Movie Review: The Appealingly Old-Fashioned Captain America

Chris Evans as Captain America.

Until the computer-generated effects bog it down and mess up its rhythms, Captain America: The First Avenger, has a measured, classical pace and a lot of good, old-fashioned craftsmanship. The director, Joe Johnston, did special effects for Raiders of the Lost Ark and made such graphically strong fantasies as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Rocketeer, and Jurassic Park III, and he obviously learned from Steven Spielberg to make every composition read and never to waste a shot. The movie looks wonderful. The production design by the great Rick Heinrichs is bold and unfussy, the palette monochromatic with splashes of comic-book greens and reds, and the compositions evocative of World War II newsreels and propaganda (Allied and Axis) without ever slipping into camp. Heinrichs mixes up architecture styles — Expressionist, futurist, Deco — into frames that might have leaped from the collective unconscious of forties moviegoers. The score by Alan Silvestri is a marvelous pastiche with a life of its own, and there’s a terrific song-and-dance montage in which the newly christened Captain America is trotted out alongside leggy chorines to raise the warring nation’s patriotic spirits: It’s both satirical and exhilarating. Read More...


Want to comment on this? First, you must log in to your SideReel account!