2. Captain America: The First Avenger
Yet another in the Marvel assembly line, Captain America went back in time to give us an impoosibly patriotic version of 1940′s America. It was World War II with nary a mention of that ugly Holocaust. Chris Evans, who played the title character, was perfect: Blond, blue-eyes, muscular and terrifically serviceable, but unspectacular. It was also another origins story, which Hollywood loves — they give the illusion of intelligence without actually making you think. $170 million in moviegoers all left the theater content, exclaiming to anyone that would listen, “I liked it! It was totally OK!”
And the number one most awesomely mediocre film of summer is…
1. The Help
The Help sparked a lot of faux controversy among critics and pundits about the wisdom of a white woman telling a civil rights-era story about black maids, but moviegoers mostly ignored that controversy and settled into a nice, formulaic feel-good story that mostly eschewed an accurate look at the turbulent 1960s America in favor of a “good ole days” conservative depiction — one that wouldn’t offend your racist grandfather and would make your slightly less racist grandmother cry a little. The Help could’ve examined the ugliness of the era, warts and all, but who wants to see that when you could make sweet story about a white woman eating sh*t (literally) to the immense pleasure of the audiences everywhere, because when it comes to 200 years of institutional racism, eating a little sh*t makes everything OK.
Plus, Emma Stone is really cute, right?