Written by / 7/25/2011 / No comments / , , , ,

CAPTAIN AMERICA

title: CAPTAIN AMERICA
year: 2011
cast: Chris Evans
rating: **

This Marvel Comic adaptation, taking place during World War II, wields amazing special effects by turning muscular lead actor Chris Evans into a super skinny “Steve Rogers,” who desperately wants to fight against the Nazis. But his size, asthma, and other health issues keep him from passing muster.

Our protagonist’s underdog plight... as Rogers, when not attempting to trick the army, hangs out with his uniformed best friend... isn’t as involving as it should be. These characters don’t seem real enough to care for. And when a friendly scientist gives him an opportunity to join a special task force, the boot camp scenes involving Tommy Lee Jones as the barking Colonel, and love-interest “Peggy Carter” as a drill instructor, are a rushed montage: leading to the big experiment that turns the emaciated Rogers into a beefy macho man who can run really fast, but overall his powers aren’t very… super.

The writers, to counterbalance the corny costume of the original Marvel character, has the Army turn Rogers into a purposely cheesy performer in propaganda films, given the name of “Captain America,” shield and all… So when he becomes the real deal, traipsing around the battlefield with a troop of soldiers and a more mainstreamed uniform… it seems a legit, and less silly, alternative.

But the dominating main villain, Red Skull, with a red painted face brighter than a fire truck and a cliché desire to rule the world, just doesn’t wash. While Rogers, whose powers seem peripheral by the time we have a climactic action-packed aerial chase (and not enough action beforehand), is like any other fictional hero, making this a second rate war-time thriller rather than escapist fantasy: what most comic book films (should) provide.
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