There’s been a lot of speculation lately as to whether superhero movies still had life in them or not, with Captain America being the latest Marvel franchise, and the last superhero movie of the summer.
Although the reviews weren’t stellar across the board, most critics did give it a pass, and it did pass the test at the box office, taking Harry Potter down from the #1 spot, and doing very respectable business.
“Captain America Strong Arms Harry Potter,” headlined the L.A. Times, and it was also reported in the Times, and elsewhere, that Captain America had practically the same opening weekend box office take as Thor, another bigscreen Marvel newcomer. (Captain America made $65.8 million, Thor made $65.7 million.)
Deadline headlined their report “No Weakling, But Is He Summer’s Biggest Superhero?” The publication also reported Captain America out-performed expectations, and did better than Green Lantern and X-Men: First Class.
Some felt Harry Potter would stay at #1, but after a huge opening, it went down 72% after its record breaking opening last weekend.
As far as the reviews, as the L.A. Times reported, “Chris Evans saves ‘Captain America.'” The Times wrote that Evans has “an appealing earnestness and humility that is certainly not business as usual in the comic book superhero genre.”
The Wall Street Journal also called Evans “quietly engaging,” with the The New York Times dubbing it “enjoyably preposterous, occasionally touching and generally likable.” Roger Ebert wrote, “Hey, here’s is a real movie, not a noisy assembly in incomprehensible special effects.”
My writer friend Pat Jankeiwicz, writing on the blog Blow Up the Fridge, may have liked Captain America best of all, giving it a rave review on Fridge: “A rousing, old fashioned action adventure with heart and brains…A fantastic late-summer surprise.”
Captain America is the last superhero movie of the summer, but it’s just the beginning for this character, because he’ll be in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers next year, and is sure to be in further Captain America sequels down the road.
Yes, Chris Evans spoke of the anxiety he’s felt at the prospect of tying up years of his life in a superhero franchise, but obviously knew to move forward to conquer his fear. Clearly he did the right thing, and here’s to hoping that like X-Men and Batman, the Captain America sequels will just keep getting better.