|Page 2 of 59:||           |
|Index||589 reviews in total|
Despite going in with incredibly low expectations, I was horrendously
disappointed by Thor. It was everything I hoped it would not be, and
made me worry about Captain America: The First Avenger. Even with my
excitement over that film, Thor's romp through the desert made me
incredibly apprehensive to think Cap's adventure would be worthwhile.
After a short modern day intro, we are thrust into wartime in 1940s New York. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to fight for his country -- but has been turned away five times for health ailments and his size. Shortly after another attempt, Rogers is intercepted and quickly chosen for a Super Soldier project the US is quietly developing. He is turned into Captain America, the soldier that will help turn the tides and end the war. But while he is selling war bonds, the German science division HYDRA run by Johann Schmidt, better known as the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), is gaining more power behind enemy lines. And obviously, Rogers cannot just let that slide.
I will immediately say that Thor does not deserve to breathe the same air as Captain America: The First Avenger. Minutes into the film, you know immediately where Marvel was focusing its attention all along and why Thor felt so undercooked. This film is without a doubt, the best superhero film since the one-two punch of Iron Man and The Dark Knight in 2008. Anyone weary of it being a period piece should rest at ease, as this is one of the most unique entries into the genre to date. The time period only helps bring the characters to life even more vividly than they already are depicted on-screen.
But the reason the origin story works so well is because it is so wildly different than everything that has come before it. Captain America is a movie that feels right at home in the 1940s and transcends itself into the time period. From Rogers' introduction on, Joe Johnston frames the film with a sense of wonder, imagination and authenticity. Much like Inglourious Basterds before it, this is a reconstructed history. But it is done so convincingly that you may second guess yourself, trying to picture whether this very real world is actually what really happened. Johnston also layers the film with an aura of fascination and bewilderment, frequently leaving the audience in the same disbelief as the characters. When Rogers is discovering his new abilities for the first time, we feel the exact same way.
But instead of embracing this astonishing feeling and letting the film breathe life into a genre that is on its last legs, it fumbles and takes us away from it all too quickly. While the first half plays out beautifully, developing the world and its characters, the second half amps up the gas and zips by without a thought for explanation or near sighted investigation. It felt like the filmmakers realized they took too long developing everything, and decided to just rush through the rest without stopping to think whether the audience would notice or not. But once you notice all of the montages, and how there is zero explanation on who the 'Howling Commandoes' are, you know Marvel may have missed out on a few crucial steps along the way of story development.
For the most part, Captain America: The First Avenger is a deeply focused and ridiculously invested story of the origins of an extraordinary soldier who just wants to do his part for his country. Yes, Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) is an important character in the film, but he is the only real tie to the rest of the Marvel film canon. But as the film draws to a close, the tacked on ending starts, and suddenly, Marvel's investment in Cap suddenly turns into just another agenda pushing entry for The Avengers. It is sad and disappointing, but after four films, I should have assumed they would not have suddenly changed tactics.
After playing such a great Johnny Storm, I was worried that Evans would not have the chops, charisma or gravitas needed to play Captain America. Was I ever wrong. He is absolutely flawless in the role, quickly shifting from scrawny weakling to beefy hero with ease. He remains throughout as a boy from Queens, and the look of wonder and awe in his eyes never dissipates. No matter what he is doing, Evans maintains the character, and never even considers becoming anything other than a loyal boy scout. He is a true hero through and through, and watching him in action makes me wonder why it took this long for a good Captain America film to be released.
While his accent is imperfect, Weaving is exquisitely evil as the Red Skull. He is downright disturbing in some instances, and deliciously over-the-top in others. I cannot imagine anyone being as brooding and insanely evil as he is here. Cooper, Sebastian Stan, Toby Jones and Tommy Lee Jones all give excellent performances in their roles. Relative newcomer Hayley Atwell also shines in her role as the hardnosed Peggy Carter. Her subtle romance and chemistry with Evans is magnificent, as are her ability to effortlessly create a strong female lead. Special mention also must go to Stanley Tucci, whose Dr. Abraham Erskine is a welcome departure from his atypical roles as of late.
