So the boy and I saw Captain America: The First Avenger today. As you can imagine it was a good father and son bonding opportunity. We shared popcorn, discussed what we thought was cool about the movie and even went to Rick's Comic City after the movie to cap off the day (fyi, Dad's this is a great way to spend the day with your kids. Movies and cool swag at Rick's. I highly recommend it. And not just because I hope to get another 5% discount on my comics. Wink. Wink). With a movie like Captain America, you will get any number of mixed reviews from the rotten tomato to upbeat praise of a new action hero. As comic movies go, this is one of the best that I have seen to date. I was somewhat skeptical of Chris Evans from his Human Torch days in Fantastic Four, but he beefed up both his physical and acting skills for the role. The story was a good mix of the classic Cap origin with some modern twists to make the story work and keep the action moving.
What puts this movie above other summer comic movies this year is that it is not only a comic movie but also a running movie! True believers, I am here to testify that this is one of the best running movies that I've ever seen. After Cap gets his amazing powers, the scientist that gave him his powers is killed. Cap leaps into action, running down the street after the Nazi murderer. What the sharp-eyed runner will note is that Cap is doing so....wait for it....'cause it's really good...barefoot!!! Now I understand Evans may actually have worn flesh colored foot boots a la Vibrams, but the message is clear, America's favorite son supports barefoot running!
Now for the rest of the movie, we see Cap running in his trademark army regulation boots, but for a good 10 minutes we were treated to barefoot running Cap. Even without additional barefoot running scenes, the movie is chock full of running. When Cap isn't marching or riding his Harley, he is running and jumping full tilt into battle. The movie trailer alone would be a great advertisement for the Warrior Dash 5K (which yours truly is signed up for in September).
Now I don't think that the boy noticed the running as much as I did (10 year old boys tend to focus on the derring-do, the heroic stances, and the really cool gadgets), but I think that he got the message. Listen to the trailer. A wimpy Steve Rogers explains that once you start running, you can't stop. Truer words, if I ever heard any. But what I liked even more was that it was running movie about heart. Wimpy Steve Rogers didn't become Cap overnight. He had to train. Train hard. He was not the strongest, but he was smart and brave. He had guts and a never-say-quit spirit that naturally appeals to all runners, even the non-super soldier variety. It was reminiscent of a less cocky, less hirsute Steve Prefontaine. Hard work and guts can win the race, kids. And against Nazis no less! Hoorah!
With my final words, I say this is a must-see movie for both comic lovers and runners alike. I dare any runner out there to watch this movie and not appreciate the speed and strength of a barefoot Cap running through the streets of Brooklyn or be thrilled by a suited up Cap tearing into Nazis or even get choked up by a desperate running Steve Rogers running through modern day New York realizing all that he's lost. If you aren't moved, you must be dead inside. Sniff. Truly this is movie for everyone. Would I pay full price to see this movie? Absolutely. I would do it twice and then buy the blu-ray combo pack when it comes out (I don't even own a blu-ray player!). So there you go. Captain America: The First Avenger, the best running superhero movie of the summer. Excelsior!