To say I like superhero movies is like saying that republicans only kind of enjoy guns. They love guns and I love superhero movies. Luckily, my teenage years have been filled with great superhero movies. Sure there have been some stupid ones (Superman Returns, Ghost Rideretc.) but overall it has been fantastic. I would like to personally thank Christopher Nolan for that. It is quite possible to claim that no other person was more excited for a Captain America movie than me (probably a lie). The first rumors of it sounded awesome and the casting of Chris Evans, a favorite actor of mine, in the lead role had me slobbering over any news and pictures of the film. My fanboy love blinded me during the so-so trailer and the lack of coherent scenes. To say this is the biggest disappointment of the year for me is an understatement.
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a 90 pound weakling who really wants to serve his country. Especially since it’s World War 2 and everyone knows that is the best war to fight in, because winning is awesome. Unfortunately little ol’ Steve has asthma and a whole host of other problems. Like the fact that he always gets beat up. Everyone seems to chalk this up to bullying the little guy (Nazis are bullies, get it?) but I think it’s because Steve is incredibly boring. Throw some inflection into your voice man. Even the nicest grandma can’t wait to leave the room of a boring man. You just want to hit them for being so dull. Anyways, a nice German scientist (Stanley Tucci) decides to sweet talk Rogers into a super soldier program run by Colonel Chester Philips (Tommy Lee Jones). Rogers gets transformed into a hulking man, complete with sex appeal and very Aryan looking features, and promptly watches a German spy shoot Mr. Tucci and destroy the remaining super soldier serum. And since only Stanley knew the formula it goes without saying that America will never figure it out again and so we only have one superhero for a while.
Meanwhile in the motherland, Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) uses terrible German accents to acquire some jewel of Odin (thus tying in Thor) to power his super Nazi death machines. Captain America, after getting hit on by women and helping sell war bonds, takes the fight to the Nazi’s in a montage of explosions and the red, white and blue in slow motion. There’s so much patriotism I might be sick. Of course the Captain has to save the world at some point and that’s really all you need to know.
I wanted this movie to be good. I really did. I even went to the midnight premiere. Boy, was that a waste of money. Let’s address the bad guys. I need them to strike fear in my heart. And who does that best? The Nazis! They hate everybody! They are such an easy bad guy to work with! But nope, even with Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, Lord of the Rings) as a bad guy, I felt no fear. Probably because of the terrible accents. Or the stupid piece of CGI red tape to cover his “mutilated” face. Christoph Waltz was scarier in The Green Hornet. And Seth Rogen was in that movie. SETH ROGEN. They should have rehired Kevin Bacon from X-Men: First Class.
Besides the entire hour spent on Captain America’s back story, the rest of the film has a lot of action, not any action that makes any sense but it’s still action. The only effect that impressed me was whoever gave Chris Evans that tiny body. I heard they photo-shopped every scene he was in. Well done, he looked like a really tiny person and his transformation was great. But when he finally is big I get to watch two hours of him hitting guys with a shield. All right I get it, that’s his special shield because he likes being defensive. But Goddamn use your gun! I saw you shoot it several times, but no one died. Hitting people with shields would certainly knock some teeth out, but does it kill them? No. Use a gun. When he finally did kill someone, by throwing them into a plane propeller, I reached the pinnacle of excitement but then the movie kept going.
Which brings us to Chris Evans, the first avenger. Evans is no stranger to superheroes: Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four 2: the suckening, and Push. I loved him in each one, why? Because he’s a wisecracking superhero. He is funny! He likes jokes! He is Ryan Reynolds, only manlier! That’s his appeal. Captain America made several jokes, but they were so dry it almost wasn’t worth it. Let Evans loose, it’s what he does best.
The best part of the movie goes to Tommy Lee Jones. I laughed out loud several times. When Evans kisses his British counterpart (obviously had to be a woman) he looks over at Jones who says, “I ain’t kissing you.” Simple, delivered well, and hysterical. There were multiple lines of his interspersed into the film that broke the monotony and unfunnyness, “I want you to take what’s on your mind and feel free to never share it with me.” Howard Stark’s character (Tony Stark’s dad, tying in Iron Man) was also fairly humorous.
In the end, it hurts me to review Captain America so badly. I wanted it to be as good as or better than Iron Man. I wanted to laugh and enjoy some good old Nazi bashing. But instead I spent $11.75 on a big wheel of cheese that didn’t enter or exit very well. Hopefully Joss Whedon can change all that when The Avengers releases next year, if anyone can do it, he can. Save your money and watch X-Men again. The only good superhero movie this year (I disliked Thor very much).
1 out of 4 stars
P.S. Fondue is a good euphemism for sex.