Saturday, July 14, 2007

I've said before: Cap movie needs to be realistic


The more I think about this, the more I think the Cap movie has to seperate itself from recent offerings like Fantastic Four/Surfer, 300, Ghost Rider, Elektra, X-Men 3, Hulk and so on. The general public seems to be getting tired of the fancy opening credits, fantastic accidents that give heroes super powers and thin stories or complex plots.

Spider-Man 3 was criticized for having too much going on at once - same for Pirates of the Carribean 3. Transformers is being praised for its action, but reviled for some cheesiness.

What made Batman Begins so delicously good was how grounded it was in reality. You could say the NBC Show "Heroes" has characters grounded in reality, even if their powers are way out of whack. That's where USA's "The 4400" falls a little short of "Heroes" - the characters aren't as developed.

What I am driving at is this: why not make the Cap movie a military movie? Separate it from what people will expect: a guy in tights with a CGI shield that bounces around in unbelievable richochet patterns.

The first act should be a period piece about the origin of Steve Rogers and WWII. The second act is about the complications of waking up in a post-9/11 America that is mired in an Iraq war it can't seem to win, while al Qaeda and even the Taliban have regrouped all over the Middle East. The third act is all about what Cap is asked to do about it: does he fight without question, does he fight and come back with questions, does he question the decision to fight in Iraq versus Afghanistan, Syria or Iran?

Consider the following things that can be done to make a Cap movie that is not your typical CGI superhero fantasy flick:

FANTASY
Cap takes super soldier serum & exposure to vita rays
REALITY
Cap is treated for his illness for weeks and takes early versions of human growth hormone and steroids all while training and eating complex proteins/carbs - an homage to the pulp novel "Captain America & The Great Gold Steal"

FANTASY
A CGI Shield that magically hits every bad guy and flies back into his hand - it is never even scratched and remains glossy
REALITY
A real shield shot with practical in-camera special effects, he hits one bad guy at a time and has to chase after his shield to retrieve it - and it can sustain scratches and paint wear & tear

FANTASY
Cap fights a hackneyed super villain like Batrock or Baron Zemo
REALITY
Cap fights a Nazi with an irradiated, disfigured, burned face codenamed "Red Skull" along with other regular old Nazis - and then he wakes up to fight regular old al Qaeda terrorists all over the Middle East

FANTASY
Cap flies a super jet or rides a super motorcyle
REALITY
Cap rides a chopper in civilian life, but drives a military-grad hummer in battle tgat us equiped with guns, rockets and grenades

FANTASY
Cap in short-shorts, buccaneer boots, chain mail and wings on his mask
REALITY
Cap looks more like a soldier as he does in Ultimates 2 with the helmet/mask with chinstrap - but he needs a kevlar vest and baggy cargo pants to go along with his lace-up combat boots.

FANTASY
Way too much CGI and digital backgrounds
REALITY
Shot in real locations with tons of extras, ala Saving Private Ryan & Pearl Harbor

FANTASY
Cap talks like Optimus Prime: "One shall stand, one shall fall."
REALITY
CAP talks like a soldier and uses military language and jargon

FANTASY
Cap is a mindless, jingoistic patriot
REALITY
Cap loves America and serves for the freedom of its people, but is not afraid to question its government and its decisions

FANTASY
An alternative rock soundtrack
REALITY
An original score by an orchestra

FANTASY
Bucky Barnes in a domino mask and shorts
REALITY
Sam Jackson as Nick Fury in camoflauge fatigues

FANTASY
Cap doesn't notice the erosion of American values and the raging debates about gay marriage, stem cell research, selling ports to Dubai companies
REALITY
Cap has a hard time with modern-day America and broods over his inability to relate as a man-out-of-time

FANTASY
Steve Rogers is a blonde-blue eyed cardboard cut out
REALITY
Steve Rogers is the irresistable driving force behind Captain America and the reason people discover or fall in love with this awesome character all over again

Are you with me? Reality over fantasy! Say it loud, say it proud, true believers. 'Nuff said.

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