Marvel Marathon #4: Captain America: The First Avenger

(During quarantine my girlfriend and I are going through the Marvel movies chronologically. Surprisingly, she is really enjoying them, maybe even more than me. We are already a couple down and I’m gunna do write-ups for all of ‘em, the good and the bad.)

Like Thor, I was not looking forward to this one, but I had seen Captain America: The First Avenger once. I saw it in the cinema back in 2011, and not gunna lie – thought it was pretty shit. From the get-go, Chris Evan’s face plastered on some scrawny actor’s body looked so strange it made me bitter about the whole movie. And back then I ignorantly thought Chris Evans was objectively not a good actor. So yeah, not looking forward to it, but it would be interesting to see how how my opinion would change, if at all.

First of all, of course Chris Evans is a good actor. Maybe I had seen him in some rom-com or something, I don’t know. Second of all, the superimposed face still looks shocking, even more so 9 years later. But they did the best with what they had I guess. They say that some things just can’t be adapted from a comic book because they are so out there, but I saw Spider-Man swinging off a unicorn last year so I don’t know.

I can admit when I’m wrong, Captain America: The First Avenger is a decent film. It’s not great, but it’s an enjoyable romp. The story is well told, and this time around I kinda fell for Captain America’s endearing patriotism and selflessness. The sentimental stuff makes me sick and I hate that I bought into it. (I like my superheroes hiding their emotions deep down and venting through smashing bad guys’ skulls against brick walls a la Batman.)

There are still a handful of things that just don’t really work for me. It’s a pretty romantic film and I’m really not in to that. Not that it’s a bad thing but it’s just a personal preference. It is also probably the reason why my girlfriend loves it. Chock full of romance so it is. And then there’s Red Skull, who reminds me of a 90s comic book movie villain – proper hammy and camp – it doesn’t really feel like the MCU style movie that we’ve become accustomed to.

This film is low-key weird. Like, sure Guardians of the Galaxy is weird, but Captain America is proper weird – Like, just knowing Captain America is the oldest virgin in the world is weird. Tommy Lee Jones being in this movie is weird (I don’t even know why, it’s just funny to think that Jones is part of the MCU). And the ending is masterful and very Evil Dead 2 esq, but so, so, so weird. Why the hell would S.H.I.E.L.D. Have a compound so close to Times Square of all places?

I think having seen a ton of films featuring Captain America since 2011, that has done a world of good for these so-so older entries. Revisiting the older MCU movies with all the knowledge of the character from 20 other films can surely only give you a better viewing experience. If anything, watching Captain America has made me realise I need to exercise more. Now I’m gonna go to the gym to work out, but as we’re still quarantined the gym is actually my kitchen. And there’s loads of snacks in my kitchen, so I don’t know if this is gunna end well.

Next up: The Avengers

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