The Man with the Starry Shield

I finally got around to watching Captain America: The First Avenger the other day.

I'd had a couple of friends tell me that it was the best superhero movie ever, and that I'd like it, but having never been a particular Captain America fan, I was a little skeptical. (And the recent Thor movie, in particular, didn't do anything to allay that skepticism.)

But I did want to see it before seeing The Avengers, so, as I said, I finally saw it a couple of days ago.

And I've got to say, I was pretty impressed. The characters were not deep, but they were interesting, and the ploy hung together much better than most. Hugo Weaving did an excellent job of reprising his Agent role in the person of The Red Skull, and the rest of the cast was pretty good, as well.

I knew the general backstory of Captain America, how a scrawny kid took the Super Soldier formula during World War II, then ended up frozen for decades and awoken in modern times. Oh, and I knew how Captain America fought, using his shield for defense and throwing, and generally being hard to hit. But that was the extent of my knowledge, so I'm not really in any position to talk about how good a job of matching the comic book this movie did.

But it did a very good job of standing on its own. It went through the story outline I mentioned, and threw in some detours along the way (primarily being an Army PR flak for a while before finding a way into the fighting). I was a bit surprised that there was only a minute or two taking place in modern time; basically the whole movie was in World War II.

One thing that was a little weird for me was seeing Hydra appearing in that World War II timeframe. I'd seen them, from time to time, in comic books, but had no idea they went back anywhere near that far. Or that they had any connection to the Third Reich. Or that The Red Skull was in charge of them (although I really didn't know anything about him, other than recognizing his appearance).

But as I said, the whole thing hung together quite well. The only thing I found jarring was seeing these Germans saying Hail Hydra (instead of Heil Hydra), and that was a pretty minor thing.

I'll get to the details a little more in my next post, but it was also a very good lead-in to The Avengers. The subtitle, The First Avenger, was a bit silly, but it worked very well, story-wise.

I haven't bought the blu-ray yet, but I probably will. I'll watch it again, some time.

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