Friday, January 27, 2012

Superhero Double Feature

DC vs. Marvel. The Green Lantern and Captain America: The First Avenger.

I haven’t seen a superhero movie that I haven’t liked so I figured The Green Lantern and Captain America were two good choices.

(Warning! Superhero geek mark-out mode here) Batman will always be the best, but I remember wanting a shield like Captain America when I was five-years-old.

I started off with The Green Lantern. As big a fan of the comic book heroes as I am, the Green Lantern is one back-story I wasn’t familiar with. I knew he had the ring and it had some sort of power, but, beyond that, I didn’t have a clue what to expect.

Unfortunately it fell a little short of what I would’ve liked. It was a little more corny than epic, a little more predictable than exciting and, with the heavy use of computer animation, a little more video game than movie.

It felt a little bit like they were going through the motions with this one. Ryan Reynolds was a good choice for the part, but it seems he watched Iron Man a few too many times. His delivery of the sarcastic, witty and brave-hearted character comes off well – but not as good as Robert Downey Jr. was playing Tony Stark. If you like superhero movies and don’t take them too seriously you’ll probably enjoy it; don’t expect to be amazed though.

Captain America was the real surprise of the night though. You don’t get much of a superhero movie with this one; instead it’s a World War II film. There’s some computer-generated animation thrown in to modernize it, but most of it felt like a re-creation piece from the 1940s.

Much like The Green Lantern, I knew of Captain America growing up. I was a fan of the patriotism, the outfit and the shield. I knew that his nemesis was the Red Skull. That’s it. That’s where my knowledge ended.

To that extent the movie was superb. It really did a nice job of exploring the history of Captain America. Whether it’s the proper comic book history I’m still not sure of, but it’s a fun lesson to watch unfold. My only complaint is that it left me wanting to see the 2011 version of Captain America. If Marvel wanted to get fans amped up for the Avengers movie that’s coming out this summer, then, again, I guess they succeeded.

Watching Captain America kick-ass in modern times should be extremely fun to watch. Looking back at it, The First Avenger was a good introductory piece. If this was all we got – it would definitely fall short – but if the best is yet to come, then job well done.

Both movies will probably end up on my shelf – sitting proudly alongside all the other superhero DVDs that are there now – but I don’t think they’ll be the first DVDs I grab when I want to watch an awesome comic book story come to life.

The first trailer for "Marvel's The Avengers", in theaters May 4, 2012.