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Captain America: The First Avenger
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264 out of 384 people found the following review useful:

Concerned: Did I watch the same "Captain"?

5/10
Author: OrsonLannister from United States
25 July 2011

*** This review may contain 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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331 out of 536 people found the following review useful:

Strong start, then quickly ran out of steam.

6/10
Author: contractorjohn2003 from United States
23 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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224 out of 359 people found the following review useful:

Another Marvel Atrocity

2/10
Author: occupantroom6277 from United States
26 July 2011

*** This review may contain 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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149 out of 251 people found the following review useful:

Mediocre at BEST....no....it's simply bad.

3/10
Author: Vinegaroon3 from United States
28 July 2011

*** This review may contain 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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81 out of 120 people found the following review useful:

A Super-hero Rightly Interpreted for the Big Screen

Author: webspinner128 from United States
4 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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150 out of 261 people found the following review useful:

Be honest..........it's bad

1/10
Author: justrap123 from India
2 August 2011

*** This review may contain 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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159 out of 295 people found the following review useful:

Retro Blast

8/10
Author: MBloodT from Philippines
29 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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118 out of 215 people found the following review useful:

Cliché's Tour de Force

4/10
Author: ministryman678 from United States
24 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

OK just got off the movie theater and came out a little more disappointed than usual. As it is, the trailer that came out showed already that it was going to just be "another" superhero movie. Mainly the scene where CA first holds the shield and we have of course the "always in every movie" hot girl, shooting at CA and he says a dumb comment. Crap. Pure crap. To brake this down easily, the movie has clichés that are to be expected. Example, when CA finally meets Red Skull, RS had the opportunity to shoot him. After his dumb dialogue with CA, he was ABOUT to shoot then of course CA back-up team come flying through the window and help save the day. Or another scene where they inject the serum in CA and then he transforms. What happens there is a NAZI spy who sees the whole thing and jacks the serum and SOMEHOW he is able run out the building but oh lone and behold we have just out of the box CA running after him and gets him. I don't know, these type of movies are getting boring. Yeah effects were okay, but its nothing were I was "floored" with. Probably the ending was the best part *SPOILERS* when CA wakes in the modern world of today. Which leads up to the Avengers trailer (which also had dumb humor mainly with Tony Stark. You'de think after all these years in investing for all these movies they would show a bad-@ss trailer, but it turns out to be "another" superhero movie trailer- just with more superheroes). Don't waste your money unless you have nothing to do and your gullible friends make you watch it because it is a "great" movie. Blah.

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53 out of 90 people found the following review useful:

"A weak man knows the value of strength."

8/10
Author: Al_The_Strange from United States
8 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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30 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Oh Captain, My Captain!!

Author: Lloyd Bayer from United Arab Emirates
7 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Uncle Sam would be proud. Holistically, this film looks like one mass recruitment campaign to get men enlisted into the US armed forces. Then again, this is nothing new. As a superhero, Captain America personified the might of the US military during the actual second World War to intentionally create a sense of patriotism against the 'Axis Powers' led by Stalin and Hitler. Picking up on that idea, the well known source of this concept is Marvel comic books and brings to cinematic life, a spectacular and glorious vision of how invincible a US soldier can or should be.

Almost entirely, the film is a flash back after a rare metallic shield is discovered in the present day Arctic region. Rejected by the military during WWII, scrawny and frail Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) gets a second chance after a selfless act of bravery. As a result, Colonel Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) allows Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) to administer Rogers with a serum, immediately super-sizing the latter into a "Super Soldier". Shortly after, Erskine is killed by an assassin deployed by Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving). As Hitler's advanced weapons expert, we learn that Schmidt has assembled an army to possess and control a mysterious cube with infinite power, after being injected with a flawed version of the serum perfected for Rogers. Now christened 'Captain America' and literally draped in stars and stripes, Rogers and Stark Industries must stop the evil Schmidt from destroying America with weapons of mass destruction.

Cinematically, the film is in epic form and relives the bygone era of the 1940s with a strong retro vibe. Having said that, I now find myself educated that a fraction of WWII consisted of technology that still does not exist. Ray guns, behemoth tanks, one-manned submersibles and gunships that look similar to those used in "Avatar"? I wasn't alive in the 1940s, but I am pretty sure that other movies with a 1940s or WWII narrative must have somehow omitted the use of this technology. Sarcasm aside and for argument sake, as a viewer I can suspend reality for the sake of the Marvel universe. In an alternate history this could be plausible. "X Men: First Class" was smart enough to establish that thought process right from the start. Shooting from the hip with pomp and propaganda, "The First Avenger" expects (rather than assumes) viewers will believe the world created for the movie. It is at this point where you should stop and think for a minute. If you are not a Marvel OR superhero fan, you will find the movie unbelievably ridiculous. As a casual moviegoer, you will find the dialogue corny, the action over-the-top, the hero invincible, and the villain and his minions a joke. As a reviewer I normally judge films with either a sense of practical logic or its relevance to the genre. During this movie, the superhero fan in me took over and I succumbed to its seduction.

As an actor, Evans has justified his upgrade from a supporting role in "Fantastic Four" to the titled lead in this movie. He has outgrown the brash ego of the Human Torch to a lovable underdog whose real driving force is his spirit of patriotism. Like Peter Parker is to Spiderman, Captain America's alter ego in Steve Rogers is a simple man who uses his gift for the greater good of his nation and shoulders that responsibility with the heart of a true hero. On the other hand, considering that every superhero must face an ever daunting and equally super villain, Hugo Weaving has failed to radiate either hatred or fear as Red Skull; this, arising from my high expectations of Weaving.

Known for the CGI infused "Jumanji" and "Jurassic Park III", director Joe Johnston pulls off an otherwise decent superhero flick and has laid a strong foundation for things to come. Call it a prequel, re-boot or pilot – in its entirety, this film is a big teaser for a multi-billion dollar franchise, starting with 2012's "The Avengers". The ending scenes of both "Thor" and "The First Avenger" has Nick Furry (Samuel L. Jackson) hint at just that. For superhero fans, 2012 (if we live through it) will have plenty of such movies. While Superman and Spiderman are all set for a re-boot, the Batman franchise concludes with "The Dark Knight Rises". In all this, "The Avengers" is rumored to become the motion picture event of the year. The credibility of that rumor strongly rests in the success of "The First Avenger". By the looks of it, this movie has outdone all preceding 2011 superhero flicks and is on track to hand over the baton to what is going to be an explosive yet highly competitive summer come 2012.

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