While it botches any attempts at perfection (and really did not need to be post converted to 3D), Captain America: The First Avenger still manages to be a wildly entertaining adventure that is even more impressive than you may imagine. Evans is amazing in the role, and the whole film is ridiculously pulpy fun. And I dare you to not feel a warm feeling of nostalgia while humming along to the deliriously catchy "Star Spangled Man" propaganda jingle. It makes the film worthwhile all on its own.
(An extended review also appeared on http://www.geekspeakmagazine.com).
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This summer of 2011 has certainly been a summer for super-hero movies,
with the one I have been least looking forward to coming last. And, if
not the best, it is as good as the best. In fact, my only real
reservation derives from the fact that Captain America has never been a
character which does very much for me (and, even after the movie, which
I enjoyed immensely, he still doesn't).
The story is familiar to comic fans - weedy Steve Rogers is transformed by a super serum into enhanced Captain America, who pursues super-Nazi the Red Skull.
I very much liked the period setting, which gave this film a feel which is quite different to the other super-hero movies (even the 60s-based X-Men: First Class felt fairly contemporary), and all the principals gave excellent performances.. The action and effects all worked well (particularly the transformation of Chris Evans into the scrawny pre-serum Steve Rogers), and I suspect that there were lots of nice touches which meant a lot to those more familiar with the comics mythology of Cap than I am (I got a flavour from time to time that others might know who so-and-so was, but I didn't).
As well as the big picture, there were lots of small touches I liked - the early incarnations of the shield, the use of the first comics costume, the establishment of Steve Rogers as a bona fide hero even when he was a skinny weed, for instance. But the thing I liked most about this film (and, to some extent, it contrasts with many other super-hero movies) is the fact that much of what happened in this film really mattered, both on a big scale and also on a more intimate level. Joe Johnston did a very good job in making every element of this film work together.
I am looking forward to seeing the The Avengers next year, and I hope Joss Whedon does as good a job as Johnston.
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 ***
The movie is completely harmless to watch. There's lots of cheesy, feel
good humor. The villains seem non-threatening and extremely hokey, as
well as the origin of Captain America. How can this technology exist if
we don't even have it today? (Laser Guns, Robots, Vaporizers) At one
point, they mention Captain America's genetic code is different than
his serum. They didn't even know anything about genetic codes and DNA
back in the 1940s. Question: Why does the villain, Red Skull, have an
actual Red Skull?
The action scenes: at no point is Captain America in any danger nor do you really care about his character. He has basically no character flaws at all. Question: How does Captain America's shield come back to him every time?
The visual effects: except for the impressive digitalizing of Steve Rogers before he becomes Captain America, the CGI looks basically like the same quality as the Matrix Redloaded at some points.
The acting: Okay. No real stand out performances.
Love relationship: Why is that woman in the military to begin with? I'm pretty sure that there were no women in that high of a position? At the end of the movie, she even goes into battle. Maybe a nurse would've been more believable.
I don't recommend this if you hate the movie Avatar: it's very similar, but a little better than that one as well as being similar to the 2nd half of The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
(Rating names are based off of films of the same name that happen to be as bad or as good as the film being reviewed.)
*** This review may contain 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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Captain America has Star Spangled Action
Captain America: The First Avenger is the first major motion picture based on the venerable Marvel Comics superhero character that first debuted in print over 70 years ago. Since then, there have been largely forgettable cross-media interpretations, including a 1940s movie serial and an aborted attempt at a television series in the late 70s that left two television films in its wake. With the power of Marvel Studios (now wholly owned by Disney and partnering with Paramount Films for distribution), Marvel attempts to return the luster to its onetime flagship hero that matches his mighty shield.
