Its Sunday, July 24, 2011, this post is brought to you by powder milk biscuits, not really, but this is The Side. We're on the tail end of the heat wave here. Yes I did go out and work in it. There's one big problem with being online in that saying stuff can net a response from unexpected places. I posted that I might have sweated something important off and the first response I get is from an Australian firefighter telling me "toughen up, sunshine".
You can't come back from that! This guy goes out and fights a brush fire and the heat and when he starts getting dehydrated goes "Oy! Gimme a beer."
When I think of Captain America I think of three main points: he's the best pound-for-pound fighter in Marvel, he's a hero's hero, and he's a stand up guy. The last point was the one that Chris Evans really brought home when he played Steve Rogers in this movie. Yes, he completely looked the part. The special effects that were used to make him look skinny were remarkably well done. He also did a great job with the action scenes required. Most importantly, I completely bought into him as Captain America. He really brought his "A" game as an actor.
This was just one great performance among many. Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull was menacing and eeeeeeevil. Hayley Atwell was phenomenal as Peggy Carter bringing a classic beauty and real strength to the character. Tommy Lee Jones played to his strengths which I love it so when he does it. He was responsible for most of more humorous lines in the film. Sebastian Stan as Bucky did great and really showed the friendship between Steve and Bucky. I loved Stanley Tucci in this. He plays the scientist behind the super soldier process and brings such warmth and charm to the role.
Let's get down to it. For those who don't know the story, in World War II America was going to create an army of "super soldiers" to take on Hitler. A spy kills the scientist responsible after the process produces only one test subject. From there, Cap goes to war. Director Joe Johnson sticks to these key points, and the key points of the character. It works. The best way to describe this film is "simple", and I mean that in the best way possible. I love Johnson's other period superhero film THE ROCKETEER for the same reason. The good guys are good through-and-through. The Nazi bad guys and just dripping evil. You want to cheer for Steve the whole time. He's got an amazing "can do" grit in everything except how to talk to women. There's a lot of charm here making this movie a lot of fun. At the same time we see the stark comparison with Hydra and villains. They aren't likable at all, and you want to see Cap and the Howling Commandos take them down.
One little bit I completely nerded out on. Early in the film, Steve and Bucky go on a double date to the World's Fair. Keep your eyes open to catch a look at The Human Torch! Its the original Human Torch, which was an android superhero the Marvel (then Timely comics) had going back when Cap first came on the scene. Cap, the Torch and Sub-Mariner were their big three back in the day. That Human Torch was the inspiration for the modern Human Torch that Chris Evans played in THE FANTASTIC FOUR. That was such a neat little circle for a movie Easter Egg.
Bottom line: this was a really really good movie. Great performances by all the actors. It looks great. Its a lot of fun. The ending is a gut wrencher that really makes you feel for the characters. They really did an amazing job in this all the way around. This is the classic Captain America I grew reading and not the Mark Millar HaRdCoRe douchebag. Thank goodness for that.
And finally, make sure you stay through the credits for a sneak peak of next years THE AVENGERS. Its the same one that got leaked to YouTube this week, but its really awesome to see on the big screen.
When I kick it old school, I mean reeeeeeeal old school.
That's it for today. If the heat is still on you, go catch a movie and enjoy some air conditioning. We'll see y'all Wednesday.