The problem facing Captain America: The First Avenger

captain america

Image by richt-what via Flickr

It’s a great year for comic book movies. We’ve just had Kenneth Branagh‘s fantastic superhero flick Thor, whilst the already brilliantly looking X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern are set to hit cinemas within the coming month. Coming last in July however, will not do Marvel Studio’s Captain America: The First Avenger any favours.

The problem is, as X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn said, ‘comic book movies are on the verge of dying out.’ After films about a god with a hammer, a team of mutants with super powers, and a man with an intergalactic power ring have come and gone, is a film about a super soldier in World War 2 really likely to take the box office by storm? I doubt it. Whilst fans such as myself are enjoying this new comic book era, casual audiences are likely to get bored of seeing men in costumes save the world every other month. Which is why I cannot understand Marvel’s/Paramount’s decision to release The First Avenger (as it’s called in some nations) at the end of July.

This is especially since the last instalment of the Harry Potter franchise; The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 hits screens just before, which is likely to kill off any hype The First Avenger is going to get from casual cinema audiences. If there was going to be any chance of Captain America managing to bring in audiences that have already seen three comic book movies this year, it’s now gone as the world will still be captivated with boy wizard Harry Potter.

After I saw the initial trailer I was pretty much convinced Thor was in safe hands with Kenneth Branagh. Story looked strong, acting looked fantastic, action looked great. I can’t say the same for Captain America‘s trailer sadly enough. I am not convinced by Chris Evans‘s portrayal of Steve Rogers, as he doesn’t seem to be able to carry any weight/drama in his performances. Considering Thor had Shakespearean drama expert Brannagh at the helm, any drama in The First Avenger is only likely to suffer in comparison.

Enjoy the comic book movie season whilst it lasts. Whilst the reviews for the movies are still going strong, and the money’s coming in, I have a feeling come the end of the year we’re all going to remember Captain America: The First Avenger as Marvel’s big mistake. People might complain about Fox and their superhero movies. But they still know how to promote and distribute their films a far lot better than what Marvel Studios seems capable of. If Captain America: The First Avenger came first this year, it probably would have faired a lot better.

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