I have a habit of avoiding anything that becomes too mainstream, even if the thing in question is really good. The same was the case with Marvel movies as well. I dropped this iconoclastic worldview in exchange for something else. That something else need not to be discussed here.
I vaguely remember watching Iron Man and Iron Man 2. But I had not seen any Marvel movie featuring Captain America. So, Captain America: The First Avenger was my initiation into the universe of this superhero.
Messing Around With History
To start with, I was taken aback by the World War II backdrop. Hollywood has milked this tragic chapter of history to fill its coffers (too much, in my opinion). The saving grace was, that Hitler was not the main antagonist in the movie. The movie creates a bigger villain than Hitler within Nazi ranks. Johann Schmidt, a guy with a large research budget, is the main antagonist in the film. It’s a very interesting choice.
The antagonist’s mission is to change the course of the war and control the entire world using an occult object called a ‘tesseract’. The movie falls short in explaining the source or actual powers of the tesseract. The only person standing in Schmidt’s way is Captain America.
But I still have my reservations about mixing fiction with history. The movie fully credits the World War victory to Captain America, a claim that would make Dwight D Eisenhower roll in his grave. Unlike other superheroes, who don’t mess with significant events of the past, our man in the movie can confuse a gullible audience.
The Skinny Underdog
The idea of a skinny underdog from an underprivileged neighbourhood striving hard to do good for his nation is endearing. I was rooting for this character from the very beginning of the movie. At the same time, I was wondering why his close friend Bucky Barnes, was busy finding him a date rather than feeding him with food that could fatten him up a bit!
The peak sense of satisfaction during the movie arrives when the skinny guy acquires powers that enable him to do good, thanks to the watchful eyes of a top-ranking war-time scientist. I don’t want to talk about the other good parts of the movie because they could spoil your viewing experience.
Unlike a typical war-time hero of English cinema, our man, Captain America, is shy and chivalrous. He is not the playboy who takes advantage of his mind-blowing achievements and general sex appeal. However, his contained flirtation with the “Agent” Carter adds to the masala of emotions that the scriptwriters wanted to serve the audience. Though I am tempted to compare him with other superheroes, I plan to hold my horses till I watch more Marvel movies.
Meh Bits Of The Movie
Though I don’t want to reveal spoilers in this write-up, I would like to point out that the hero never gets injured despite a rain of bullets from hundreds of adversaries. In my opinion, the hero should have had at least one major setback in his mission. That way, Captain America is very similar to Rocky Bhai in KGF.
There are other lousy scenes in the movie. The unmasking of the antagonist happens at an unexpected moment in the film. It has very little impact on the narrative after that.
The movie ends on a cliffhanger where the audience is made to believe that there is a prequel to the entire story. I must say that I’m quite curious to know what that backstory is. By the time I finished watching the movie, I felt that the Hotstar subscription I had bought was totally worth it.