Okay, so I might be late on the bandwagon, but why did nobody tell me that Marvel did a series of books based on the movies!?
I recently decided to read the Captain America: Winter Solider book as part of a “basic theme” reading challenge (the theme being a season of the year). And what I discovered was that I couldn’t resist comparing the book to the film itself!
I’ve also made Book Vs Movie videos on my CGSP youtube channel, but I wanted this one to just be between us – and potentially I will keep doing the other books and movies if you guys like it…?
Anyway, here were my initial thoughts on the book itself:
- It feels very much like a movie not a book (they have distinct differences)
- It was nice to get some level of internal dialogue, but it still felt too movie-esqu
- It was clear they were trying to stick very close to the movie plot and script, so that felt like a bit of a cop out – why bother with a book if you aren’t going to properly adapt it to follow the book format/style?
- The story and dialogue was funny
- The fight scenes were a little soft and uninteresting
- It felt very rushed – the pace of the movie vs the book seemed to be condensed in the book rather than the film (the opposite when a movie is based on a book rather than this way around)
So, after reading the book came the moment of truth – rewatching the film to compare. Here are the differences, similarities and what I felt was done worse or better:
- I liked the Sam/Cap meeting at the beginning better in the book. It was more fleshed out and felt a lot more meaningful
- The book overall felt quicker, and things didn’t punch the same as they did in the film
- On the flip side, the parts of the book that felt more drawn out, were the parts that felt quickest in the film (eg. the conversations rather than action)
- The people who created this book did a cut and paste – particularly with the dialogue. They didn’t even seem to attempt (except for the small amount of inner dialogue that did pop up from time to time) to follow a book format
- The character of Sitwell seemed less like a geek in the book (no offense intened)
- The actual fight scenes took a lot more time on screen and got a lot less description of these in the book.
- Those fight scenes weren’t very well written and described, and it felt like the writer decided that if people knew the movie or wanted to understand the fight more, they could watch the movie – and that would explain everything (spoiler, it didn’t). There is a way to write fighting scenes amazingly, but this wasn’t it
- There is a particular nuance that you get with an acing performance – something that comes across in facial and body movement choices – that you don’t get with the written word. This is why it can be amazing, but also annoying. Books have inner dialogue, movies have good actors. Unfortunately for the book, the actors were better than the writer of the novel
- The “danger” scenes didn’t feel as life threatening or exciting in the book, as they were in the movie – part of this is because you can do amazing things with the visual medium that you can’t do in a book, while other is due to (I believe) the above points made
Overall, it was so clear this book was written as a copy and paste of the film. It could have been awesome – given some insight into aspects we didn’t see in the film, or done some really cool things, but it chose not to. It chose instead to basically word for word record the dialogue, and poorly copy in the fight scenes and moments of the book.
Do you agree with my analysis? What’s your favourite part of Captain America: Winter Soldier? Comment and let us all know!
See You in the Adventures