Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The First Avenger opens in Irish cinemas on Friday 29th July. WatchingCattle checked it out earlier this week and found it to be more thank just an Avengers warm up act.

Captain America: The First Avenger opens in Irish cinemas on Friday 29th July. WatchingCattle checked it out earlier this week and found it to be more thank just an Avengers warm up act.

 

Buxom. Say it with me Bux….om. You don’t really hear it these days. You probably have to apply in writing to the feminist wing of the political correctness help desk to check if you can say it. Or you can say it in a soundproof room under the sea and whisper it …buxom… plump lady with big breasts. It’s ribald sure, it’s a wolf whistle of a word, it’s a throw back to a simpler time when words could be flimsy and throw away. You paint a buxom lass on your airplane and call her Long Tall Sally or Enola Gay and then you fly over the sea of Japan and kill 100,000 people instantaneously. Buxom it’s a shape, at best it’s a thin compliment. It’s a breast based word. It’s about boobs and whisper it… boys like boobs.

Captain America: The First Avenger is the latest Marvel comic to go full screen. It’s about the all American go getting Nazi killer himself and is directed by the guy who brought you Jumanji. Can you feel those hairs on the back of your neck rising in excitement?

Well wait one second there. The people in charge at Marvel haven’t really done a bad job so far, the poster has the words “from the studio that brought you Iron Man and Thor” and sure both of those were grand. I liked both Iron Man films. They were well… grand really – they were simple, to the point, overblown, entertaining and bombastic. Thor, likewise, was big, silly and fun. And those didn’t have “from the director of Swingers” or “from the guy who did a four hour version of Hamlet” on the posters. And hey Jumanji wasn’t that bad. Anyway Marvel obviously did the sensible thing here and in doing so probably took a major risk too. They looked around Hollywood and went “bring me a lad who understands a budget and will keep things light and simple” and they got Joe Johnson – a man with a name so nondescriptly American it actually sounds like he’s the mild mannered alter ego of a night time superhero wielding some sort of enchanted movie camera which shoots the pure light of justice or some such shit.

Johnson does the Marvel lads a huge favour in that he plays Captain America simple. 20 years ago the job might have gone to Tim Burton and he’d have made it dark and gothic and it wouldn’t have worked, 5 years ago the job might have gone to Christopher Nolan, he might have made it dark and an allegory for american foreign policy and that wouldn’t have worked, 2 years ago Zack Snyder might have got the job and he might have just made it dark and ludicrously violent and that wouldn’t have worked either. Quentin Tarantino practically did do this film, a million times better and more audaciously, with depth, darkness and violence but his version wasn’t endorsed by Marvel and didn’t feature Captain America so it didn’t work either. I mean there is plenty of room for darkness here – it’s set during WWII, the Nazis are running riot and the yanks have a formula for genetically engineering super soldiers.

There’s plenty of scope for allegory, commentary and darkness, sure, but Johnson avoids all this and there is no real depth. However there are also no big speeches and no out and out god bless America and respect our troops overseas shenanigans either. What there is, is a classic origin of the superhero tale.

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