Thursday, March 22, 2012

Now I'm Ready

I recently saw Captain America: The First Avenger, so I’m now ready for The Avengers.  I have to say, I thought it was another great movie and what they changed from the origin in the comics just made the story stronger.  Beware, there be spoilers ahead (although, since the movie’s a year old, I’m probably the only one they would have been spoilers for).

One of the best changes that they made, IMHO, was to have Steve Rogers be friends with James “Bucky” Barnes before anything happens with Project Rebirth.  It allows for the audience to feel that there is a real connection there rather than have them thrown together later.  It also made more sense to me, being a product of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, that Cap’s best friend would be another soldier that he grew up with rather than a teenage “mascot” that happened to be hanging around an army base.  The role reversal is a nice touch as well, with Bucky going from protector to protected. 

I also was impressed with the way they got Cap into a costume.  If you think of the other movies that were a prelude to The Avengers, not one really wears a costume.  Iron Man has his armor, but that’s how he gets his powers.  Thor is in an Asgardian outfit, but that’s just how they dress.  The Hulk … do I really need to go into this?  But Cap needed a costume, which has nothing to do with his powers.  Well, most people in the 1940’s who just had the one and only super soldier created wouldn’t have said “let’s put him in a bright blue costume and send him out to get shot at.”  Nope, they would have done just what they did in the movie, tried to send him to a protected lab for study and, failing that, used him to sell war bonds.  And what sells war bonds better than a hero in a flag-inspired costume with a patriotic name?

Something else that impressed me no end was the casting.  Tommy Lee Jones chews just as much scenery as Anthony Hopkins did in Thor, and he gets all the best one liners in the film.

And what is a hero without a good villain?  Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull was wonderful.  Not over the top, but you could tell he had more than a few screws loose.  The use of "O, Fortuna" during the one scene was a brilliant use of music for those that know the translation.  (Hint: It's not a song about sunshine and rainbows.)

I guess the best way to sum it up was that it took me until about two thirds of the way through the movie to realize that there was no title sequence.  That's how engrossing the film was.

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