Flick or Skip: Captain America: The First Avenger (Opens 22 July 2011)

Wait, another Marvel superhero film? Didn't we just get two of these back to back? ::checks archives:: Yes, yes we did. But this isn't about the campfest or the redemption. This is about that really strange looking superhero film with the creepy Benjamin Button CGI shenanigans.

As always, we will now attempt to decide whether or not it is worth it to see a new release film based solely on the information provided in the trailers. This week's victim is Captain America: The First Avenger.

There is something really appealing about this trailer. For one thing, it seems a bit more grounded in reality than most Marvel films. Sure, there's a super-soldier angle, but otherwise we're dealing with war. Captain America is fighting with guns, speed and a shield. The costumes mostly look period accurate and there's a nice sepia-tinge to the film stock for that vintage feel.

My big concern--and I freely admit this is a personal hang-up--is that Benjamin Button CGI. I find it just a bit too freaky for me. I think the main actor's head does not look right at all on the tiny actor's body and the painting they did to his face to de-chisel his jawline and weaken the neck is freaking me out. Hopefully the transformation happens early in the film so I don't get so disturbed that I can't objectively view the picture.

The small caveat is this: how often can they use the same origin formula and be entertaining? Man in desperate need of something is gifted with powers that are beyond human imagining. Thor avoided this quite nicely by throwing us right into the action. There was backstory, sure, but it was limited to about five minutes of a flashback and the brilliant opening narration sequence. This is making the story the rise of Captain America, which looks an awful lot like the rise of Spider-Man, the rise of Iron Man, the rise of the Fantastic Four, and the (twice now) rise of the X-Men. If the screenplay is just plug-and-play off of earlier films, will there be enough novelty in this particular character to sell it as something new?

This trailer sends the exact opposite message as the first trailer. Instead of a grounded war film with a superhero, we get a sci-fi/fantasy war epic with a supersoldier. Big difference. I find the first trailer much more appealing. The unveiling of the Nazi logo, more with Red Skull, and the laser weapons give me pause. The approach to the character of Captain America is more interesting here, but the actual story they've placed him in really turns me off.

So should you flick it or skip it on Friday? If you're a Captain America die-hard fan, by all means go and see it. If you like big explosions and quasi-war movies, have at it. If you're like me, though, with a passing interest in superheroes, it might be better to sit this one out. The whole thing seems hohum to me. Haven't I seen this film before from many different studios? I'm not seeing enough novelty in this character or this time period to convince me to go. I'll still be drug to it by somebody and I probably won't like it. If you aren't sold by the property or that second trailer, skip it.

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