The trailer for the next movie from the Marvel Comics superhero universe is out for “Captain America: The First Avenger.” The scenes from the movie included in the trailer look good and hold lots of promise for a summer popcorn blockbuster.
“Captain America” is the story of a 90-pound weakling, 4F reject Steve Rogers, who is considered unsuitable for military service in World War II. Instead Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into a big, buff super soldier who becomes Captain America, with the star spangled uniform, the bullet proof shield, and the enhanced strength and agility. Then he is turned loose on America’s enemies, of which there were plenty in the 1940s.
Captain America is played by Chris Evens, who also played the Fantastic Four Marvel super hero The Human Torch in “Rise of the Silver Surfer.” Rounding out the cast are Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Haley Atwell, and Natalie Dormer.
Part of the plot appears to be Captain America going up against an operation to create an army of ubermensch storm troopers. The superhero is seen leading American soldiers into battle against the evil Nazis as well as the even more evil HYDRA organization led by Red Skull, the character played by Hugo Weaving. Tommy Lee Jones lends his usual gravelly authority as an Army colonel. Haley Atwell is the obligatory female who can shoot a gun and look good doing it.
Joe Johnson, the director of the film, created quite a controversy for himself when he publicly disdained Captain America’s Americanism, suggesting that his approach to the character would tone down the patriotic aspects of the story. The statement sparked quite a bit of criticism from some, who took note of a number of instances in which iconic American superheroes had their American qualities stripped from them.
Will Johnson’s intemperate remarks hurt the movie at the box office? A lot depends on the quality of the movie, whether it has the right mix of action, humor, and character to make it worth spending a couple of hours in the dark for $10 or so a head. But bad mouthing America and patriotism is never a good sign coming from a director of a movie about a hero so American that it is part of his name.
Sources: Captain America: The First Avenger, Movie Trailer
Captain America: The First Avenger, Yahoo Movies
Captain America Latest Comic Book Hero to Be De-Americanized, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, July 21, 2010