About Grant

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New York, NY, United States
Film director and screenwriter. Cinephile since birth. Director of DREAMS OF THE WAYWARD (2013). Film Studies MA student at Columbia University.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Film Review: "Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011) directed by Joe Johnston 2.5/5

In the realm of superhero films, which seem to be an odd fad for people (like myself) who do not enjoy glittery vampires, this film makes a decent superhero movie.
I hate that most of my complaints about this movie concern the things that I had expected which were, tragically, missing. I had hoped that this would have Nazi killing on par with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or even "Inglourious Basterds", but frankly, the Nazi killing was much more futuristic than anticipated.
Visually, there were a few great moments (VE Day looked amazing) and the first 30 minutes before Steve Rogers' transformation into Captain America looked spectacular! Beyond the first 30 minutes, character development dropped to the side, and the threat that Hugo Weaving's character proposed was never fully established. Hugo Weaving, a character actor best known as Agent Smith and Lord Elrond, plays one of his least intelligent rolls with a character that had wild untapped-potential.
The usage of montages were nearly abused as images of indiscernible explosions and a shield-wielding-Avenger only made me want to see more of the battle and less of the war-highlights.
Halfway through the film, Captain America forms a "rat-pack" of incredible survivors of a POW camp, but none of the characters that he selected seemed to play a role in the film (and were, once again, lacking development). So much time is dedicated to introducing these characters, yet we only see them in action as tiny side-bits in a montage of comic-styled explosions.
This movie had many great one-liners (specifically from Tommy Lee Jones), but an emotional connection beyond the first 45 minutes was impossible.
Compared to the other superhero movies that have been released, this film is the one to see this year, but sadly, cinematic perfection is not available.

My ranking: 2.5/5 stars

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