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Captain America was never a really interesting superhero, but Marvel
went all out in pushing boredom. Marvel seemed to care so much about
the boring stuff, they forgot that it was a comic book movie. They
forgot about the flare of superheroes.
If you want to see all the action in this movie, watch the trailer. The entire montage you see in the trailer is the only action in the movie, scene for scene. It was simply one of the most boring movies I have ever witnessed and is on par with the Pearl Harbor movie starring Ben Affleck. The only difference was the main character wore tights and had a fruity-looking shield.
If you like this movie simply because it has "America" in the title, your argument is invalid. No amount of pushing patriotism will make this movie good. It's like trying to argue that a brick is tasty because it is red like an apple. Marvel should have never sold out to Disney.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
And another Marvel fail. Captain America had a lot of potential with
all the WW2 material available but they managed to make it an anonymous
movie which left me indifferent.
Whenever you make a movie for the sole purpose of leading to another movie which is your bigger target, it usually calls for a poor story with little to show for, and that's what we got here.
Allow me some sarcasm first. All in all, the story revolves around Peter Parker part 2 in the 40's. He's weak and girls don't really like him. An experiment makes him stronger. Then goes against a Nazi captain who made magical weaponry with some blue cube from Thor's world (got to build the Avengers don't you). Oh and he gets his shield from Stark's father, so there you got the Iron Man link. That's about it for the story.
This being said, I did not expect much from Captain America after the Iron Man 2 disaster, and it did not beat my low expectations.
On the good side, Chris Evans does a decent job with the little depth he was given in his role, visuals are OK and immerse us into the mid 20th century (if you can ignore the lasers and magic which are really out of place) and Hayley Atwell is quite pretty in her role as Peggy Carter. And actually, Captain America himself as a character is likable; it's rather what he has to deal with which happened to be an attack on my brain.
I wish they would have gone for a more mature movie, with a more serious story revolving around the fight for freedom during WW2. But it seems Marvel is poised on targeting immature audiences, a la Michael Bay. Too bad.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've watched this movie all alone in my room one of those night I had
nothing else to do. Wasn't expecting much anyway as I was aware this
movie would be an action one without too much scenario. But against all
odd, I found the movie quite interesting, for the beginning at least.
The characters are interesting and everything is fine. The thing is,
once Steve/captain got his super power, the movie pace change and
everything start being not that good. Like the director had a good idea
in mind but not enough time to put everything on screen.
From that point, it's just mission after mission where you only see about 10-15 second of each. And its like that until the very end where Captain America finally face Redskull in a final battle. To me the movie seems rushed and it could have been so much better. Thats why I give it a 5 out of 10. Its watchable as long as you like super hero movie. Definitely not a great movie but watchable. The ending was too predictable in my opinion.
TL;DR: Good start, terrible after that, and predictable ending.
"The industry is s**t, it's the medium that's great" -Lauren Bacall
Now, it's been a while since I watched a superhero film. Not that I hate them categorically, quite the opposite - I actually manage to enjoy some of those candy coated popcorn rides with all their shallow water characters that tend to be the norm for kids films. Same goes of course for most American mainstream fluff and filler films.
Captain America then again - make no mistake here - it's only purpose is to rid PG-audiences of their money and maybe make a shot for the future franchises and merchandise. It's really heartbreaking that this is what the modern audiences have come to - mainstream blockbuster entertainment is reduced to pure consumerism and a bad one at that.
Plot and screen writing follows basically the same schema as any other nothing-to-see-or-enjoy-here -films of the genre. Only difference is, of course, that here it appears in an even more depressingly lazy, flat and ne'erdowell form par excellance. Boring as hell - even the action scenes are clearly sub par choreographed and unfortunately not even that well realized.
Wouldn't recommend it even for a cheap thrills or a time passer. Take some of the better ones out there - this one is just one of the thousands of clones that is intended for the juvenile or prepubertine audiences and for the sole purpose of making a cheap buck with a lousy merchandise.
This now-beloved film combines the best elements of three wildly
different action genres:
>) a superhero film;
>) a science fiction film; and
>) a World War II caper film.
It has a dream cast, and the production team does not whiff on the ball once the cast is dressed, assembled, and ready for the cameras to roll.
