Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thoughts on "Captain America: The First Avenger"

The boys and I decided to do something we haven't had the opportunity to do much of recently; mainly, go to a movie.  We decided to check out "Captain America: The First Avenger".  Set primarily during the World War II era, it tells the story of weakling Steve Rogers, who volunteers for an experimental Super Soldier program that transforms him into the perfect man and and then finds himself fighting to save the world from the evil Red Skull, HYDRA, and the power of the Cosmic Cube.  Captain America not only demonstrates what it means to be a good soldier.  He also demonstrates what it means to be a good man, often attempting to sacrifice his own safety for the good of others.  It was a fun movie, with lots of period costumes and special effects.  Unfortunately, Captain America's final battle with the Red Skull was pretty anti-climatic and it seemed like the spent more time and energy setting up 2012's "The Avengers" film during this movie's final half-hour.

Here are some of the things I liked about Captain America: The First Avenger.  I thought that Chris Evans played a wonderful and convincing Steve Roger.  Outside of the anti-climatic climax, I thought that the movie did a good job of evenly setting up both Captain America's origin and his subsequent wartime activities.  I enjoyed the various visitors from Marvel Comics, including Nazi scientist Arnim Zola, Dum Dum Dugan and the other Howling Commandos, and Nick Fury.  I was especially excited to see a very quick cameo of the original android Human Torch.

With all those characters and character cameos, I kind of wish we could have met the retconned first super soldier, Isaiah Bradley the black Captain America.  Inspired by the 40-year Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Marvel's Truth: Red, White, & Black told the story of a WWII regiment of black soldiers who were involuntarily recruited to test the program that eventually transformed Steve Rogers into Captain America.  Of nearly 300 soldiers, only five survived the experiments and only Isaiah Bradley survived the story.  Bradley managed to kill some Nazi soldiers and super-scientists before getting captured, rescued, court-martialed, and eventually sent to Leavenworth.  He was eventually pardoned and returned to his family in the 1960s.  Isaiah Bradley has become a huge icon for most of Marvel's black superhero community.  I could see Marvel's movie audiences confused by his inclusion in these films, but it could be a great story if done right.

But all in all, I enjoyed this movie, as did the boys.  We didn't see it in 3D and I think I would have been upset if we had.  The movie's pacing was pretty even and the characterizations were fun.


Anonymous said...

I think you are very close to the fact except dont make him completely black a little wheatish but on the darker side would work fine. he must have a moustache is possible which will make him manly and like a father figure. some weapons must change like the arm xray must be introduced and mush more all the best Jon i am with you
Darryl from KSA

Jon said...

I kind of like Isaiah Bradley as he is (or at least was during WWII), but thanks for commenting, Anonymous!