Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) Poster

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5/10
Concerned: Did I watch the same "Captain"?
OrsonLannister25 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I had been looking forward to Captain America for about a year, and I decided to make it the first premiere I'd go to all summer. I got a group of ten friends and showed up hours early with Captain America merchandise and enough caffeine to stay up through Lord of the Rings in its entirety.

What happened?

Every single person in my group was disappointed. Needless to say, we still enjoyed ourselves, and I wasn't even expecting much, (Jumanji and Jurassic Park III at the top of the director's credentials), but, man, I couldn't help counting the flaws throughout the film.

Positive: Chris Evans was surprisingly convincing. Also, our hero was truly inspirational (if not corny). The sets were nice, and the other stars filled their roles well. I was well entertained, and the first half flowed nicely.

Negative: Oh, lord. I'll try not to nitpick. Most glaring was the absolute pathetic villain. Hugo Weaving (a great actor who manages to give his character some, well, character) plays a downright cheesy, sappy, crazy, and so un-menacing-its-not-even-funny chum nicknamed Red Skull. His back story is never laid out and only hinted at a few times, his followers are faceless drones with advanced weaponry but the brains and aim of stormtroopers, and his intentions are ridiculously stupid and unexplainable (his target is "everything"? Oh, please). He was never threatening and never endangered our hero, not to mention his death was as anti-climatic as they come (Voldemort, anyone?)

Also obvious is the cliché invincibility of the Captain. He leaps twenty feet as flames engulf him, he fistfights scores of goons, blows up crap all over the place, and never once gets seriously injured. Suspense? Apparently, there's no need when you have patriotism!

The technology was just plain silly for its era. Leaving out the cheesy blue-shooting things (something to do with the gods? I don't know, it was kind of weird), there are spycraft, tanks the size of mansions, helicopters that look like spacecraft, single-person submarines, and (my personal favorite) manned bombers in the shape of bombs. Are they suicide bombers? Apparently.

There is no attachment to the characters (anyone blink when his best friend died?), there are loads of forgettable scenes (notably the war montage of which the trailer consists, which might have made a good movie, I might add), and clichés (love interest walks in on random kiss, etc.) and downright sloppy pacing galore.

I must stop here, but seriously, 8.0? Not even close. Enjoyable fare, but nothing to think twice about. Here's to hoping Joss Whedon improves upon Chris Evan's Captain in 2012.
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A Super-hero Rightly Interpreted for the Big Screen
webspinner1284 August 2011
Like many comic-book fans I was expecting the worst from this movie. This is not because the character has any less depth than other super-heroes, but I knew that it would be extremely difficult to transition Steve Rogers to film in a serviceable way. The guy is called "Captain America" for heaven's sake.

Any comic-book reader would probably appreciate the ironies and idiosyncrasies behind such ostentatiously patriotic code-name, mostly because in print Cap has challenged the assumptions behind his symbolism, becoming a more conflicted and universal figure.

But its hard to translate any of this idiosyncrasy successfully in 2 hours. Fortunately the film, instead of getting to political, is more old-fashioned pulp like Indy or "Sky Captain," which thankfully never takes itself too seriously (which was one of the flaws of "Thor").

I had my doubts that Chris Evans could pull off the modesty and heart needed for the role, but I was wrong. As the Red Skull, Hugo Weaving was wonderfully evil in a nostalgic, serial-villain kind of way. Haley Atwell is a sidekick/love-interest with the rare quality of not being incredibly annoying, and Tommy Lee Jones is perfectly cast as Tommy Lee Jones.

The reason I found this to be a good movie was because I enjoyed it, plain and simple. It's well-photographed and well-acted. Like its titular hero, it modestly embraced its silliness, creating a charming B-movie experience.
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6/10
Strong start, then quickly ran out of steam.
contractorjohn200323 July 2011
Joe Johnston has done it again, managing to take what SHOULD be great action flick material and managed to make it, well, boring.

