by Dan Fields
First published July 23, 2011 by the California Literary Review
Must Be the Recession…
Captain America has a lot riding on his shoulders, not merely in his own war-torn world but in the dangerously ambitious Marvel Studios project of bringing the Avengers and their various associates together in a convoluted crossover web of summer blockbusters. The difficult truth is that since Jon Favreau’s runaway smash Iron Man, each successive entry has brought the average of the franchise down.
Sadly, Captain America is no exception. For a movie about super soldiers, world domination, and rogue Nazi occultists, it packs surprisingly little punch. The flaw is not in the premise, but in the execution. Long stretches go by without a joke sticking, a blow landing, or an emotion ringing true. Thor was no masterpiece, but at least Kenneth Branagh had the sense to keep things in constant motion, and managed to make a movie as exciting as it was silly.