A Vulnerable Steve Rogers
By Jack Anderson on January 6, 2019
Let me start by saying it right away. I hate Captain America. The reason is quite simple. He's perfect. And in storytelling, perfect characters mean emptiness. The beauty is in the light that shines through the scars of the body and the soul. I thought that Captain America had no soul, and you know what? I was dead wrong.
I had seen Captain America in all the Marvel movies, except this one. In those films, he's perfect, always dead serious and at the end not much fun. In a sense, he's the perfect opposite to the wildly fun Iron Man.
And then, my friend Gruic gave me the spark to go back and watch the entire MCU from the beginning:
- Iron Man was fun!
- The Incredible Hulk had a good first part, but then was really average.
- Iron Man 2 was a disaster.
- Thor was a great surprise, as I expected a really bad film and saw quite the opposite.
So here comes Captain America: The First Avenger. Let me jump right to it. I loved it! It reminded me of the good old stories with Nazis performing with paranormal activities. In a way, this film is almost like a depiction of the video game Return to Castle Wolfenstein. It got the all package. Nazis, references to the Führer, great and stylish design, train heist, a scent of the 40's, fights in planes, you name it!
But let me start with the beginning.
The reason I hated Captain America so much is that he was perfect. You should have seen my face when I discovered him as a frail and small man at the beginning of that film. That was just brilliant, truly magnificent. It was so much fun, every frame was a delight to watch. I actually never learned what was the backstory of this character and how he actually became Captain America.
Suddenly, Captain America actually has a name, Steve Rogers. He's being bullied and you cannot not root for him. Because we always love seeing the little guys succeeding against the bullies. That's why we all love Back to the Future and Marty McFly going against big bullies.
Also, in this film, we actually never know if Captain America is immortal or not. Of course, from the beginning, we know he will reappear in the future (or actually in the present day), but throughout the film, we just see him as extremely strong, or even a step further (obviously, even the strongest person couldn't manage a shield like he does.) I think that was extremely clever, as I really physically hate watching immortal characters fighting each other on screen. This is more boring that watching a cloud moving.
I really liked the concept of providing only this power to a weak man, so that he would never forget where he came from. That really touched a chord in me and I think this is a concept you can duplicate on other areas of life as well.
Also, I was very surprised to see Hugo Weaving in that film. He is so talented to play bad guys, as we, once again, all loved him as the bad guy in The Matrix (I said The Matrix, I did not mention the sequels, all right?) And his red face, àla The Mask was pure evil and worked beautifully. The contrast with the white from his teeth (yeah, that may be an odd comment) was really great. That was the designer in me talking here. Moving on.
The look of the film is really great as well, and while I am sure I would not have gone this way if I was a producer on this film, I must admit that the modern look worked very well. It embeds quite nicely with the old touch and we still are able to breath this scent from the 40's - I'm talking about the 1940's, in case someone reads this review thirty years from now.
So, overall, this is really a big action movie, without too much meat on the bone, but still very, very enjoyable. Therefore, I am really surprised to give it 7 out of 10. I was so sure to experience an awful film that I may raise the bar a little bit too much. Maybe I'll review it in a few years and will give it only a 6 or even a 5. But surely, I won't give a lower rating than this. Go, Cap!