I had been looking forward to Captain America for about a year, and I decided to make it the first premiere I'd go to all summer. I got a group of ten friends and showed up hours early with Captain America merchandise and enough caffeine to stay up through Lord of the Rings in its entirety.
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.
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.
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.
SPOILER: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
For a long time I did not write reviews with sarcasm. So the skill is not lost for long ... And just then a worthy candidate came out - the concentration of Pathos in it is the same as the calories in the cake.
A bit about the previous set of pictures. When gangsters ravage America, masked people begin to clear the streets and return the money of depositors to savings banks. When in America there is a desire at least somehow to take part in the European military conflict - masked people make landing operations into the deep rear of the enemy, demonstrating that only the star-striped forces know how to fight. Actually, the original idea: we have a very correct morally and physically strong soldier, and you all hide behind his shield - safely migrated from the old comic book into today's movie.
It's fun to watch how the directors mask political agitation. Even the name removed the post with a residence permit. As if to the Russian spectator who is not in the tooth with his foot, what kind of "Avengers" are out there for 2012, it's not possible to reach the Wiktionary. No, in advertising materials it was necessary to move as far as possible "Uncle Sam", which in the film is so much that it becomes ridiculous. Eloquent posters "I want you", ten pieces of proud flags, a song and dance number in support of morale - but with emphasis on the strong will of the rickety "simple guy from Brooklyn," he is recruited by the international (from the continent to the subject) , and the plot is torn down, before reaching May 45th. Why was it so easy to blame and reduce the degree of humor? Ideal picture for the final tape: SC, accompanied by a company of elite handsome Americans, thundering the Berlin bunker of Hitler and killing him, forcing him to listen to the US anthem.
Then the template story would fit perfectly: the evil nehrist finds an ancient and powerful artifact (the top of originality, right?) And tries to direct its power to the destruction of the old world. Massively stamps Tesla-guns, power tanks, mopeds, submarines, "stealth", the first tests are conducted on the sagging superiors, and all this for a couple of weeks at seven military sites scattered throughout Europe. The production is multi-purpose, since there is nowhere to screw the workpieces - the main hero attacks the bases, breaking everything down to the foundation, and, most importantly, the workshops are always ready to explode. But everything in the factory is environmentally friendly - it burns, it flushes, but no carbon monoxide is released, and the heroes breathe normally, they talk (super-people, yes, they can not).
The main villain has a clearly worked out plan based on a technology that no brain can comprehend. There is a legion of soldiers, whom I can only call "stormtroopers". So stupid and harmless for the protagonist of the Nazis was not even in the "Indiana Jones". Here, at the first appearance of the correct guys with guns, they pretend to be hoses and stacked in stacks. The first assistant is ready to pass strategic plans for a plate of food. Is not it brilliant idea that a bad supermund in his lair to his soldiers pushes a speech in English? After all, they will soon be imbued with those great ideals of their underground organization.
Generally funny inconsistencies in the movie car. A single submarine sailed behind a group of bad saboteurs (and logically, all but one were shot in advance). In the newspapers there is a picture of the hero with the door from the taxi, which, given that the cameras of the 40's is not a modern figure, but the tables on the legs, and the action-scene lasted about fifteen seconds, no one could do it, especially so clearly.Usually actors engaged in comic sets, even to praise for nothing - they just serve time in the frame. But this time a pleasant exception - the basic composition of familiar surnames perfectly rasproboval comedy stuffing tape and tried not to spoil it. Chris Evans was supposed to play a warrior with a code of honor and a sympathetic heart, and he qualitatively makes a frozen face in a heroic setting, but thaws with facial expressions and gestures during dialogues. Haley Atwell is responsible for the romantic component (symbolically arising after the acquisition of the hero pumped biceps), and in the romance the main thing is to look good. Therefore, the case is bright red lipstick and other mandatory make-up, successfully diverting the viewer's attention - it does not matter to him that in places the emotion is not reached to the level required by the stage.
