Thursday, February 9, 2012

Short Film Review: Lego Captain America

Captain America, with shield and pistol in tow, bursts in on a secret Nazi meeting.  Catching those in attendance completely off guard, he commences to make mincemeat out of everyone in the room.  Reinforcements arrive, but to no avail.  All who enter are shot, sliced, or eviscerated.  Even a helicopter armed with a Gatling proves to be no match for America’s favorite super soldier.  At the end of it all, Cap emerges triumphant.

The apocalypse is upon us.  Marvel Studios has been outdone by a bunch of guys with a camera and some Legos.  Lego Captain America is the Captain America film that they would never have the guts to make.  In fact, guts Is the opportune word.  This thing is wall to wall with blood and entrails.  It owes as much to Dead Alive and Punisher: War Zone as it does to the title character.  Sound like a weird combo?  It most certainly is, but it makes for fun viewing.

The short offers nothing in the way of context or story (or character and dialogue for that matter).  Cap bursts into the room with guns blazing and things just get more insane from there.  Lego minifigures don’t have many points of articulation, yet the guys at Forrestfire Films work the Hell out of them.  The stop motion technique allows them to cut corners and hide the minifigures limited movements.  The viscera are provided by a combination digital squibs and Claymation.  

The guys at Forrestfire films are obviously connoisseurs of pop culture.  The clip is only two and a half minutes long, yet contains plenty of references to other films.  As a whole, it plays sort of like the opening dining room slaughter in Punisher: War Zone.  One of the Nazi officers bears a striking resemblance to the character Arnold Toht from Raiders of the Lost Ark.  In one hilarious moment, Cap even uses his shield as a flying guillotine.  The grand finale is reminiscent of certain scenes from the Morpheus rescue in The Matrix

The musical accompaniment in Warner Brother’s old Looney Tunes shorts was used in a relatively sophisticated manner.  The orchestral compositions aided in telling the story, often making the adventures of Bugs Bunny and company play like silent films.  Lego Captain America does something similar with Franz Liszt’s “Les Preludes.”  The piece underscores the over-the-top carnage on display, emphasizing the visceral impact.

Lego Captain America is insanely silly, yet undeniably thrilling.  I had a much better time with this than I had with Captain America: The First Avenger in its entirety.  What inspired Forrestfire Films to make something so off beat and entertaining?  Was this simply meant to be a goof?  I could on for days with such questions, but the intent behind this little gem is ultimately of little consequence.  It has entertainment and replay value to spare, and that’s all that counts.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed, The First Avenger has it's merits. But overall I found this gory madness more entertaining.