Chris Evans as Steve "Captain America" Rogers is equally good as the skinny kid who gets kicked around and overlooked and as the rippling miracle of expropriated-to-Manhattan Nazi war science who could MMA with Thor.
Hayley Atwell positively smolders, then ices, then smolders again as Agent Peggy Carter. The scene where Cap gets kissed by the saucy British HQ girl and Peggy goes 'laser eyes' on Cap is only one of several highlights Atwell supplies that humanize and balance the story.
Hugo Weaving is Red Skull. Red Skull! Easily the best villain ever pulled off by a superhero movie, patently the best Marvel Comics villain yet wrought in a Marvel Studios-made film. Weaving surpasses even his benchmark-setting work in The Matrix in this role.
The major supporting actors. Are you ready for this? Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, and Toby Jones. So it's Oscar-Nom City in the second rank. Unreal. Unheard of. Unexpected.
But wait . . . there's more. Cap has a "Top Squad," the world's first superhero led strike team. And these actors are also of platinum- coated quality. The favorite is Neal McDonough as "Dumb Dumb Dugan," and Kenneth Choi as "Morita" and JJ Feild (who would soon win acclaim as Major John Andre in AMC's TURN: Washington's Spies TV show) also merit special mention.
And just when you thought 'A Top Squad? That's so easy, Cap wins, hands down.' Oh, no no no no no. Because HYDRA.
HYDRA. A group of intra-Nazi bad guys so bad, and with such advanced stuff (including (MCU nerd bait alert) a shrouded Infinity Stone, that they give Hitler the what-for (so the film alludes)). HYDRA don't care about no Top Squad.
And so the film creates collisions of vectored grim machine-gun-on- lasers action, and just enough of it to make a spectacle without making our eyes into a smoking junkyard.
Avengers, Shmavengers. This Captain America film is the beating heart of Marvel-on-Celluloid. A group of actors this good may never again appear together in a film this fun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*WARNING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS* Captain America: The First Avenger is a fun movie with lots of action, and a touching story line. We as the audience grow to care about Steve Rogers because we see him as a guy who is down on his luck. That way, when he does become the superhero, we feel a sense of triumph, because we see this little guy becoming the ultimate fighting force for freedom. This is a common theme in superhero movies, but this movie nailed that perfectly. The choice to set this in the 1940's and show us Cap's golden years before he came to the modern day may have been a turn off for some, but I thought it was handled excellently. The fact that this guy really believes in the good o'l fashioned American ideals is hard to swallow for every character in this movie. And they play off of that really, really well. The final scene where Cap is forced to crash the plane and ultimately send himself into the present day is very tragic, and Peggy's reaction to hearing him die over the radio is heart- breaking. As I've already hinted, I think Chris Evans is really good as Captain America, and I think they handled his character next to perfectly. The supporting cast is great, we have Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter, and Howard Stark. We also have a villain for parts of this movie: The Red Skull. I like Hugo Weaving's Red Skull, but I don't think they handled him all that well in the movie. The Red Skull should just be the anti-thesis of Captain America, and he is, but they don't ever really drive that point home. It's just there, and it doesn't really go anywhere. Really, he just feels like a generic Nazi super-villain with super- strength for Cap to fight. I still like the character, but I just have a few gripes with how he was handled, that's all. In the end, Captain America: The First Avenger is a good, fun movie, with a great cast, some great action, a great theme, a good tone, and a good story.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
On the surface, perhaps no member of The Avengers would seem more
difficult to bring to a modern audience than Steve Rogers aka Captain
America. Seen as perhaps something of an artifact of a time gone by,
here was a character whose jump to the big screen had long been stuck
in development hell. Despite a somewhat ironic title (the irony being
that this would be the last of the origin films released before The
Avengers), 2011 saw Cap make the leap successfully in Captain America:
The First Avenger, bringing with him an interesting new angle in the
Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A large part of the success of the film might well be down to the choice of leading man. Chris Evans was an initially controversial choice to play the role, due in large part to his already having played another notable Marvel hero in the two Fantastic Four films some years previously. Yet like Daniel Craig's James Bond, once given the chance to see him in action the criticisms were largely silenced. Evans managed to successfully play not just the almost superhuman commando we've come to know and love but also the man Steve Rogers was before that: a puny, young guy from Brooklyn who seemed to embody the old saying about nice guys finishing last. Evans keeps that good guy aspect of the character in sight throughout the film from his interactions with his fellow characters to his reactions to events. Evans managed to take a potentially clichéd superhero from another time and make him into a genuinely likable character.