Shikaren Hugo Weaving with his falsh accent, which, most likely, will disappear in dubbing. Yes, if it remains, the voice will still not be the same, but it was the voice of the Australian that "animated" Agent Smith from the "Matrix", Megatron from the "Transformers", "V" from the same neonoire ... The main villain will lose a lot when localizing, alas, this inevitably - we will only have to look at the red computer face (well at least only from the second hour of the film). Tommy Lee Jones noted in the role of a kind and adequate colonel, in the view of which there is always a sparkle "yes, yes, I understand everything". Stanley Tucci and Toby Jones appeared in the image of German geniuses, separated by the front line, and Stan Lee ... Well, he as always, somewhere in the picture appeared for five seconds.
Three-dimensional graphics ... Music ... It was all, but it was not created as a separate layer of glaze, but as a cellophane package - just like a package that does not deliver any pleasure. It's not necessary to go to 3D, except in scenes where a round shield flies along a closed path, it's not impressive. Understand where the good, and where the "storm troopers", you can and on a simple screen (thanks to the sane operator and sane editor). According to the stylistics, the stellar composition, the absurdity of everything that is happening in the frame, the tape is very close to the Cobra Brooch, and even closer to the League of Outstanding Gentlemen. So with the preliminary assessment (go / do not go) I recommend doing a retrospective on these pictures, and also not to lose sight of the fact that all this is a preparatory stage for the "Avengers", where already there will be solid berries ... Continuous cloudberry ...
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 .
I loved this movie. Captain America has had 3 movies in the past, not counting some 1940s ones which can be excused for being good, that were so awful they make movies like Steel or Green Lantern look good. However, I saw a lot of critiques for this movie that were negative. Now I understand differing opinions and all, but they all followed a formula and each one seemed like griping to the point it was just getting stupid. If you'll indulge me here, I have a list of the repeated ones and a rebuttal to each.
1. The technology for WWII is too far advanced! This one was the most common and the stupidest in my opinion. It's called "Fiction", as in "not real". Every time I heard this one it made me think these people have no suspension of disbelief and would complain that Iron Man is a terrible movie because the technology to build a flying robot suit doesn't exist yet. People, it's comic books and it's in a fictional WWII setting. It's allowed to take liberties.
2. Captain America is too invincible! That was just stupid. Captain America is relatively weak compared to many other superheroes, he's just a perfect example of a human being brought about by the experiments in the film. Also, he's the main character. He's not supposed to die in a movie that is leading him up to be in a tie-in to all the other recent Marvel films that will lead to The Avengers.
3. Red Skull is a terrible villain.
There is no sense to this one. He's supposed to be the guy that's worse than Hitler and can get just as many people on his side to do his bidding. On top of that he can take Cap in a fight fairly evenly. Saying he's a bad villain is baseless.
4. Steve doesn't go through a character arc/get any back-story.
For one, he really doesn't need to. Steve was a good guy from the start, and he did go through an arc. It was subtle, but he did. He gained more confidence and become the soldier he is. He has a back-story but it's weaved in throughout. We know he was bullied a lot, we know he he is from a military family, we know he grew up with Bucky, we know he has had very few, if any, dates in his life, he's a childhood friend of Bucky, and we know he wants to be a soldier because he feels its his duty. I'd rather get it weaved in through the narrative of the story rather than get a huge text dump or just have characters talking for half an hour about everything they've ever done.
5. This movie just glorifies America! Not really. It's a good vs. evil story that happens to have a character named Captain America, which was given to him by a publicity stunt. I suppose you also hate movies like Saving Private Ryan because it tells things from the perspective of American soldiers but not the Japanese ones?
These were the most common arguments and they are easily refutable. Captain America is a great movie, showcasing one of the best Marvel has to offer and should be in the 7s or higher, not the 6s.
Uncle Sam would be proud. Holistically, this film looks like one mass recruitment campaign to get men enlisted into the US armed forces. Then again, this is nothing new. As a superhero, Captain America personified the might of the US military during the actual second World War to intentionally create a sense of patriotism against the 'Axis Powers' led by Stalin and Hitler. Picking up on that idea, the well known source of this concept is Marvel comic books and brings to cinematic life, a spectacular and glorious vision of how invincible a US soldier can or should be.
