THERE can’t be many costumed crusaders still left in the cupboard, waiting to be hauled out and dusted down by the movie-makers in the hope of turning a quick buck with a glossy 3D adventure.
We’ve already had the Green team, Hornet and Lantern, and a second slice of Iron Man in recent months, and now it’s time for Captain America to take a bow.
Or rather, it’s time for Captain America: The First Avenger to take a bow, for that is the name attached to two hours of pretty predictable posturing.
The good Captain – Chris Evans, previously the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four Movies – is a wartime reject from the ranks who is boosted from weedy nerd to muscled super soldier thanks to a handy serum developed by boffin Stanley Tucci.
Naturally he’s not just allowed to go about his business battling the Nazis in standard battledress, he has to get dressed up like a particularly unpleasant DFS sofa and tote around a shield emblazoned with the good old stars and stripes.
His secret unit is led by Tommy Lee Jones, the main baddy is Hugo Weaving, and if it’s all beginning to sound like a formula summer film then hold on – it’s actually not bad.
There’s much more of an Indiana Jones feel of period yarn here than some recent superhero sorties and it’s the sort of film where you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.
> Also offered up in 3D for no good reason I can think of is Horrid Henry: The Movie, the movie take on the popular children’s books which is an obvious school holiday option.
Theo Stevenson is the horrible Henry of the title, and the best-known grown-ups in the cast are Richard E Grant and Rebecca Front, along with ‘Whatever Happened To’ Mathew Horne, looking to get his career back on the James Corden trajectory after the pair’s awful TV show threatened to leave both high and dry.
The producers proudly bill this as the first British 3D movie made for children. That’s supposed to be a claim to fame, is it?
Despite the high-tech credentials this is defiantly cheap and cheerful, with slapstick humour unashamedly aiming at the younger viewer.
> Kevin James is back as America’s favourite schlub in Zookeeper, another family comedy, this time about a bunch of zoo animals and their favourite human helper.
Kev’s already been turned down once by the woman he wants to wed because of his lowly status, but then he gets another chance.
But now standing in his way are his animals – voiced by the likes of Cher, Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler and Sylvester Stallone – who don’t want to see their pal get a better job and move on.
But it turns out that the tips they pass on about their carious mating rituals turn out to be surprisingly effective.
Talking animals always go down well with the kids, and James is an amiable if uninspired leading man.