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Captain America: The First Avenger
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24 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

World War II, Marvel style

8/10
Author: freemantle_uk from United Kingdom
7 August 2011

2011 is certainly the year for Marvel Studio, seeing that Thor came out earlier in the year to good reviews and a healthy box-office considering he is a lesser known hero and Captain America has done even better with critics and a stronger opening. Added to that Fox's reboot of X-Men was able to get that series right after the mess Brett Ratner left it in.

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a small, skinny man with a number of health problems who wants to fight in the American Army in 1942. After numerous times of trying to enlist a German scientist, Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) sees his determination and good heart is able to pull some strings and gets him into the army. Rogers joins a special unit and is seen as the perfect candidate to become America's first super soldier, giving him enhanced strength, speed and healing abilities. In Germany the Nazi's secret science division, HYDRA and its leader Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) discovers a blue cube of energy and believes it could give him the power of the Gods and likes all mad scientists plans to take over the world. In America Rogers is made into a performing act, encouraging the public to buy war bonds and given the name Captain America. But Rogers wants to fight in the war and is given his chance to take on HYDRA in 1943.

I personally preferred Thor over Captain America, but it still a fun summer flick and a solid 7.5/10. Captain America has plenty of references to Thor and the Iron Man films and shows how these franchise should be interlinked. Captain America is able to mix a light touch but making sure it treats the source material with respect and keeps it serious. Joe Johnston wouldn't have been my first choice to direct this film but certainly made it fun and he was more assured as an action director compared to Kenneth Brangh, director of Thor. It was a fast paced actioneer, but Johnston made sure they was enough time to let us know the characters and the set up for the plot. When Captain America first gains his powers the scene of him catching an assassin on top of a taxi reminded me a lot of the first Spider-man film, a film that got mix of serious and light-hearted right. This was certainly a good introduction to character and the start for what should be another successful adaptation for Marvel.

The humour throughout the film is deadpan and there are very good performance from the supporting cast, especially Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones and Tucci. Weaving certainly knows how to portray evil characters. Evans was able to instill Captain America's values of determination, freedom, strength and being a force for good. But the thing about Captain America is that he is a classic hero, living in a world of absolutes of good and evil, they is no ambiguity. And well, Hayley Atwell is a token Brit so she gets a free pass.

The score by Alan Silverstri it self has an old fashion, grand feel to it and there were reminds to films such as the first Hellboy film, starting during World War Two with the Nazis using mythology to gain an advantage to win the war and classic 60s and 70s war films like Where Eagles Dare.

Captain America is an enjoyable blockbuster and necessary viewing if you plan to view The Avengers in 2012.

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52 out of 96 people found the following review useful:

Smart and Fun... An Absolute Blast! A True Hero!

Author: krieg8814254 from United States
17 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Another perk of serving our country... an advance screening of a great film! Intelligent comic-book popcorn epics are rare and this one is definitely a cut above the usual fare. Besides being a tremendously smart and even emotional film, it's also refreshing to see a lead hero be just that... a hero. Steve is no morbid vigilante or narcissistic self absorbed anti-hero. He's the real deal. His tough life hasn't made him bitter or jaded. In fact, it's done just the opposite. He's needed to develop character because his body didn't develop. This is the key to Cap both in the books and in the film. Heart and character trump the physical elements and are what truly makes the character itself special. Even after he's given the great gift of being a "super soldier," he still continues to do the right thing. It's not to prove anything to anyone other than himself because he has a high moral code. I love the fact that they choose his character for the experiment because he wouldn't take advantage of the gift. That's smart writing. Cap's first assignment from the U.S. government is to be the centerpiece in a traveling USO show, building morale and raising money for the war effort. Eventually, he finds he's wasting his new abilities and NEEDS to break away on his own to fight the Nazi menace. This brings him to conflict with the awesomely diabolical Red Skull. The Skull is one of Marvel's best crazed villains and they captured that perfectly. Here, the Red Skull was a guinea pig for a similar Nazi super soldier experiment that went very wrong. These clashes and confrontations are everything they should be and more. Shades of gray are great in film (and there are those tones present here) but sometimes it's good to have character of pure heart, pure integrity and true morality take it to what history and everyone knows was pure evil. It's refreshing to sit back and root for the ultimate good to take it to the ultimate bad guys. It's why I loved Raiders of the Lost Ark and it's why I now love this film.

