When were we all put to sleep, mesmerized by flashing colors and stern platitudes delivered with a chiseled chin? When did our imaginations get put to bed and the guard of our expectations lowered? Whether we were willingly lulled, or convinced against our will, mediocrity is now the accepted norm for the Marvel super hero movies, the last indicator being the shallow, and underwhelming, Captain America.
In Captain America, we are given a character whose only hurdle, besides being utterly bland, is the fact that he is physically inferior. Then that flaw is whisked away, and so is the character. He becomes even more of a walking cliché, shallow, and without a hint of a character struggle. Moments in demand of levity are contemplated with all the brevity of a blink, and quickly swept aside to make room for the next hollow action sequence. Captain America is a dull film, completely devoid of human nuance, and consequence.
Captain America is another in a growing list of Marvel films that do not compel the audience to stand and cheer, instead they are met with a content shrug of the shoulders, and anticipation for the next paint-by-numbers hero to dash across the screen, one with a vague and smoothed over moral dilemma, a character arc no more impressionable than a slight dip in the road, and a villain pasted onto the screen for our hero to boast in the direction of.
The Marvel films, particularly the films in The Avengers series, seem to be made with little to no risk at all, as to not disturb the grand climax that is The Avengers. So, we are given, a flat, morally innocuous trailer for a film to come at a later date. As long as the character is never compromised, they throw in a few references and cameos for other characters, and everything is familiar and in order, then the film is a success.
We as an audience are being spoon fed plain oatmeal, and being told that we should be happy that it wasn’t overcooked. We should be happy that a character layered upon for decades is merely a whisper of what was imagined on those comic pages. We should be happy that no one took the chance at presenting something we’ve never seen before. We were given exactly what we expected, and somehow convinced that we want more.
It has become obvious now that Marvel and Paramount have no intention of challenging its audience, so, perhaps we should challenge them.
- James Merolla