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*** 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
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.
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.
*** 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!
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.
*** 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.
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.
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.
4/5 (entertainment: 4/5, story: 4/5, film: 4/5)
*** 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 .
Captain America is a very very good film. I firmly believe that this
character is the very toughest to bring to life in the Marvel stable
simply because of his complexity. They did a fairly nice job keeping it
simple but remembering to do so with heart. The film features a nice
pace, the perfect cast and wonderful throwback action sequences. It
does have its flaws but not enough to sink the film by any means.
Overall, it's a fun ride that respectfully delivers a movie worthy of
the legend and sets up for what could be amazing sequels and what will
be an awesome Avengers film.
The cast is remarkable and every single character played to perfection.
Tommy Lee Jones simply stole every scene he was in and his character had the audience in the palm of his hand. Best audience reactions throughout the entire film.
Cap's wartime real costume, look and shield work is amazing. It's right out of the books. The same can be said of the Red Skull's look.
The brutality was not only welcome but needed. It grounded the film and made everything play out in a more real world tone with real consequences. The body count in this film is surprisingly high.
The film had true heart because they made Steve relatable and you instantly rooted for him and wanted to follow his path to glory. The pre-serum 98lb weakling Steve is not only an amazing CGI feat but perfectly hooks the audience.
A story featuring a true hero is so refreshing at this point. No dark brooding and moody anti-hero here
The story itself is told with a very nice pace and in a crisp manner. Nothing drags at all.
The dialogue is witty and the humor works its way seamlessly in to the natural order of the story.
The tone and period work is dead on perfect. I loved the flavor of this film when the focus was not on anything Hydra.
I really wish they had stayed entirely Nazi and left the Hydra element out, laser guns and all.
Having no "learning curve" hurt the overall film as well. What always works in origin films is having the hero learn and come to grips with his new powers or abilities. Iron Man and Spider-Man are prime perfect examples. I enjoyed Steve's initial use of powers because circumstances demanded it but they never showed him training or learning combat techniques at all. That's a terrible oversight, especially since the character is known as the world's greatest hand to hand fighter in terms of the Marvel Universe.
I would've liked to have seen more background on Steve as a character... growing up without a father and mother during the Depression era and the building of his ethical and moral code.
Overall: A great film that is one of the year's best and oh so close to being perfection. Wonderful job by all involved.
I had the pleasure of watching a sneak preview for this and thought it
was a great superhero movie. It follows the "superhero formula" but
that's to be expected. There are plenty of references to the comics as
well as the other Marvel movies. There are numerous comic book
references and foreshadowing that I probably can't even write here but
will excite most of the comic book fans. In fact, Howard Stark plays a
prominent role in this film and you see where Tony Stark gets his
The movie really captures that patriotic spirit that permeated the US during WW2. The movie itself almost becomes like one of those military recruitment ads it showcases. It is chock full of flag-waving patriotism. But you probably should expect that going to a movie called "Captain America."
Chris Evans is a good Captain America and downplays any flashiness associated with him as the Human Torch. The CGI effects that show him as a scrawny twig were seamless. He carries that vulnerability with him throughout the film whether he is getting beaten up physically or emotionally.
The rest of the cast fills their roles well- especially Tommy Lee Jones as the gruff, but lovable, colonel and Hugo Weaving as the evil baddie bent on wold domination. Those two play their characters the way you would expect them to. Although I was waiting the whole time for Hugo Weaving to say "Mr. Anderson." The only odd twist is that Captain America's sidekick from the comics, Bucky Barnes, is much tougher and older than you'd expect.
There are numerous one-liners throughout the movie that drew chuckles from the audience. You also get plenty of action and explosions which are always a crowd favorite. Stylistically, it's very similar to Iron Man. Overall, it's a fun comic book adaptation that really adds into steam Marvel is building up to with The Avengers. Nice work.
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