Here, Chris Evans (Fantastic Four, Cellular) plays heroic shrimp Steve Rogers, who in 1942 wants to enlist in the military but is determined to be a 4-F. Still, the little guy has heart, as displayed when he keeps confronting local bully. His gumption impresses military scientist Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) and gruff Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones). They put him through the paces of boot camp, and finally reveal that he's the perfect test subject for their 'super soldier serum'if it works (this shouldn't be a spoiler) then Steve's musculature and reflexes will be boosted to virtual perfection.
Alas, the experiment's aftermath has a tragic end, which poises newly buff Steve to be the sole super-soldier for the Allied Forcesthus, 'Captain America' is born. Soon, he is pitted against the nefarious Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), aka the Red Skullan ambitious Nazi scientist who heads up 'Hydra', a super-science-weapons division of the Nazi army. Schmidt searches for an ancient artifact of power, called the 'tesseract', allegedly giving its wielder the power of the Nordic gods themselves. Heady stuff, this.
The film's remaining supporting cast is capable, including Sebastian Stan as Cap's best friend Bucky Barnes and Hayley Atwell as British agent (and nominal love interest) Peggy Carter. The script, credited to Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, features an anti-ironic sensibility here, being fairly straightforward in its depiction of patriotism and earnest heroism as exemplified by Cap. This could have easily diverted into self-satire or camp, but the filmmakers, including director Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park 3, the Rocketeer), wisely avoid this.
Presumably to keep its comic-book-reality credentials intact, the movie plays fast and loose with the fictional history it represents (the Red Skull's Hydra troops feature no swastika iconography, and Cap's Howling Commandos team is racially integrated without a blink.) Still, the period designs are convincing enough, including a nod to Frankenstein with the Super Soldier laboratory.
Captain America is poised to be the first in a franchise of solo adventures as well as the introduction to the character's featured role in next year's The Avengers. Time will tell whether Cap regains his former fan-favorite glory: his stalwart shtick may seem quaint compared to brooding avengers like Batman and Wolverine. Still, the film gets enough right to stand out from the crowd and in a time of political contention provides plenty of flag-friendly good will.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Every time the heavy solider walked in I could not laugh and say "Guten
tag her Blaskovitz". I know its Captain America and its better than the
previous versions, but it is still unbearable not to rif on.
OK, ignoring one lousy editing shot around the end, the movie has good visuals and feels adequate. It's what many wanted out of such a movie after previous failed attempts.
But the main hero is a hypocritical boy scout. He says he doesn't want to kill anybody, yet desperately try's to enlist into the war as a soldier, and in the end deliberately throws enemy soldiers out of a airborne bomber.
The first half of the movie is about a CGI man in his 30es, as it's impossible to take that voice seriously with that body. Any skinny stand-in would have sufficed for this, but they decided to dangle CG for 40 minutes in front of us and think we would not notice. And then they make a pro-steroid add outright into a hulk rip-off.
The idea to throw the Red skull as an independent German villain during WWII is just insane. His Hydra monologues sound like he thinks being slapped by the enemy makes him stronger. His superweapons are overpowerfull, but never properly utilized because his soldiers are stromtrooper dumb. And where does he get his easily replaceable loyal henchmen in such numbers? Not from the Hitler loving loyalist Nazis that's for shore.
But what's really unbearable is how the two powers meet every time. Nobody can see some guy skulking around at a well lit military base, or fire anywhere other than at his shield, which covers only 1/3 of his body. Hell, the badguys even have flamethrowers to deal with the guy, but every time something stupid saves his hide.
Oh, and the ending "I wanted to bring you in slow" and that's why I even made you a fake girlfriend and put you into an easily escapable facility in the middle of NY, after which you get a very odd looking finger by Uncle Sam.
Its too insane not to rif on. My best was: You labeled one of your nukes "New Yourk"? I'm now half expecting the camera to pan off and see another labeled "Mutter".
*** This review may contain 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.
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.
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.
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.
|Page 2 of 59:||           |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||Newsgroup reviews||External reviews|
|Parents Guide||Official site||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|