We went to a 3-D showing of Captain America this weekend, which, as promised, featured Captain America, eventually.
I guess I’m a little tired of superhero origin stories. I kind of wish they’d just start making the sequel right out of the gate and skip the origin movie. (And with The Amazing Spider-Man coming, we’re going to have to sit through his damn origin story, again, even though we did it already about ten years ago. Snore. I say this, of course, as if I have no choice but to watch these films. But I’m a dork, so I kind of don’t.)
Captain America tells the story of brave, selfless, and wimpy Steve Rogers, who demonstrates for about forty-five minutes that he really wants to join the Army and fight for our country in World War II because he’s brave and great and has no flaws except for his shitty, wimpy body (that still appeared to be in better shape than my own body). And who makes a more interesting hero than an incredibly mopey guy who always does the right thing? Rogers eventually gets his chance, after a science experiment transforms him into bulky and bland Chris Evans, but then we spend another six hours watching his frustration grow as the Army, rather than sending him to war, makes him tour as a propaganda device to sell bonds. It turns out, with his new huge puffy body, he can be even more mopey than he already is. His moping is scientifically enhanced!
Finally, he gets to beat up a bunch of Hydra guys, Hydra being a cartoony faction of the Nazis with magic ray guns, led by Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull, who is, as villains are in superhero movies, considerably more interesting than the good guy. Red Skull has a plan to bomb the entire world with bombs, or something, but Captain America launches into a bunch of montages that show him easily destroying all of Red Skull’s magic bomb factories, which is great because after waiting for hours to see Captain America kick butt, it’s satisfying to see a quick truncated version of all the butt-kicking we’ve been looking forward to (no it’s not.) After all his stuff is blown up, Red Skull prepares to blow up the world same as he had planned to before all his stuff got blown up. So I don’t know what difference the montage made, really.
Outshining the dull Chris Evans is the entire rest of the cast, including Stanley Tucci as a German scientist, Tommy Lee Jones as the gruff and enjoyable army leader guy, that weird-looking actor who is great, the woman who plays the woman, Tony Stark’s dad, and a number of Howling Commandos who are completely unexplained and infinitely more interesting than Captain America himself.
There was some good stuff, too, I guess. There were cute references to other movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Weaving’s role in The Matrix, and the sets looked cool, and the effects were impressive, but mostly, I was bored waiting for Captain America to beat up Hydra, and he didn’t for a really long time, and then even when he did, I was still pretty bored. It wasn’t a terrible movie at all, and it wasn’t unenjoyable, I just didn’t personally enjoy it.
As far as the 3-D, this was our first 3-D film since 3-D was a novelty back when the glasses were made of paper. I guess I’m officially an old fart, because I kinda don’t get it. Sure, it definitely helped me realize who was standing closest to the camera (something that would be impossible to determine if it wasn’t in 3-D), but other than things poking out of the screen a bit, I don’t think it added anything. There was one shot where Cap’s shield comes flying at the screen that made me sort of flinch, but the rest of it seemed kinda pointless. And, when there was action moving sideways it sort of jerked and flickered, like when words move sideways across a TV screen (the show Spaced did this with their credits a lot, rendering them unreadable).
Anyway, the film was okay, but Captain America himself is just not that interesting: he’s good and true and brave and that’s just not much of a hook, especially when Chris Evans is the salesman. Cap is one-dimensional, even in three dimensions. Kris seemed to like it more than I did, as did the guy sitting somewhere to my right, who exclaimed “THAT WAS AWESOME!” after wimpy Steve Rogers figured out how to retrieve a flag from a pole when no one else could. Also, the guy’s kid kicked me like ten times but I didn’t say anything because he looked muscly (the guy, not his kid). And then his kid almost threw up on me at the end, which would have been some good 3-D, I’ll admit.
I give the film fifty stars (get it?) out of 100.
It also grossed $65 million this weekend, which means Cowboys & Aliens needs to take in about $74 million for Kris to win our Summer Movie Fantasy League. That’s a lot, but I could see it happening.