For that matter, the film all around has a strong cast. Hugo Weaving makes a fine nemesis in the form of Hydra leader Johann Schmidt, bringing a suitably sinister air to the character right from his very first scene in the film to the dramatic moment about midway through when he reveals the Red Skull persona (itself a triumph of prosthetic makeup). Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes is notable as well both for his chemistry with Evans' Rogers which makes their friendship believable even when their roles are reversed but for also firmly establishing an idea of the character in the mind of the audience (something even more important in light of where the character would eventually be developed in the future). Filling in more traditional roles with memorable performances are Toby Jones as Hydra scientist Arnim Zola, Tommy Lee Jones as the initially skeptical commander of the Strategic Scientific Reserve and Stanley Tucci as ex-pat German scientist Dr. Abraham Erskine who recruits Rogers.
Though the film's setting during the Second World War means that female characters are fairly few, the character from the film besides Rogers that perhaps stands out the most is Haley Atwell's Peggy Carter. While she does, as she did in the comics, become something of a love interest for Rogers, thankfully there's far more to the character than that. Atwell in interviews described the character as "She can do everything Captain America can do, but backwards and in high heels," and the action sequences in which Carter appears certainly rather prove that point. As a result, it's something that makes her now having her own TV series not the least bit surprising.
The film's production values are strong, especially given its Second World War setting. Through its combination of script, production design and costuming, the film successfully blends the technology and weapons of that conflict with aspects of the previously established Marvel universe (both comic and cinematic, the latter perhaps being more as a result of Joss Whedon's uncredited work on the script). In fact some of the seemingly more outlandish designs form the film such as the rocket like craft Schmidt uses at one point or the large flying wing plane where the film's climactic confrontation takes place are in fact based on real life plans drawn up by the Germans during the war (the Triebflügeljäger fighter plane and the Horten H.XVIII respectively). Director Joe Johnston, whose previous films include period set works such as the cult film The Rocketeer and October Sky, was a perfect choice to direct the film which combines period setting and characters with action sequences (indeed The Rocketeer arguably bares some similarities to the film itself). The icing on the cake might well be the score from Alan Silvestri which manages to be exciting and yet timeless at the same time. The results make the film as strong as it is.
Despite the film really being done to establish the Captain's origin story, The First Avenger is book-ended by two very important scenes in the present day. The first of which reveal the discovery of a mysterious object between Arctic ice (revealed late in the film to the Hydra flying wing) that sets up the journey the viewer is about to go on while the latter presents us with a sequence where Rogers finds himself in the present day which, as well as giving us the seemingly pre-requisite appearance by Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury, also firmly establishes that other iconic aspect of the character: that he is a man out of time. With that complete, the stage was set for The Avengers and the rest, as they say, was history.
First Avenger on its own though holds up quite well. Of the phase one Marvel films it's one of the most successful in bringing its characters back-story to life while also presenting a genuinely enjoyable film in the process. The result is a strong, period based action film and one of the best Marvel films to date.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Growing up, I was never into Captain America, nor did I ever read the
comics, so when I sat down to watch this film, I had no clue how it was
going to turn out. Was it going to be a great action film or a schlocky
mess? Well, I will say that while Captain America didn't blow my mind
like Iron Man, Thor or Guardians of the Galaxy did, I still found it to
be a very entertaining and engaging movie, from it's 1940's theme to
it's great acting and fantastic action scenes.
The film starts off in the frozen Arctic where a Russian oil team discovers something strange buried in the ice. They call up the Americans who slice through the ice and find a large aircraft under the snow and uncover a round read, white, and blue shield with a star upon it. The scene then cuts to a Norwegian village in March of 1942 where Johann Schmidt aka Red Skull seizes a mysterious item known as the Tesseract which boasts limitless power. Meanwhile, over in America, the U.S. army deems draftee Steve Rogers unfit for military service due to innumerable health problems, but Rogers doesn't give up and soon gets picked as a test subject for a "super solider" experiment and is injected with a unique serum. Following the experiment, Rogers emerges feeling taller and more robust but an undercover Hydra agent kills the doctor preforming the experiment and runs, but Steve chases and catches up with the agent but he takes a suicide pill before Rogers can get any information out of him. Now, Rogers dons the outfit of Captian America to order to take down Hydra's operations.
