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Marvel is at a point now where it has already released movies starring their most popular superhero characters to mostly positive results, and is now reaching further, either restarting franchises or putting slightly more obscure heroes into the limelight.
Which isn’t to say that Cap is obscure, but he is when compared to Spidey or Wolverine. Fortunately, he turns out to be a refreshing addition to the list of big screen superhero A-listers.
I went into this movie not knowing exactly what to expect, but I nonetheless expected a decent amount of chest-beating American bravado (given the title). I was right, and I am glad that I was, because this spirit of American pride works very well within the framework of that good vs. evil struggle that was the Second World War.
However, what I was not expecting (given I knew nothing about Captain America himself) was an exceedingly modest “nice guy” who gains the opportunity to become a superhero because of his strong morals rather than muscles.
This modesty is very refreshing in the wake of other, much more arrogant superheroes such as Tony Stark, Thor, or even Bruce Wayne. I found it was often times easier to root for “the little guy” than the billionaire playboy.
Speaking of billionaire playboys, the fantastic Iron Man has found a definite equal in Captain America. Though they are very different characters, the quality of the two films meets the same high mark. Of course, neither reaches the absolute upper limit set by The Dark Knight, but it is easier to focus exclusively on Marvel’s own properties.
In fact, the buildup present in almost all of Marvel’s recent films towards The Avengers does excite me but also leads me to worry that it will be difficult to devote equal focus towards each Marvel hero. What does the “guy from Brooklyn” bring to the table that super-high-tech Iron Man or literal-god-on-Earth Thor does not have?
My hope, of course, is that Cap’s humility is the answer. His humble origin as the skinny Steve Rogers is unique among superheroes, and could serve as a bit of a wake-up call for more arrogant heroes.
Of course, just because Cap lacks the high tech or mythical powers of his comrades does not mean that he is not incredibly satisfying in action. In fact, the simplicity of his shield-based combat (hit, block or throw) is satisfying in the same way that his modesty satisfies in terms of personality.
It is a thrill to watch Cap do his thing in battle, and the “clang” that resonates from his shield upon every hit is incredibly satisfying in a very comic-book kind of way.
What was a bit less satisfying was the background and end of the villain Red Skull. I had a distinct “that’s it?” feeling after his final showdown with Cap, but I still must give Hugo Weaving his credit for selling the character when he was on-screen. I just wish he was not written to be such a cookie-cutter villain.
There are going to be a lot of heroes vying for screen time in the Avengers movie, but it is nice to know that at least one of them will be focused on just getting the job done. Definitely check this one out to get your superhero fix while waiting for The Dark Knight Rises or The Avengers.
Brian Compere is a Community Reporter with the Village Connector Community News. He is also a Journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has created a blog focused on movies and other entertainment media at http://briansdeepermeanings.com/. To find out more about Brian, go to: