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The streets of New York look a lot like the streets of Manchester…

August 17, 2011 2 comments

Went to see Captain America (The First Avenger) recently, and enjoyed it a fair bit. Of course, I went to see it in 2D1.

It’s a pretty simple tale; Set in World War Two, it follows Steve Rogers, a weedy nerd type who, through the magic of science, becomes superhuman and beats up Nazis.

Such a movie should be pretty hard to mess-up, and luckily, they get the mix just right. The villians are appropiately villianous2, the heroes lantern jawed and heroic. This isn’t a movie where the concepts of ‘heroism’ and ‘good’ are dissected through a complex narrative, this is an action movie about a super-hero who is also a soldier.

One of the core concepts of the Captain America comic book is that the title character is the spirit of the nation; he stands for an idealised form of heroism and hard work, a version of the American Dream that kick your arse if needs be. The movie pulls this off without being too nationalistic or repulsive. This is not “Team America: World Police”, this is the story of a Nazi-bashing, rights-defending dream of America, set in a bygone age.3

If you liked The Rocketeer, you’ll love this. (It’s also by the same director). If you’re a ‘Make Mine Marvel’ type, you’ll make little happy sounds at some of the little references. (There’s a brief glimpse of the 50’s version of the Human Torch, for example. And of course, a SHIELD style flying car.) Go see, if super heroes or fantasy-laden war movies are your thing.

(c) Marvel Pictures

The plot is lean and muscular.


1) 3D is for movies that have no story. Transformers 3 and Avatar, for example, are movies that are more about the spectacle than they are about anything else. You go to watch the explosions. Personally, I avoid that sort of thing as if I wanted to see things go bang, I’d go to a proper fireworks display. The plot tends to be better.
2) It’s nice to see Hugo Weaving and Toby Jones get a chance to chew scenery. Of coure, Jones will always be ‘The Dream Lord’ to me and Weaving will always be Mr Smith, but this just adds to the fun.
3) One of the movie’s flaws is that this theme jars slightly with the movie’s framing mechanism. But not terribly so.

Categories: Comic Books, Movies, Reviews