Late Friday afternoon I am sitting at my desk when Jonny Green sends me a picture. A picture of a stub for Captain America. My response was “I am so excited to see that! You have no idea.” Two hours later, Jonny replied “Don’t be.” – Ryan “Oh, don’t tell me that!” – Jonny “Just trying to prepare you. You’ll enjoy it more that way.” – Ryan “Is that like punching someone before you rape them?”
Jonny thought that he was being helpful. If you read his review, you will see that he thought the first half of the movie was great, but that it fell flat once ol’ Stevey became Cap. We had an even longer conversation after I read his review in which I still had hope and Jonny kept trying to tell me that he was doing me a favor by lowering my standards.
Now understand, I have a love for Jonny that is unquestionable. It began with a bachelor party and sealed by a man who goes by the name of Black Dynamite. : ) But that is a story for another day. Jonny has the ability to instantly make you feel like you are his best friend. I have seen him do it with more than a few people. The reason he can do that is because he actually cares. He wants to make every person who he meets have a better day. So I take that into consideration and honestly think he was trying to help me enjoy Captain America more.
You didn’t need to Jonny.
Please watch the above video. It pretty much sums up how this entire movie made me feel.
Captain America is the comic book movie I have been waiting for. By that I do not mean I have been waiting for a Captain America movie all of my life. I have been pumped for it, but Captain America was never my guy. (Wolverine and Cable if you are interested.) What I mean is that this is the way that every comic book movie should be done. Let me explain.
Reading my other reviews about comic book origin movies, you will see that my gripe has consistently been that the movie is not about the super hero, it is about the person before they became a super hero. Apparently, Hollywood deems it necessary for heroes to not really want to be heroes at first. Instead they must do some soul searching and find the inner strength that it takes to wield such awesome outer strength. I DON’T CARE!!! I want someone who already is a super hero doing super hero things. If I am going to Captain America (or Hulk, or Green Lantern, or Wolverine, or Superman, or every other super hero movie) I want to see the hero being a hero!
There is still an origin story in Captain America. But there are two distinct differences. Number one, long before Steve Rogers was Captain America, the super hero, he was Captain America, the idea. He is a 90 pound weakling who is never going to give up. He never let people pick on him or America without showing that he is going to put up a fight. He has faith in himself and in America, and nothing can waver that.
That inner strength is what gets him chosen to be the first subject for the Super Soldier Serum. That strength is what gets him through the pain of the transformation into a super hero. Then we get the second distinct difference between this movie and other comic book movies. For the entire second half of the movie, he is Captain America and he goes out and is a bad ass.
I will start where Jonny did, with the first chase scene. There is a double agent who blows everything to hell and kills Dr. Erskine , the man who chose Steve Rogers and invented the Serum that gave him his powers. Rogers takes off after him barefoot. I have to be honest and say that I don’t know much about Captain America and his powers. But watching this one scene instantly showed me what he can do. He can chase after cars barefoot. He can run so fast that he can’t physically change his own trajectory. He can swim after submarines. He can throw men great distances. He is truly a superhero.
But my favorite part of this chase scene was that he got America instantly on his side. When the double agent grabs a kid as a hostage, you can see the fear for the child’s safety in Cap’s face. When the villain then throws the kid into the water as a distraction so that he can get away, Cap goes straight for the kid. The kid yells up, “It’s ok. I can swim. GO GET HIM!!!” Fuck yes! In that moment I was that kid. I had nothing but adoration for Cap and all I wanted was for him to go pound that bad guy.
Throughout the film, we get to watch Cap do amazing things. We have a villain who is a villain in the classic sense of the term. He is evil for evil’s sake. When his henchmen fail him, he kills them. Because all that matters is him and what he wants. He is the exact opposite of Cap. The Red Skull only cares about himself and what he wants. Cap cares about everyone. (Plus, I just love Hugo Weaving. There is not much that man can’t do.)
All of the supporting characters are perfectly cast. I instantly fell in love with each of the Howling Commandos (Cap’s strike team) even though none of them have more than five lines. The Dr. And Colonial were a fantastic pair. And Peggy was simultaneously powerful and beautiful.
Captain America is probably my favorite movie I have seen thus far this year. I loved everything about it. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Go see Captain America: The First Avenger!
Have you seen Captain America? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.