I enjoyed every single minute of this wonderful film!

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102 out of 196 people found the following review useful:

Near Perfect On Every Level - Great Film!

Author: goblue97nc from United States
18 July 2011

This film delivers a lot of action, an intriguing plot, a tantalizing and beautiful love interest, many humorous moments, powerful messages about internal fortitude and courage, a classic villain, superb acting and many of the basic essentials of any good action movie. Including, incredible stunts, unbelievable feats and, not to be vulgar, but a climax that plays out like a multiple orgasm. The finish features one wave after another of edge of your seat moments. A good summer movie season just got better and I'm not exaggerating one bit. I've read comparisons to Raiders of the Lost Ark and that says it all right there.

I'd have to rate Captain America as Great/Fantastic, one of the best comic book movies ever made. It is as close to a perfect adventure movie as you can get. Superman has generally held the title as most fondly remembered or nostalgic superhero film. Spider-Man has generally held the title as most beloved superhero film because of the character. TDK has generally held the title as most technically sound and highly rated superhero film. Iron Man has generally held the title as best all-around superhero film. Well, Captain America can compete with them all in every category. It is IMO near perfect on every level. It's tight, lean, well acted, fun and superbly done.

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23 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Does Justice to Cap ! Amen !

9/10
Author: RealLiveClaude from Montreal, Canada
6 August 2011

As I remembered the versions of 1979 (TV movies with Reb Brown) or the lame version of 1991 with Matt Salinger, I was just hoping this time, this movie will do good with Captain America as the main subject.

And what a ride it was. I know that Captain America (Steve Rogers) was a soldier, so expecting some war movie along with the superhero fare. Joe Johnston not only caught the essence of the American Hero, but this time, no bulked up effects nor fake violence. This is really the Marvel hero and first Avenger who we are seeing here...

All the actors were good in it. Very surprised to see Hugo Weaving doing a believable Red Skull (I remember the one in 1991 was horrible...) and when you see Tommy Lee Jones doing army stuff, we gotta believe it, he gives depth...

Chris Evans gives Steve Rogers/Captain America a brand new perspective, far from Reb Brown's botched up costume or Matt Salinger's bland personification. Hope he keeps the momentum in "The Avengers"...

And of course, the "Stan Lee" moment is not to be missed with a quip from the creator himself...

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55 out of 103 people found the following review useful:

A wildly entertaining summer adventure

8/10
Author: DonFishies from Canada
31 July 2011

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.

8/10.

(An extended review also appeared on http://www.geekspeakmagazine.com).

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107 out of 207 people found the following review useful:

The First Avenger

9/10
Author: slayerjmk95 from United States
17 July 2011

I was truly lucky to catch a preview screening of Captain America and i am ever so grateful because Cap is without a doubt one of the best Marvel-hero films of all time. Chris Evans was a great choice for Captain America, having his extremely heroic tendencies and his weaknesses (you see them progress from the beginning of the movie). He has no terrible lines and, coming from a comic-book fan, knows how to fill the shoes of a superhero without any real powers, during WWII. Joe Johnston was a fantastic choice as the director, with a pretty good 'track record' behind him (Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III, Jumanji, October Sky). Joe truly knows how to show us a sci-fi story during a historic time period without having any hiccups or mistakes that could bring the movie down greatly.

Captain America is one of the greatest Marvel comic-book adaptations of all time and should not be missed, even if you aren't a comic book fan because Cap has everything any action/adventure movie would have to make it great. Don't miss it 9/10 Stars***

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116 out of 225 people found the following review useful:

Superb! Fantastical but perfectly balanced by the time period and "greatest generation" setting

Author: peabody from United States
21 July 2011

If there's one major element that truly sets this movie apart from any other standard "solid" comic book movie, it is the way through which the director communicates the experience. We feel for Steve Rogers and fully embrace the character as we go along with him on this amazing ride. This movie isn't about comic book pulp or American propaganda but about a deep and meaningful story. The elements are fantastical but perfectly balanced by the time period and "greatest generation" setting. This visual and emotional imagery is presented throughout the movie and provides the viewer with greater insight into the heroes AND villains. This one screams quality from the opening scene and screams fun all the way through.