Don't get me wrong, the film started out quite well. The change from puny wimp to super hero was well done, as was the intro sequence with red skull. The whole nazi-mysticism mystique was done very well. But it seemed that after Joe Johnston filmed these two or three well thought out portions, the rest of the film was just filler.

I caught myself looking at my watch a few times, just sort of wanting the movie to end - and this was at the 1/2 point of the film. The action sequences are fairly average for the most part and I really never got that "edge of my seat" feeling as the characters faced peril.

All in all, an above-average film which could have been great if someone with better directing chops had been chosen.

6/10
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2/10
Another Marvel Atrocity
occupantroom627726 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Gee, what a waste of money. I was unfortunate enough to catch a viewing of this, uh, film on its opening night. And I honestly had high expectations. But, not unlike Thor, it fell very VERY short.

Here are a few of the problems I had with the movie.

1. No development. With EVERYTHING. No character development, no plot development, and no emotional development.

2. Mediocre acting. Enough said.

3. It was too over-the-top. And this is coming from a Batman Begins/Dark Knight fanatic. Red Skull was a seriously lousy villain. He was more laughable than frightening, especially his cheap looking face.

4. The plot itself. I was honestly looking forward to seeing Captain America fight the Nazis, not HYDRA. And the dumb Hydra salute made me gag. I also wasn't sure what was going on at times. The magical "cube" (Transformers knockoff?) wasn't settling with me. I expected this to be more about WWII itself, not some stupid mystical idea that was more sophomoric and typical than interesting and captivating.

5. The technology. This was the WWII era. And there were little reminders everywhere that said, "Hey! It's the 40's!" But then... Hydra's, uh, "ray guns" for lack of better terminology were somewhat thrown at us. I didn't like it. And the likely hood that a bunch of drunks with 40's weaponry could survive such combat.

6. The romance. Ugh. You can integrate a romantic subplot in a "superhero" movie and do it well, I've seen it done (Spider-man 2, The Dark Knight). But this was much too Thor-esque. I'm sorry, let me specify. You could see the chemistry between Steve and Peggy right away, but it just kind of sat there until, all of a sudden, love! And, of course, with romance comes automatic romantic tension. Blonde kisses Steve. Peggy gets mad/jealous. Wow. Didn't see that coming.

7. The "theme". Red Skull believing he's so god-like. I liked the idea. And I figured it would destroy him in the end. Hubris often does. It simply wasn't explored enough, and it really didn't end him. I was left wondering whether it was a good idea to introduce it in the first place.

8. And so we've arrived at Red Skull's death. This was TERRIBLE writing, an asinine story component. You know, when you watch a movie like this, and come to accept that it's mostly just raw superhero element, you want the HERO to kill the BAD GUY. That's a formula we've seen from box office hits to Scooby-Doo. But no, this film neglected even THAT. All Red Skull did was look at and hold the cube, and he burned. What a let down.

9. Captain America's sacrifice. Ah, sacrifice worked so well in The Dark Knight! And it almost worked here. Corny scripting ruined the moment. After Red Skull's demise, Captain America had to get the militarized aircraft far away from the USA, so its weapons wouldn't kill people. So what do you do? Nose dive into the ice caps. Naturally. Well, I guess it was "his choice".

10. The ending. Well, it was necessary. And it was okay. I could live with it. UNTIL Steve chose to utter, "I'll be okay. But I had a date." or something to that effect. More corny scripting.

11. Hey, all faults aside, at least we had some good old action to keep the grin on our faces. Nope. The action was thrown wayside. The taking down of every Hydra facility was just clips of Captain America shooting a gun or jumping his motorcycle. That, along with generic and easily forgettable scoring.

Only a few funny moments and the fantastic CG "scrawny Steve" got this to three stars. Please, stop comparing this unexceptional film to things like Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Dark Knight or any of the greats. This film was average at best. Marvel Studios is not preparing well for The Avengers. Based on this and Thor, I certainly am not stoked for its debut.