Joe Johnston may not seem like the right man to direct a film like this, but given what he did on The Rocketeer, I can't think of a better director for the job. What he does is rather than make Captain America a dark, heavy superhero film like what Nolan did with Batman, he goes for a more fun call back to films like Riders of the Lost Ark, something the MCU has become so well known for and Captain America: The First Avenger sure doesn't hold back on it. The writing is truly fabulous with a mix of both humor and heart, the romance between Steve and Peggy feels natural, the pace of the movie is great and never once did it feel padded out or boring in any way nor did any of the humor.
As with the other Marvel movies that I've seen so far, the casting is perfect. Chris Evans plays an excellent Captain America, bringing a lot of sincerity and heart to this character and he does it perfectly. During the first half of the film, Johnson slowly builds momentum to allow us time to get to know Rogers as a courageous little guy who suffers from the fury of bullies. This pitiful weakling through never lets anyone knock him down, and it's enjoyable to watch because Evans makes it look so genuine even with the computer effects. It's also very exhilarating to see a hero was isn't spending the whole movie moping around and play a true hero and rather than having Chris play Cap as a parody, the writers and the director take the character seriously and it pays off beautifully. Steve comes across as an incredibly interesting character, proving that the belief that an old-molded hero is lower to his anti-hero counterparts just isn't true. Hugo Weaving always plays a great villain and here, he is fantastic as the dark and menacing Red Skull. Tommy Lee Jones puts out a very convincing performance as Captain America's supervisor and even has a few humorous lines in the film. Haley Atwell is attractive, aggressive and just pain beautiful as Peggy Carter and the chemistry between her and Evens just trickles off the screen and makes for one of the MCU's best romances. Toby Jones is wonderful as a pitying, almost agreeable Arnim Zola. Stanly Tucci plays Dr. Erskine perfectly well and Dominic Cooper does a solid job playing Howard Stark as does Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes. Even Samuel Jackson makes a small cameo at the end of the movie teasing what is to come for the MCU.
The visuals are fantastic and while they may not look realistic or look a bit too much like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, they are still impressive with some great usages of immense lenses help to make the movie look far more realistic then something like Transformers that use a massive amount of CGI.The action in this film is fantastic with a lot of slow-motion shots being used to great effect during the battle scenes with some stand-out action scenes for me being the car chase, Rogers rescuing the prisoners, and the final showdown between Cap and Red Skull. The visual effects look pretty good and really work well when it comes to the action scenes and when it comes to the musical score, Alan Silvesteri kills it once again by giving us one of best superhero scores in recent years and it hits all the right points that it has to.
All and all, I would say Captain America: The First Avenger is definitely a great action thrill ride with a lot of heart thrown in and should be watched by any comic book film fan. Go give it a watch if you haven't already, you'll enjoy it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This, in my opinion is my personal favorite Marvel Phase 1 solo film.
I'm aware the first Iron Man(2008) is considered to be the best, but
this one did it for me.
Joe Johnston is no stranger to period pieces, like The Rocketeer and October Sky, and in the case of Captain America, Johnston delivers everything promised in the trailers. Johnston is able to capture that patriotic spirit that permeated the US during WWII. The film has an authentic feel to it and combines elements from films like Indiana Jones mixed in with Saving Private Ryan and a touch of 007. The set pieces are fantastic, due to the fact that this film was shot entirely at London. The film crew did a very good job disguising it as the 1940's New York City. Aside from October Sky this is Johnston's second best effort.
The film starts out very strong. The beginning to the middle is solid. Here we get a story of an underdog, very skinny, small, and sickly Steve Rogers trying to do whats right. From then on Steve is chosen from the super soldier program to become the world's first super soldier, aiding the United States war effort in WWII. Eventually the film looses steam in the second act, and goes a little crazy with montages. The musical montage in particular is great and clever, but then the other two montages just try to shoehorn most of the story and the conflict and it gets very generic.
The supporting cast overall was excellent as Tommy Lee Jones (Colonel Chester Phillips) and Stanley Tucci (Dr. Erksine) steal every scene they're in. Tucci in particular has a very enlightening speech on why he chose Steve Rogers and give him a pep talk to remain humble. Hugo Weaving has a natural talent playing villains, and he knocks one out of the park as the Red Skull.
