Shh! Possible spoilers. Don't say I didn't warn you. See, I am being good and channeling River Song!
So, the lovely fiancee and I went to go see Captain America: First Avenger tonight. Now, I am an Iron Man fan. He's the Captain America fan. If you know anything about the Civil War story line in Marvel Comics, you can understand the amount of contention in my household. Fact still remains that I got my movie first, so....nyah.
However, unlike Ed, I am more receptive to other rival superheros. Plus, how can anyone pass up a Marvel movie? I wasn't as super excited, but I ended up feeling quite pleased with the overall effect of the movie and how it fit within the huge overarching ultimate goal that Marvel Studios seems to be working towards: The Avengers. That was the first worry of Captain America - that it would end up feeling like Marvel's first summer offering, Thor. My second worry was how was everything going to tie itself up into one neat little knot within the Avengers? Lastly, would it stand up to the beloved image of Cap in the comics?
Imagine, if you will, one of those friendship bracelets that girls made in the proverbial "back in the day". Think about how they were made, each strand getting knotted around another strand, another and another. Think about how the bracelet would look without one row of knots, with the floss just hanging there, all limp and pathetic. That was the Marvel Movie continuity before Captain America. This movie ties up the knots and makes the friendship bracelet look pretty, and now can be given to Cap's BFF Iron Man. Truly, after quite a few years, Captain America finally bridges the gap between, the highly anticipated Avengers flick and does so without feeling like this effort was tacked on (like Thor).
As a stand alone superhero movie, it was pretty damn awesome. The overall look did quite an excellent job of meshing sci-fi technology with a World War II 1940's style without camp overload. The costumes and running nods to the comics, like Cap's chevron shield, were done in a creative manner that worked fit into the story line. Speaking of which, the story was done so very well. Even though the entrance of the Cosmic Cube was set up at the very tail end of Thor, the writers took something that could have been crap but made into the movie's own possession. Plus, not only does it run with it, but sets up for what I think is going to be the main event of The Avengers Movie (Hi, who did NOT see Loki prancing around with the shiny shiny, then appearing for a split second in the Avengers trailer?). Of course, the movie was peppered with Marvel's cheeky wit and quick jibes between characters.
Also, HYDRA. (Cut off one head, two more shall take it's place.) Who cannot simply LOVE Hugo Weaving as Red Skull? I think he stole the show, with his sweeping long leather coat and sinister looming presence. As a villain, Red Skull is Cap's nemesis, and I really hope he's going to be back in all his evil glory. The final fight scene was done beautifully, with amazing fight coordination and camera angles. The very end of the movie was satisfying, with the right touch of sadness, as now we are painfully aware, Cap is a man 70 years out of his own world.
Lastly, as the Iron Man fangirl, I could not help but just love Howard Stark. Dominic Cooper brought the right amount of RDJ's Tony Stark, but without whacking you over the head with "YES, THIS IS IRON MAN'S DAD". I very much enjoyed Howard and Stark Industries' inclusion, giving a sense history to the Stark family's involvement in important events. Now, I am just wondering who I like better as Tony's dad - Dominic or John Slattery, who was in the Stark Expo short in the Iron Man 2.
In short, my worries were really for nothing. I hate to make comparisons (never mind, I can, it's my own damn blog) but between Captain America and Thor, I get the impression that more thought went into making Captain America into its own movie, not just merely a vehicle to introduce a new Marvel hero and story device for two other movies. Captain America: First Avenger was amazing, well done and thoughtful. It was a joy to watch, the acting spot on, the special effects with enough "wow factor", and action that kept my ADD riddled attention. The best Marvel movie in my opinion? That honor is reserved for Iron Man, but this ranks pretty high. I might change that opinion when The Avengers comes out, so now I wait with anticipation and bated breath.
P.S. There was some outcry over my attire by my friend Mike. He claimed I was not nerding it up enough. I wore my retro style polka dot dress (featured below), with 40's red nails and a red belt. My personal feelings on the matter are that I stayed true to the WWII theme of the movie and got my Andrews Sisters on. Wish I kinda had something with peplum though. Oh well.
P.P.S. I really don't hate Thor. I love Thor. I just think the movie was...lacking.