I figured since I didn't do a MST3K this morning again, because I had to run errands, I can at LEAST get this done.
So, I finally found a theatre an hour away that wasn't showing this in 3D, and I got to see it. And I took just as much time to write up my thoughts on it. ;)
In short, I really love this movie.
Joe Johnson was a near-perfect director for this. Everyone was spazzing out when he was named, but I knew a few others who, myself included, were all for it. I *loved* the Rocketeer, and while it had its flaws, it was very close to what I wanted to see from a Captain America movie. There are some VERY goofy and hokey things about Cap, and this movie chose to embrace those things, rather than try and polish them up, sweep them under the rug, or make the movie all about the goofiness like other attempts have done. And having seen the Rocketeer, I knew Johnson could walk that line pretty well of fun goofiness in the RIGHT way.
The casting was spot on perfect. Tommy Lee Jones was a blast, and almost stole the show. Chris Evans...I was dubious at first, knowing him mainly as Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four movies. But showing how well he shifted gears from immature Johnny to amazing and inspiring Cap shows just how good of an actor he is. Hugo Weaving was great, but almost underused. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
There were lots of little touches I squeed over. Working in the classic Cap costume in such a perfect way that made perfect sense. How they got from that to the 'real' costume. The Cap comics. Punching Hitler! The *other* Human Torch. The similarities to the 1940s Stark fair, with the modern day equivalent in the Iron Man movies. The tie ins to the Norse stuff and Thor. And my favourite of all, Dum Dum Dugan shouting, "WA-HOOOOO!" When they said there would be Howling Commandos in this movie, that was one thing I wanted to see the most, just as a fanboy.
The story was pretty solid, and while I'm tired of origins, this one was at least well told. It works, and it shows why Cap is, well...Cap! Why Steve Rogers is such a good man, why he makes the right Cap, and all thinks that Mark Millar COMPLETELY MISSED when he was writing the Ultimates and made Captain America a near-psychotic asshole.
Which is why when the 'special thanks' for that one particular writer came on screen at the end, I blurted out a little TOO loudly, "Special thanks, my ass!!" Millar just missed the mark so much on Cap, I fail to see just what contribution he made to this movie that others hadn't done better or right.
But I digress. Movie, not comics.
The one things I didn't really like was the pacing with one particular bit. I hated rushing through Cap's military history. I understand why they did this. They had to rush us through to get Cap to the 21st Century, and that's fine. But I find it hard to believe that he was such a military legend now, when his fighting time was almost a footnote to the overall narrative. It's *there*. He did more stuff. But we barely got to see it. It just about works with what they did, but another movie or two would have been so much better, to really build him up. We almost spent too much time with him as a USO drone shilling war bonds, although that was fun. Any more would've been too much. But, like I said, we need to get things together for the Avengers, and they did a fine job with that mandate.
It could have been a lot worse, right?
Cap is so a movie that should not work. The goofiness of the concept, and the time period, mixed with the seriousness of war, threatens to be off putting, but they pulled it all together about as well as anyone could, and it just made for an absolutely rock solid story. It was well done, well acted, and a good piece of adventure. It was a little bit Indiana Jones, and a little bit comic book, and just the right amounts of both. They just nailed the tone. Yay.
Aside from that, the scrawny Steve stuff was the most off putting. It just looked so wrong at times, and I could never quite buy what I was seeing, more often than not. I kept hearing Mike Meyers from So I Married an Axe Murderer, about his brother with the giant head, that looked like a pumpkin on a toothpick. But that is a minor nit, and only a small fraction of the movie.
The good so outweighs the bad, I almost wish I didn't feel obligated to mention those points. But I'm balancing that out with gushing over everything else in the movie. ;)
I definitely recommend seeing Cap, it is absolutely one of Marvel's best. I can not wait to see Avengers.