Thanks for reading!
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8/10
"A weak man knows the value of strength."
Al_The_Strange8 August 2011
With the imminent "Avengers" movie coming next year, only one hero's origin story remains untold…until now. Falling in line with "Thor," "Iron Man," and "The Incredible Hulk," "Captain America" showcases the rise of Steve Rogers as the title character. Unlike the other films, which take place in modern times, this one goes way back to WWII, showing the Captain kicking Nazi butt! With a lot of "Wolfenstein" style occult mystique and a slight "Indiana Jones" sense of adventure, this movie has a number of solid action sequences, and plenty of imaginative special effects and setpieces. With its references to various characters and concepts of other Mavel movies, it fits into the franchise really well. It might take some stretch of the imagination to believe that Nazis could be this futuristic, but for a superhero movie, it's all good fun.

The story in this case is pretty solid. The main character shows strong development, and for most of the movie, you really root for him. There's nothing more thrilling than watching the underdog getting the upper hand. As it goes on, much of the character drama and story development gets pushed aside by the action, but it still works. By the end, voila, we have the lead-in for the "Avengers" film.

If there's any complaint for this film, it's that there could have been more. Whether it needs a stronger action setpiece or a more invoking sense of drama, I'm not sure, but something seems missing, and nothing really makes this film stand over any of the other superhero films that have come out so far.

The film is competently made, with decent (but never exceptional) photography. Editing is good for the most part, but I am not a fan of the montage in the middle of the film that makes the entire war campaign whiz by. A couple of action scenes seemed a little sloppily-edited, but it's hardly noticeable. Acting is swell; Chris Evans is surprisingly strong as the main character, and I enjoyed Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, and Hugo Weaving in their roles. Writing seems pretty good. Production value is high, featuring lots of good (if not overly-slick) sets, props, costumes and special effects. Music is appropriately upbeat and adventurous. In the end, I'd say the film met my expectations, but never fully exceeded them. But it, along with an all-too-short sneak preview after the credits, provide the necessary bridge to the "Avengers" film.

Recommended.

4/5 (entertainment: 4/5, story: 4/5, film: 4/5)
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Mediocre at BEST....no....it's simply bad.
Vinegaroon328 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I really wanted to like this movie. After all the terrible superhero movies that have been released lately, I was somehow hoping that "Captain America" would be different. It wasn't.

I liked the idea of the idealistic but physically weak protagonist who was impossibly patriotic, but beyond that the movie completely fails. I have never understood why superhero movies always feel the need to go completely over the top with outrageous super-villains. In this film Hugo Weaving plays Red Skull. The Red Skull mask looks like something a kid would wear for Halloween...it's that cheesy. Red Skull is apparently possessed with powers similar to Captain America, but also has at his disposal an army of minions with very advanced (and largely unexplained) technology weapons. Yet, these laser beam style weapons seem to do nothing for them.

I guess I don't get it. Would it not have been enough for Captain America to simply be involved in fighting the Nazi juggernaut portrayed in a fashion similar to what history recorded? Wouldn't the Nazis be adequate villains for anyone? If I seem to be dwelling on this issue, it is because for me the silly, cheesy "bad guys" really ruined this movie.

The movie also fails because it is obvious from the beginning that Captain America is basically invulnerable. It is very clear early on that nothing is going to happen to him. I was under the impression that his "powers" consisted of nothing more than being extremely strong and athletic, yet his antics in the movie remind one more of Superman. Captain America's shield certainly cannot shield everything, yet the protagonist is apparently completely immune to the effects of gunfire and laser blasts. Yawn. Even Superman had his kryptonite....

I imagine the superhero formula is more difficult to pull off than it might appear, and this movie fails yet again. It is largely silly and boring.