Almost entirely, the film is a flash back after a rare metallic shield is discovered in the present day Arctic region. Rejected by the military during WWII, scrawny and frail Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) gets a second chance after a selfless act of bravery. As a result, Colonel Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) allows Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) to administer Rogers with a serum, immediately super-sizing the latter into a "Super Soldier". Shortly after, Erskine is killed by an assassin deployed by Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving). As Hitler's advanced weapons expert, we learn that Schmidt has assembled an army to possess and control a mysterious cube with infinite power, after being injected with a flawed version of the serum perfected for Rogers. Now christened 'Captain America' and literally draped in stars and stripes, Rogers and Stark Industries must stop the evil Schmidt from destroying America with weapons of mass destruction.
Cinematically, the film is in epic form and relives the bygone era of the 1940s with a strong retro vibe. Having said that, I now find myself educated that a fraction of WWII consisted of technology that still does not exist. Ray guns, behemoth tanks, one-manned submersibles and gunships that look similar to those used in "Avatar"? I wasn't alive in the 1940s, but I am pretty sure that other movies with a 1940s or WWII narrative must have somehow omitted the use of this technology. Sarcasm aside and for argument sake, as a viewer I can suspend reality for the sake of the Marvel universe. In an alternate history this could be plausible. "X Men: First Class" was smart enough to establish that thought process right from the start. Shooting from the hip with pomp and propaganda, "The First Avenger" expects (rather than assumes) viewers will believe the world created for the movie. It is at this point where you should stop and think for a minute. If you are not a Marvel OR superhero fan, you will find the movie unbelievably ridiculous. As a casual moviegoer, you will find the dialogue corny, the action over-the-top, the hero invincible, and the villain and his minions a joke. As a reviewer I normally judge films with either a sense of practical logic or its relevance to the genre. During this movie, the superhero fan in me took over and I succumbed to its seduction.
As an actor, Evans has justified his upgrade from a supporting role in "Fantastic Four" to the titled lead in this movie. He has outgrown the brash ego of the Human Torch to a lovable underdog whose real driving force is his spirit of patriotism. Like Peter Parker is to Spiderman, Captain America's alter ego in Steve Rogers is a simple man who uses his gift for the greater good of his nation and shoulders that responsibility with the heart of a true hero. On the other hand, considering that every superhero must face an ever daunting and equally super villain, Hugo Weaving has failed to radiate either hatred or fear as Red Skull; this, arising from my high expectations of Weaving.
Known for the CGI infused "Jumanji" and "Jurassic Park III", director Joe Johnston pulls off an otherwise decent superhero flick and has laid a strong foundation for things to come. Call it a prequel, re-boot or pilot – in its entirety, this film is a big teaser for a multi-billion dollar franchise, starting with 2012's "The Avengers". The ending scenes of both "Thor" and "The First Avenger" has Nick Furry (Samuel L. Jackson) hint at just that. For superhero fans, 2012 (if we live through it) will have plenty of such movies. While Superman and Spiderman are all set for a re-boot, the Batman franchise concludes with "The Dark Knight Rises". In all this, "The Avengers" is rumored to become the motion picture event of the year. The credibility of that rumor strongly rests in the success of "The First Avenger". By the looks of it, this movie has outdone all preceding 2011 superhero flicks and is on track to hand over the baton to what is going to be an explosive yet highly competitive summer come 2012.
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 charm.
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.
"Rocketeer" director Joe Johnston's "Captain America" amounts to a timeless David versus Goliath tale set in the Marvel Comics' universe where good always trumps evil. Unlike "Thor" and "Green Lantern," "Captain America" ranks as a thoroughly spectacular but larger-than-life extravaganza with a genuinely charismatic hero struggling against a marvelously malignant villain. Chris Evans' engaging performance as the 'First Avenger' is something else, too! If you recall, Evans had the time of his life several years ago playing egotistical Johnny Storm, aka 'the Human Torch,' in the two "Fantastic Four" flicks. Make no mistake; Evans is nothing like he was in those two super heroic sagas. Indeed, "Captain America" boasts some amazing special effects, but its best special effect is the sincerity that Evans brings to the role of Steve Rogers. Whether he plays Rogers as either a scrawny, 98-pound zero or a brawny, fleet-footed hero, Evans imparts heart to this $140-million thriller. During the first half of "Captain America," Johnston gradually builds the momentum to let us grow accustomed to Evans as a scrappy little fellow who suffers the wrath of bullies. This pathetic weakling refuses to let anybody keep him down, and it's fun because Evans makes it look so authentic despite the obvious CGI effects. Hugo Weaving registers as the ideal villain who holds the upper hand throughout most of the supercharged shenanigans. Tommy Lee Jones and Hayley Atwell co-star respectively as Captain America's superior and his love interest.
