Thursday, March 24, 2011

At long last, Captain America: the First Avenger gets a star-spangled trailer.

The word of the day: adventure. Joe Johnston seems to be toeing the line between serious World War II melodrama and gee-whiz bubblegum adventure. Most interesting is that this is the rare comic book adaptation that doesn't feel narratively claustrophobic. I certainly won't call the Dolph Lundgren Punisher film any kind of good movie, but one of the things I liked is that it remains one of the only modern book movies where the hero simply sets out to solve a problem that he did not create and fight a villain that he is not personally connected to. There has been so much emphasis on recent comic book films of making every conflict inherently personal that it's kinda cool that at least one comic book film was basically 'a day in the life of...'. This film seems to be an origin story, followed by what just happens to be Steve Rogers first mission.

The film looks suitably down-to-earth and semi-plausible, and I appreciated the old-fashioned gee-wiz tone at play. Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones lend gravitas, and its quite refreshing that Haley Atwell is presented as just another soldier who happens to hit it off with Chris Evans. Speaking of Evans, the Benjamin Button-ish special effects are absolutely impressive, and it's obvious that Marvel/Paramount are focusing on making the audience buy the transformation. There's actually very little Captain America action in this first trailer, as a second trailer will likely show off more of the action beats, as well as more than a fleeting glimpse of Hugo Weaving as Red Skull. Of the five major comic book adaptations, Captain America seems to have the edge in terms of balancing fun with smarts. So far, so good.

Scott Mendelson

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