such an amazing job. I 100% believed every line he delivered. His Steve Rogers was pitch perfect.

  5. FlanneyGuy says:

    I know! What a stretch from what we’ve seen him do before. Especially as Johnny in FF. Coming from a guy who was in a parody flick years ago, to the leader of a Marvel Super Team…kind of cool to see how far he’s come along.

    I honestly don’t think, after watching this and seeing him as a scrawny kid to full on Cap, anyone could have done it better. I mean we always say who we think could have done AS good or BETTER, but I think Chris Evans was just all around perfect for this. Plus, I think he’ll have great chemistry with Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo as Banner and Chris Hemmsworth.

    I’m not big in their comic world, but Marvel sure knows their movies.

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