However, the heart and soul in this movie rests on Chris Evans playing the titular hero. Evans during the hype train got a lot of hate, but I was actually one of the few who supported this casting, and man he does not disappoint. He gives the story right amount of everything it needs in every scene, and he only gets better, especially in the sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Haley Atwell plays a believable and lovable ally/love interest. She's not a damsel in distress which is great and the chemistry between Atwell and Evans gives Marvel's most solid and satisfying romance on screen to date, I would say even better than Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. I found the ending of this film to be quite moving. A lot more moving than I thought it would be.
The weak spots in this film were, as I stated above the rushed montage, Johnston's very calculated and sometimes soulless action sequences that just feel bland, and the Red Skull's lack of development. Hugo Weaving gives a good performance, but his character spends most of his time building his plane and reminding us that he's evil, rather than emerging as a worthwhile threat. This film does have a lot of characters, so it also comes within the territory that Cap's team The Howling Commandos don't have too much to do. One could argue that Sebastian Stan's role as Bucky, Cap's friend and sidekick was trivialized, but he got his due in the sequel.
I admire this film, I like how it does send a decent message without being too preachy about it in the beginning. I liked the set pieces, I liked the cast. It's very old fashioned, as it should be and it will pleasantly kill off two hours of your time. Good music in it too by Alan Silvestri. Evans is great in the role and has a lot of charisma.
Good old fashioned fun; that's what Captain America promises, and
that's what it delivers. With Bullets, explosions, and fisticuffs
aplenty, instantly recognizable good and bad guys, and a big side of
gung-ho patriotism, Captain America is a throwback to the
morale-building war films of Hollywood's golden era, only with higher
production values. Highbrow it ain't, or especially original, but it's
not trying to be.
The story is a familiar one, but well worth telling again. Steve Rodgers (Chris Evens), an asthmatic ninety-pound weakling from Brooklyn is turned down every time he tries to enlist- until scientist Emile Erskine sees something in the young lad and enters him into a top secret project to develop the perfect soldier. And with an injection of super-soldier serum, Rodgers becomes the courageous, muscle-bound hero Captain America and plants his shield right in the face of Nazi Germany- after staring in a nationwide bond drive that is absolutely side-splitting in its cheesiness.
This movie isn't much on nuance or complexity. There are no stunning revelations, no moral wrangling, and only simply drawn characters. Cap and his buddies are brave, selfless, and believe in freedom and standing up for the little guy, while Johann Schmidt, the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) is a power-hungry megalomaniac who seeks to conquer not only the allies but Hitler and the Nazis as well. It might have been nice to see Rodgers developed a bit further, but I suppose the whole point is for him to be a simple, wholesome everyman, and Evens has no trouble conveying this with his natural energy and innate charm. Expect to see a lot more of this kid in the coming years.
Weaving is likewise perfect to play the Red Skull. He's had plenty of experience playing the bad guy, and I got a feeling that he was enjoying himself, even if he didn't find the role very challenging. A more interesting casting choice is the inclusion of Tommy Lee Jones. He might seem an odd pick for a superhero movie, especially considering his rather sedate performance as Two-Face in Batman Forever. But here he is perfect a Cap's no-nonsense, tough-as-nails commanding officer.
The action scenes are well staged and generally exciting; even if they do become a bit repetitive towards the middle, and it really is cool the kind of tricks Cap can pull with his shield. I also enjoyed the blend of war movie and sci-fi type elements. This is WWII fought with ray guns, rocket planes, and tanks as big as a house- although it is worth noting that the Skull's one man rocket-copter was an actual German design.
I will admit that some of the supporting characters are introduced too late for us to really get to know them. And the romance between Rodgers and Peggy Carter is so under-developed as too be perfunctory. There are also a fair number of clichés, from the talking villain to the always reliable self destruct sequence, but these play more as homage to the movies and serials of yesteryear than as evidence of a lack of ideas.
Despite some flaws, Captain America is still rousing entertainment. And while I understand that things can't always be black and white, it's still good every now and then to see a movie that lets us root unequivocally for the good guys and be proud that we're American. Captain America is that kind of movie, and it's great fun for all ages.
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