It’s fair to say that the reviews I’ve read of Captain America have been mixed. They have ranged from abusive vilification to implausible eulogy. Something has niggled at me as I have read them though. While some of the criticisms may be fair others seem distinctly unfair. It’s a metaphor I have used before in other contexts but some of them seem to be kicking the dog because it barks.
For example to criticize the movie's top-and-tailing with present day scenes on the grounds that they are there to tie it to the forthcoming Avengers movie is to miss the point that I made in my review. Captain America IS about two different versions of the character: the war hero and the modern day superhero. It’s true that those scenes will link it to the Avengers but they are also, to my mind, a crucial part of the character and it was far better to do it in framing sequences than trying to tell both stories. And together they are around five minutes long. Hardly a major intrusion.
To criticise it for having too many forgettable characters , by which I can only assume we are talking about the commando team, is to ignore the fact that this isn’t any old commando team - it’s Sergeant Fury’s Howling Commandos – as much an essential part of the WWII Captain mythos as his shield is.
And criticising the patriotic tone of a movie that is a fairly faithful retelling of a tale that was by its very nature designed to be nothing but patriotic seems as perverse as what amounts to a criticism of a comic book movie for being, well, comic-book-like
Quantitative Methods in Historical Linguistics.
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