For those going into this flick expecting a lot of fun, prepare to enjoy-- although fun's not the only piece of this pie. In fact, I think all movie fans will be stunned at how many levels this movie delivers upon. This is a smart and surprisingly deep film that really delivers everything I wanted to see.

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Amazing Film!!!!!

9/10
Author: Billy Bongo from United Kingdom
16 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

I saw this a few weeks ago in 3D and I thought it was amazing! Finally seeing the film that is was looking forward to for ages was really exciting! I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole of the film, it has all the elements to be the best film of this year and there are some really good contenders this year! There is a lot of action, suspense and you still have the hint of love in the story line. You have to feel sorry for Captain America when he crashes in Antarctica and gets frozen, then again when he wakes up in the 21st century without his lover. Overall this is one of the best films of year and, fingers crossed, could become the best film of this year!!!!!

Also, if you are going to see this film anytime soon, make sure you stay until the very end of the credits as there is a trailer for The Avengers film coming out next year!!!!!

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14 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

The reason why I love Captain America

9/10
Author: Zackery Burgess from United States
14 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Next to Spider-Man, Captain America is my favorite character in Marvel comics. At fist I had low expectations, but I was shocked. This movie reminded me on why I love Captain America so much. The character is as iconic as Superman. Someone you can look up to. He was once the little guy, now being the big guy standing up for the little guy. He's willing to sacrifice his life in order to save millions and that is why I love Captain America.

This movie did a great job of development Steve Rogers. At first I was suspicious about Bucky and Cap being childhood friends since Bucky was between 16-19 in the comics, but here it works because when he falls of the train and we assume he's dead, you feel Steve's pain. Hayley Atwell is great as Peggy Carter. We see that she is willing to fight and can kick some butt. Tommy Lee Jones is hilarious as Col. Phillips. I'm glad they added the Howling Commandos, they were just awesome. Hugo Weaving did a great job as Red Skull and didn't tell much about his origin. I know some people complain about that, but remember the Joker from the Dark Knight when they didn't tell much about his origin and made him more interesting.

Overall this was a great movie. This beats the 1990 film by a longshot and I cannot wait for the Avengers movie. In closing this review here's the Captain America theme song.

"When Captain America throws his mighty shield. Let all those who choose to oppose his shield must yield. If he's led to a fight and duel is due then the red and the white and the blue will come true. When Captain America throws might shield"!!

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14 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

One of the best superhero movies!

8/10
Author: Mihai Tutu from Romania
12 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Being a comic book fan of the Marvel superheroes, this was a movie I was not going to miss and thank God I didn't! Captain America is one the best superhero movies ever made.

The movie follows in large guidelines the story from the comic books. Captain America is the result of an experimental serum administrated on Steve Rogers by the Allies. Also, he is the only super soldier, as the scientist who developed the serum was killed soon after it's application.

On the Nazi side, there is the Red Skull, or Jonas Schmidt, head of Hidra, the Nazi advanced science department. He tested on himself the superhuman soldier serum, but the formula he had was incomplete.

The action is pretty much simple: WW2 was being won by the Nazi, as the Red Skull developed weapons with unconventional firepower (they discover a relic from the Asgard gods which generates huge amounts of power) and the Allies use Captain America to comeback. The Allies organize surgical strike missions with Captain America in front line and little by little, destroy all the Hidra bases.

The final battle takes place on the Hidra bombardier, which was heading towards the big cities of USA. Captain America fights the Red Skull in an epic battle, but Red Skull disappears when he grabs the Asgard relic (in my opinion the Asgard relic was a miniature teleportation device, similar to the one used in the movie Thor to get to other planets). Captain America cannot stop the plane and crashes in Antartica, where he sleeps for 70 years until Shield units find him.

The CGI used in the movie is balanced, good looking and makes the movie authentic. Many of the stunts aren't CGI-ed, and because it's a WW2 movie, we can only appreciate the props and scenery.

The characters have room for development and we can see how everybody interacts with each other, on all layers. Apart from other superhero movies, this one blends the human relationship dynamics with the fast pace very well. There are a lot of jokes that open up the mood but the action is action. The fight scenes are very well designed and coregraphed.

All in all, this movie is a must as it is very very good. Also, another reason to see it is to have a complete idea of what the Avengers will look like.

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