The movie America loves.
And I hate.
Oh hell. How do I count the ways?
To mimic a fat, useless cunt that butchers English and gets excited over the ding of a toaster oven, let’s plow through some personal backstory that is as relevant to the actual review as a pimple on an ass is to the quality of the turd that lies inches away in the bowl below it.
Captain America was not a comic I collected. I didn’t even remotely follow it. But thanks to some fuckin’ fanboys I have learned that the Captain was the mac daddy of all Marvel characters. This dude was the godfather. The hombre with the wallet that reads “Bad Ass Motherfucker.” So when I heard the announcement of the movie, I was neutral. But then Joe Johnston came onboard and being a huge fan of Jumanji, The Rocke-who, October Sky and Jurassic Park 3, I thought he was the right guy to helm the project. And then I heard that Chris Evans had signed on to the iconic role and a part of me stood up and saluted. This shit was becoming… interesting.
So here I am, sitting in the theater yesterday with a room full of other overweight, unemployed, middle-aged white guys and a part of me was excited for what I hoped would be the first truly great movie of the summer, a summer full of mostly disappointment.
And then there was that opening frame. We get headlights in a blizzard, it quickly cuts away to nothing but blizzard and then we go back to a shitty shot of the headlights in a blizzard. It was an uninspired nothing of an opening. Like a film school student’s lazy attempt at a first attempt of a first year project. There was no epic opening establishing shot, nothing to help set the tone of Captain FUCKING America. Just snow. Yup, the same shit I got on my TV as a kid when I went past channel 14.
So, let’s dispense with the pretense shall we? We know what the movie’s about, as much of the best stuff was revealed in the trailer. Let’s get down to what worked (almost nothing) and what didn’t. And from here on in it’s nothing but spoilers.
The way Steve Rogers is chosen as a candidate is sort of lame. It’s not some ultra cool moment where he saves a kid in danger or stops a bank robber, but a shitty contrived conversation he has with his best friend Bucky at an Expo.
And Jesus fucking Christ. Then there’s the selection process. Yes, they do this neat thing with Rogers getting a flag that no one has been able to get in 17 years, but the decision comes with a “live” field grenade test and voila, he’s our guy before we know it. There’s no build up, there’s no real test of morals, character and fortitude. The least likely candidate gets the gig simply because he jumps on a grenade. Fuck. Off.
Right after Steve Rogers becomes Cap, there’s a Hydra infiltrator that kills Stanley Tucci (Tucci plays one of the films best characters) and escapes the lab gunning down everyone in his path. Newly endowed with superhuman powers, Rogers charges off in pursuit. What we get here is the best action set piece in the entire film. It’s gritty, it’s heart pounding, it’s absolutely exhilarating. Cap runs faster than Carl Lewis on steroids and he leaps over cars like they’re defensive linemen on a football field. It’s just a marvelous sequence. But the thing that sucks is, THIS IS THE BEST FUCKING SEQUENCE IN THE FILM AND ROGERS ISN’T EVEN WEARING THE CAP COSUME. Dude is in Dickies and a T-shirt and he rocks that J-Crew outfit harder than he does Old Glory.
At this point, I still have mixed feelings, but shit is looking up. And then we get the war bond bullshit.
Now, the war bond sequence is actually totally fucking awesome and pure Joe Johnston. But. It’s fairly long. Which wouldn’t be a problem, if all the action set pieces were as long as the song and dance number. This sequence proves how nobody associated with this fucking movie had an idea of proper pacing. Let’s give the musical shit ample screen time, but let’s really fuck the audience when it comes to showing Captain America in action.
While Cap is in Italy on a tour with the showgirls, he learns that Bucky and his unit have been taken prisoner. Tommy Lee Jones won’t do shit, so it’s up to Cap to liberate the boys and become something more than a guy who punches Hitler in a T&A revue.
He invades a massive military installation and skulks around undetected with a fucking stars and stripes shield on his back and manages to find the prisoners like the YOU ARE HERE map was right inside the front door.
And HOORAH, Cap saves everyone. And it was so fucking dull I couldn’t give a shit.
Marvel really does need to get its shit together when creating this whole universe they’re attempting for the Avengers. Or, how about just trying to keep things straight period, you stupid miserable fucks? X-Men Origins: Wolverine was on TV tonight and I caught the end of it and I had forgotten the bit about Xavier WALKING off the helicopter as an old man. Ummm, wasn’t Xavier crippled as a young man in this summer’s X-Men: First Class? FUCK. YOU.