I would recommend that you skip it.
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9/10
A great, old-fashioned adventure that towers above its flaws.
Hardwicke Benthow26 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
As there's something about the the 1930s-1940s that appeals to me, I tend to prefer movies set in the era and made in its cinematic style. And being fond of the adventure genre, I anticipate movies like the Indiana Jones trilogy, "The Rocketeer", "Sky Captain And the World of Tomorrow", "The Mummy" (1999) and, of course, "Captain America".

When I first heard about this movie, my expectations soared. The director was Joe Johnston, who made my favorite superhero movie, "The Rocketeer". It was set during WWII, made in a 1940s style, and scored by Alan Silvestri. Alas, my heart sank after I found out that they were going to do the whole frozen alive storyline I've always hated. But, I reasoned, the only reason they are making it is because of "The Avengers". Without that storyline, they wouldn't even be making it. Beggars can't be choosers.

Well, after two years of waiting, I got to see the movie. And to my surprise, it surpassed my high expectations. I didn't even hate the ending, although I would have much preferred a happier one more in line with the original 1940s comics (in which Cap stays in his own era, then fights commies in the 1950s). So, here are my thoughts on the movie.

Acting.

Chris Evans was great as Captain America. He nailed the character. After watching him as Captain America, I can't see anyone else in the role. The special effects performed on him to make him look skinny for the first part of the movie were absolutely seamless. If I hadn't known about them, I wouldn't have been able to tell they were there. But those effects would not have looked nearly so great if it had not been for Evans convincingly "acting skinny". No matter what condition Steve Rogers is in, shrimp or super soldier, Chris Evans portrayed him flawlessly.

It was refreshing to see a non-angsty, pure-hearted hero for the first time in a while. Instead of portraying Cap with irony or satire, they took him seriously, and it really payed off. Cap, despite (or because of) his delightful simplicity and earnestness, comes across as incredibly deep and human, proving once again that the notion of the old-fashioned hero being inferior to his modern antihero counterpart is merely a haughty assumption.

Hugo Weaving's Red Skull was effectively menacing, darkly humorous, and overall deliciously like an old-fashioned serial villain. Haley Atwell was charming, feisty and classically beautiful as Peggy Carter. Stanley Tucci's Dr. Erskine was played to perfection, Tommy Lee Jones was a scene-stealer of the highest order, Toby Jones was very memorable as a sympathetic, almost lovable Arnim Zola, Richard Armitage was effectively despicable, Dominic Cooper was good as Howard Stark, and Neal McDonough made his presence known despite very little screen time. Sebastion Stan was also quite good as Bucky, although he wasn't quite as memorable as many of the others.

Visuals and Action.

My feelings on the visuals are mixed. I was hoping for a bit more of a photo-realistic feel, but it instead looks a bit too much like "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" (a movie whose visuals I like very much, but would prefer to be a novelty, not the norm). That said, the use of wide lenses did help make it look more real than many other movies with such massive amounts of CGI. The color in many scenes is quite good, or at least by today's standards. I did dislike the muted color used in some of the winter scenes, though. I wish they had gone for more of a Technicolor look, but I'm pretty satisfied with the look of the movie, except for the winter scenes.

I didn't like the action montage too much, as it had some slow-motion effects, as well as giving off a feeling that you're being cheated out of some scenes. I also thought that the motorcycle-chase felt somewhat rushed. Other than that, however, I did like most of the action scenes. The Kruger chase, Cap's first mission, and the final fight with Red Skull were standouts.

I would have preferred that the HYDRA soldiers' uniforms look a bit more Nazi-like, but the look they have works well. Red Skull doesn't care about them as individuals. He is the Hydra, and they are merely his many identical heads. Thus, their faceless, almost robotic look works very well.

Music.

Silvestri's score is the best superhero score in years. His main theme unfortunately doesn't have the "flow" that some of his better works do, and seems a little clunky at first. But after you hear it a few times, it grows on you. It's now stuck in my head. Overall, Silvestri's score hits all the right notes, and captures menace, adventure, and every other mood required of it, while having actual themes. Media Ventures, eat your collective heart out.

