Captain America

Posted: August 23, 2011 by davidmrgn in Film
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In a nutshell: Star spangled hero packs a surprising punch

Popcorn rating: 3.5/5

Pumping a skinny teenager full of experimental muscle drugs and sending him to war dressed like the American flag. What could possibly go wrong? That’s the ludicrous plot you’re faced with in the latest Marvel Comics film – but somehow it works.

Captain America is rivaled only by Batman as one of the most enduring comic book heroes of our time.  Created in 1941, just two years after the Dark Knight, he was an icon of western values during the Second World War. – a hero to inspire American troops. But today, in a world where exaggerated patriotism is frowned upon, credit goes to director Joe Johnston for making him fit for the 21st century.

Keeping the story faithful to its origins, the film is set in the midst of wartime, with the 1940s lavishly recreated in a retro comic style. Amidst this technicolour war-tinged glory is fiesty Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), an American youth with the heart of a lion and the body of an underfed rabbit. All Steve wants to do is fight for his country but he fails to get into the army due to his medical conditions and stature.

Fortunately, his determination does not go unnoticed and he is picked as the guinea pig in a experimental supersolidier project. Just like magic, Rogers is transformed into the star spangled, muscled superhero who thinks nothing of walking into the warzone dressed like a target in red, white and blue with his iconic shield.  It’s camp, it’s cheesy but that’s somehow what makes it work.

On the other side of the good and evil plot we have the always magnificent, Hugo Weaving, this time being purposely overblown (and loving every minute) as the dastardly villain ‘Red Skull’. Let battle commence.

It’s hard not to be cynical about the latest raft of Marvel films when you remember they’re all part of the background build up for the grand finale – an Avengers film which will see all the superheroes (Cap, Thor, Ironman etc) teaming up. Don’t let that put you off. It may be a slice of a much bigger pie but Captain America still offers plenty of bang for your all-American buck.

Reviewer: DavidMorgan


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