And Marvel just steps all over their universe here. So we get laser guns in 1942. Lasers guns created by Red Skull and his Hydra unit. Now I understand this is an alternate reality, but not only are the lasers guns jarring for the time period, they are a technology that doesn’t carry forward in the Avengers universe. You can only assume the U.S. military would take this idea and develop it. But do they? No. So do we see laser guns in Iron Man or Thor and will we see them in the Avengers? No. Why? Because Marvel doesn’t give a shit about continuity or their fans. So anyone who loves all these new Marvel movies, and believe me there are assholes who are sucking every Marvel movie dick since Iron Man, you guys are idiot jackoff dupes. Seriously, crawl up your own asses and die, jerks.
So, where were we? Oh yeah. When Rogers returns with the POW’s he finally straps on the official suit. And it’s about as iconic as an Elvis postage stamp. There’s no moment of standing in the mirror amazed at what’s looking back. There’s no swelling music announcing this is Captain Fucking America, bitch. Jesus, the shit with Rambo strapping on knives, grenades and bandoliers is infinitely more patriotic and rousing than this bullshit.
Not only do we not get an amazing reveal of Rogers in his iconic outfit, but as soon as he dons it we go full montage mode. These aren’t well thought out, exhilarating set pieces, but shitty cop out ten second scenes of Cap and his team blasting the fuck out of Hydra goons. Seriously, when do we ever get action scene montages? Did Indiana Jones ever resort to a montage? Fuck no. An action sequence was a fully formed action sequence. Montages are for romantic comedies and action movie training sequences, not action movie set pieces. Return of the Jedi juggled THREE simultaneous set pieces without a single montage. And why? Because writing has become so goddamn lazy, these fucking hacks of today have absolutely no idea of how to put the hero in peril and have him figure a way out. So let’s just show him kicking ass in five second clips and voila, it’s gung ho action. Fuuuuuuuck.
And holy shit sweet mother of baby Jesus, the love story. Or shall I say the sad sack pathetic fucking excuse of a love story. Rogers’ and Officer Carter’s relationship is as ill fleshed out as a drawing on a kindergarten wall. There is no passion, no spark. It feels like the relationship I have with a bottle of beer. I love that bottle for five minutes, but when it’s empty I discard the bottle in the bin and piss the hops out of my needle dick and it’s completely forgotten except for the empty carbs going to my fat ass. Completely. Empty.
And can we once and for all put an end to that age old fucking cliché of a girl grabbing a guy and kissing him only to have the love interest walk in and witness it? That shit was once fresh. Before World FUCKING War II. They pull that same tired shit here and then the jealous girl snipes at the jealous boy, but the script is so fucking lazy it makes a zero, and I mean a goddamn ZERO attempt at making these two wannabe lovers jealous in the first place. The whole fondue thing? Worthless. Zero. Fucking. Chemistry.
OK folks. Let’s start to wrap this up.
The ending. That woeful fucking ending. After an incredibly inept, disappointing buildup we finally get the confrontation between the ultimate good and the penultimate evil. Battling aboard an oversized flying wing, Cap and Red Skull throw a few punches and then Skully is defeated by a glowing Rubik’s Cube. That’s right. Cap doesn’t put a cap in his ass, but some bullshit that seems to be a crossover from the Thor universe fucks Big Red up. There’s no knock down, drag out fight between these opponents. It’s over before it begins.
Remember when the fight between good and evil was epic? Fuck, it wasn’t even that long ago. Say what you will about The Phantom Menace, but there is no denying the ass kicking awesomeness of the Darth Maul duel at the end. “Qui-Gon’s Noble End” aside, the noble end didn’t come after two minutes of swordplay. I’m not saying that every final confrontation has to have the hero gets the upper hand, villain gets the upper hand, hero regains the upper hand schtick, but for fuck’s sake, put some goddamn drama in that shit. Have a little back and forth. Have some fuckin’ thing where fate hangs in the balance and BOOYAH, our boy responds with a left hook that sends the villain to hell.
And therein lies one of my biggest issues with this worthless fucking movie. There’s no peril. The Captain is so goddamn invincible that at no point are we ever left wondering “Jesus Christ, how’s he going to get out of this one?!” Cap is never on his back, bloody and beat to shit, dude is pristine from moment one. Every hero needs to look like Indiana Jones and John McClane by the end. A dude who moved heaven and earth to save the world or damsel in distress. Earn the goddamn victory. But these fucking writers, they have no idea what a character arc or dark night of the soul is.
Marvel is also so fucking determined to tie all this Avengers shit together, they shoehorn everything they can from the other universes into these new movies. This is less like its own movie and more like one giant meandering setup.
I don’t fault Johnston for this debacle. He was just handed a script with zero magic. And as great looking a movie as this is, you can’t polish a turd.
Half a fucking fist out of five.