Nicholas Goodchild

Historic and Pared Down

Captain America

26 October 2011 by Nicholas in Films

Captain America is an upscaled 3D film directed by Joe Johnston and on general release now. It stars Chris Evans and Hugo Weaving and has a supporting cast that includes Tommy Lee Jones (who gets all the best lines and threatens to steal the film). Set mainly in the 1940s, it deals with the origin of Captain America and his struggles against an off shoot of Nazism.

Now, Captain America is a comic book movie in that it is derived from a comic book but also in the sense that it is morally simplistic in the extreme. To make the distinction between good and evil as clear as it could possibly be the Nazis are replaced with a group that is even more evil and make the Nazis themselves look like under achieving moderates. This is not intended as damning criticism, although the film carries a 12 certificate that the material does not warrant (and, for the life of me, I cannot understand where it was earned) and the tone is not intended to be too serious or melodramatic. This is a romp with clearly defined good and bad guys and meant as entertainment.

Although I enjoyed the film, I did find the action scenes to be oddly flat. At no point do they capture a sense of energy or tension and I am at a loss as to why this might be. I do wonder if there are places where the direction (although certainly competent and eliciting reasonable performances from the cast and at no point to blame for anything being glaringly off in terms of tone) is not what it could be: perhaps less steady camera work or different angles during the action set pieces would help to create some visual interest.

Overall I thought the movie served as an enjoyable origin piece but, unlike some of Marvel’s other recent output, nothing more.