FilmDrunk

Review: Captain America is Good Old-Fashioned Fun. A Little *Too* Old-Fashioned.

SITE NEWS: Hey, gang, Vince here, live from Comic-Con. I hope you’ve been enjoying Burnsy and Robopanda today. I won’t be able to post a picture diary just yet, but to tide you ever until then, I wrote a Captain America review. I won’t lie to you, I’d been drinking. BUT WAIT! THAT’S NOT WHAT ‘FILMDRUNK’ MEANS! Aw, crap, now I’m never going to be respectable.

When writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely brought in their first script pages to Marvel, and the head honcho over there saw them, I imagine he lit up a fat cigar, leaned back in his chair and said, “Fellas! Why, when I hired a couple a knockaround slapdicks like yous, I never realized I was dealing with artistes!  This is real grade-A stuff here!”

“Well… thank you, sir. We were… sure hoping you’d like it.”

“You’re damn right I do! In fact, boys, I’m giving you a raise! I know, I know, I’ll nevah hear the end of it from the board. But to hell wit ’em! Don’t none of give a damn about talent like I do! I take care of talent! Ain’t that right, boys?”

“Sure! And… thanks for the raise, boss. You… really didn’t have to.”

“Like hell I didn’t! Boys, boys like you turn in tip-top woik like this and I don’t reward it, it’s a damned slap in the face to every working Dick out there! It’s unfair! And I’m a fair guy! Ain’t a I faiyuh guy, Sammy?

“You’re a fair guy, boss. Da fairest.”

“Can it, Sammy.  Boys, consider it an investment. And I hope yous fellas got more top-notch writin’ where that came from, because we start shootin a week from Tuesdy.

“A week?!? But, sir! We’ve only got the first act! It took us eight weeks!”

“And a damn fine first act it was. Damn fine! Wasn’t it fine, Sammy?”

“Fine, Boss. Da finest.”

“Put a sock in it, Sammy. Now, relax, boys.  Todays’ Sundy, so you’s got 10 days. You yids. Always worryin. Just take ya foist act, Raiders of the Lost Ark the rest, and we’re all on easy street.  Trust me, these small-time schlubs’ll nevah know da difference!  The heavy liftin’s all done!”

“But–”

“–And if ya can’t get it done, I got me a couple dagos out in Long Beach’ll finish it for half price.

“But–”

“Hey! What am I, just talkin for my healt ova heah? I ain’t payin’ you fruitcakes to play grabass. Now chop chop, time is money.”

And with that, they took their amazing first act and origin story and just sort of scribbled in the rest with scenes lifted from other movies. It’s too bad, because the first 30 – 40 minutes were promising. Chris Evans nails the lead, and it’s a hard role to pull off, playing a virtuous, plucky underdog without him coming off like a boring boy scout you’d never want to hang with (COME ON, STEVE, DO SOME DRUGS, PUSSY). Evans begins the movie with his head digitally wallpapered onto the torso of a scrawny 12-year-old, refusing to back down from a figh,t even if it means taking a beating. (Though I might not back down from fights either if it meant no-consequence movie beatings like these ones, that never knock you out, break bones, or leave cuts or bruises of any kind). Steve Rogers (Evans) dreams of someday serving his country (AMURKA!), but he quickly learns that the army in ’42 isn’t college quidditch, it’s no place for pale, scrawny, asthmatic hemophiliacs. So super Steve keeps going to different cities, trying and failing to pass his medical exams, until one day he crosses paths with Stanley Tucci, the famous science doctor from Germany. Herr Doctor appreciates a young boy with spunk (as do many Catholic priests). “Do you want to kill Nazis?” the Doc asks. “No,” Rogers says. “I just hate bullies. Wherever they’re from.”

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