By Dave Montalbano
Earlier this year, Superman talked about renouncing his U.S. citizenship, claiming to be a citizen of the world. A product of the DC Comic book universe, Superman seemed to forget that he was fighting for “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”
Perhaps seeking public relations leverage, Marvel Comics has unleashed Captain America: The First Avenger, one of the most patriotic movies to be released in a decade. The American public rewarded Captain America with an impressive non-holiday box office gross of $65 million.
While this film is a stand-alone motion picture, it is part of the series of Marvel Comics movies released since 2008, (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor) that will lead to next Summer’s first blockbuster, in May 2012, The Avengers. Of all of the recent Marvel motion picture heroes, Captain America is easily the most likable.
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is the runt of Brooklyn, who wants to serve America during World War II. Despite the protests of Colonel Chester Philips (Tommy Lee Jones), research Professor Erskine (Stanley Tucci) sees a good heart in Steve Rogers and recruits the scrappy Dodgers fan for a special scientific experiment. With Howard Stark’s (Dominic Cooper) technical influence, the experiment is a success and Steve Rogers becomes known as Captain America.
First used as a propaganda tool, Captain America comes under the radar of the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), a villain who takes up where Adolph Hitler left off. As the Red Skull plots the destruction of America, Captain America recruits the Howling Commandos and kicks some “Nazi” butt.
Given his work with The Rocketeer, October Sky and Jurassic Park III, director Joe Johnson is perfect to bring both the spectacle and sensitivity to this picture.
The acting ensemble has fun with this film. Jones’s fast-talking delivery has audiences howling with laughter. As Iron Man’s daddy, Cooper does a good impression of his fictional son (played by Robert Downey Jr.)
Yet, this film belongs to Chris Evans and thrives because of his sincere performance. Captain America is what a summer Saturday matinee blockbuster should be.
For those who cannot get into Harry Potter, Captain America or Cowboys & Aliens this weekend, the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival presents the 10th Annual French Film Festival at Cinema Paradiso July 28-31. 954-525–FILM or www.fliff.com.