Writing.

The humor was great throughout. The levels of "heart" were set to maximum. The romance, although sparse, was memorable. Everything was portrayed swiftly, without padding, The plot was very well thought out. Memorable lines and scenes abound. Overall, the writing was excellent. Some things that I particularly liked were Steve's journey from shrimp to super-soldier, the USO scene, Cap's first mission, the role-reversal with Bucky, and the romance. I also liked how Red Skull was his own boss. It gave him more menace. Plus, using HYDRA ironically makes it feel more historically accurate. Having Captain America defeat the Nazis would mess with history too much, and having him lose to them just wouldn't do. All I really disliked were Bucky's death and Captain America getting frozen alive. That could work well in some movies, but a 1940s-style adventure of this sort just cries out for a happy ending. Plus, the modern-day bookends detract from the overall atmosphere. Still, the final scenes were poignant, although out-of-place.

9/10.
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8/10
Retro Blast
TourettesPersonal29 July 2011
Captain America: The First Avenger is a pretty decent film by its own merits. Showing the good old retro style and production design, since this film is directed by Joe Johnson who is capable of portraying the old times perfectly. Chris Evans did a great job as Captain America. Some of the action scenes are disappointingly unexciting but at least the CGI effects are eye candy. The movie ends with true patriotic heroism and full of heart. Definitely not new but it's still enjoyable.

The trope of Captain America: The First Avenger has been reused by so many superhero movies. A good guy who is a weakling became powerful then eventually saves the day. It's definitely not innovating even for the people who've never read the comics but it's a relic. Well made production design & the old fashion score. Most battle scenes are montages. The action scenes are large. It can be watchable but some of them are pretty bland and poorly directed.

The joys and the thrills mostly goes to the performances. Nothing goes wrong with Chris Evans. He did a decent job as Steve Rogers/Captain America. Hugo Weaving is fun to watch by his campiness and menace for the Red Skull. Tommy Lee Jones is the comic relief here. The special effects are everywhere. Skinny Chris Evans and the background of the 1940s. Well, they are good enough for this film.

Plenty of things worked in the end. Captain America: The First Avenger is a relic in its old fashion style but a little messy when it comes to the editing of the action scenes, but it's still enjoyable. Patriotic heroism, full of heart, Chris Evans, and decent production design. Marvel Studios and Joe Johnston really beats the awful 1990s version. The action could have been better but their flaws can be ignored. It's fun enough as a superhero movie.
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1/10
Be honest..........it's bad
justrap1232 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't get what the fuss is all about until i saw the movie and realised it's a feel good movie for Americans then why bother releasing it in other countries . If ever there was a comic book movie not supposed to release outside u.s. it's this movie , a man covered in stripes branded with stars looking like an American clown fighting with dozens of Nazis,oh sorry hydra-what?,exactly . Overall this movie had no good action sequences to speak of , an almost forgettable climax , all our hero does is throw an olympic discus provided by howard stark and almost always looks like an average superhero with nothing special,either in charisma(contrary to batman) or powers(contrary to almost every other superhero). I left the movie halfway through , intolerable to say the least .
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9/10
Really good, like every other Marvel film
chase-valleau14 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I really liked this movie. Saw it last night and I really enjoyed the way they portrayed a superhero that doesn't have any powers. Captain America is not really a superhero, just a super soldier, he doesn't get tired and he heals extremely quick. The acting was very good, what with all the big names in there, and there is always the humor that is enjoyed throughout these Marvel films. Some stuff was unnecessary, like the way they have Captain America just go and be an idol and people not think he can do anything. But I really liked it, and I would recommend it to everybody who likes any of the Marvel films. Anybody who can't stand these films like Spider-man or Iron Man, really shouldn't expect anything more than another superhero movie.
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