Marvel’s final film before “The Avengers” is a bit of a gamble – “Captain America: The First Avenger”. It’s helmed by “The Rocketeer” and “Hildago” director Joe Johnston, it’s a period piece and it features a Marvel hero that seems on paper like something of an anachronism in today’s more global world and one that could struggle to engage international audiences.
Critical reaction has proven interesting to say the least. The general opinion is good to very good, but the reactions themselves have been startlingly divided. On Rotten Tomatoes it’s 72% and 6.8/10 – very close to “Thor” (77% & 6.7) but definitely behind “X-Men: First Class” (86% & 7.4). On Metacritic it’s 67/100 which is distinctly above “Thor” (58) and just above “X-Men First Class” (65).
It’s amongst individual reviewers though where the real differences become apparent – a good portion of the more harsher critics out there are proclaiming it the best Marvel film ever, better than “Iron Man 1” and “X-Men: First Class” and even “Spider-Man 2” in some cases. Others aren’t as convinced and have been giving it 2.5/4 & 3/5 while both Twitter and public reaction is seeing a similar divide so far – no outright bad reviews, just differing “it was alright” and “it was awesome” responses.
Concern over the film being too jingoistic with its patriotism have reportedly proven unfounded. What’s causing the difference is the film’s approach – it’s an old-fashioned, very upbeat and rather earnest period film akin to “The Rocketeer”. As a result some are embracing the retro vibe while others are rejecting it as bland, corny and problematic.
Due to an impending trip it looks like I won’t get to see it myself until next Friday, the day after it opens here, so won’t be able to personally review it for the site and pass on my take.
‘Captain’ took in $4 million in midnight showings at 2,000 theatres last night, the best midnight gross of the summer for a superhero pic as the other three (X-Men, Green Lantern, Thor) grossed between $3.25-3.4 million respectively in the same period. The studio estimates the film will open around $60 million for the weekend.
Did you enjoy “Captain America”? Now’s the time to serve your country the best way you can – by standing up and exercising your freedom of speech (within reason that is).