Posted on 7/26/11 12:08 PM
You know a movie is in trouble when it needs to openly borrow elements of other franchises to sell it's own. "Captain America" the movie openly acknowledges that a superhero fighting the Third Reich is passe; that it's not exactly fanboy enough unless it involes Tarantino with a band of sadistic ubermensches carving up Nazis piece by piece. "Captain America" needs its villian to dig deeper than the confines of fascism and anti-semitism, it needs the power of Asgard. That's right, when trying to set-up the first installment of a franchise, swing for the fences and borrow another marvel properties core. Strike one.
Strike two came in the general lack of substance, lack of heart. As a former comic book collector, what separated Captain America the character from anyone else was his unflappable virtue, his noble id, his intrinsic All-American core. The film seemed to go more for flash and sizzle, schlock and awe than substance. Steven Rogers is American because he never quits, never fliches, and when his life is on the line, never seems shaken by the consequences. The film represented that, yet as Captain America being too stubborn to know any better. He came over as goofy, not stoic. Awkward, not non-chalant. Cornball, not the paragon of American resiliance.
To Chris Evans credit, he looked the part. He even sounded and acted the part, it's just that the part was written for the monster-truck crowd, not the blood/sweat/and tears crowd. This reincarnation of Captain America is less about grit than being too innocent to know how to command respect and lead by example. he wasn't a hero, he was a very gifted individual. What he did he did because he couldn't think of any other means to accomplish his task. He was the red, white and blue bull in a China store, only with 0 percent body-fat.
"Captain America" failed because the hero wasn't even the most impressive part of the movie, he was merely a patriotic marionette with barely any unique qualities that separated him from him being a chiseled Uncle Sam poster.