"Captain America" opens in the present before it reverts to the past. Typically, movies with contemporary openings and endings sacrifice any sense of suspense. After all, you know if the characters thrive in the present that they must not have suffered in the past. Basically, this constitutes nothing more than a narrative cinematic convention. The chief difference here is that we're only given a glimpse of Captain America's legendary star-spangled shield instead of the eponymous protagonist himself. Anyway, the film unfolds in the frozen wasteland of the Arctic Circle as a Russian oil expedition stumbles onto something buried in the ice. They contact the Americans who slice into the ice with a laser, find a commodious craft of unknown origin, and uncover a circular red, white, and blue shield with a star. The scene shifts to March 1942 as despicable Nazi officer Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving of "The Matrix") and his men storm into Tønsberg, Norway, and confiscate an enigmatic tesseract. Essentially, this is a magical cube boasting incalculable power. Supposedly, the tesseract was a fabulous jeweled artifact that belonged to the legendary Norse god Odin. Once anybody lays their eyes on it, they are no longer the same. Meanwhile, in New York City, the U.S. military brands Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) unfit for duty owing to a myriad of health problems. The resilient Rogers tries to enlist again when his buddy James Buchanan 'Bucky' Barnes (Sebastian Stan of "Black Swan") takes him to a showcase of futuristic technologies. Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci of "Easy A") eavesdrops on Rogers' conversation with Barnes about his desperate need to get into combat. Suitably impressed by Rogers' attitude, Erskine allows him to enlist. Moreover, Erskine recruits Rogers as part of a "super-soldier" experiment under the aegis of Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones of "Coal Miner's Daughter") and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell of "The Duchess"). Phillips displays considerable skepticism about Erskine's contention that Rogers qualifies as the ideal candidate for the procedure. One day during a training exercise, Phillips lobs a grenade among the recruits. Everybody but Rogers scrambles for cover, while he smothers the grenade with his frail body. Predictably, the grenade is a dummy, but Rogers' act of self-sacrificing bravery convinces the colonel that he is the appropriate choice.
No sooner has Rogers emerged from the procedure as an entirely new man with a buffed up body than a Nazi saboteur steps in and kills Erskine. As it turns out, Erskine keep no notes except those in his head. After Erskine dies, Rogers experiences his new-found strength and captures the saboteur. The saboteur lives long enough to warn Rogers that he has to face more of his kind before he crunches on a cyanide capsule and croaks. Roger wins fame and acclaim across the country, but he suffers a setback because he is the first and only of his kind. Colonel Phillips reassigns him and Roger ends up at War Bond rallies where he acts like a cheerleader surrounded by dancing girls. Eventually, when our hero learns that his best friend has been caught, he disobeys orders and leads an inspirational rescue behind enemy lines. Now that Rogers has proved himself, he must face the Red Skull. The Red Skull is Nazi officer Johann Schmidt and he is so ambitious that he not only wants to crush America but also Adolf Hitler. Talk about a villain to end all villains! Anybody who has read the reprints of the World War 2 era "Captain America" comic book should be thrilled with the way that "The Chronicles of Narnia" scenarists Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have handled the original material by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Of course, Johnston and his scribes have ratcheted up the hardware for the big transformation scene that turns Steve Rodgers into Captain America.
Altogether, "Captain America" is a predictable but entertaining comic book movie with sensational special effects and a sympathetic hero. If you are a Marvel Comic fan, you should stick around after the lengthy end credits for a glimpse of the forthcoming "Avengers" film due for release in May 2012.
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 Forces—thus, 'Captain America' is born. Soon, he is pitted against the nefarious Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), aka the Red Skull—an 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.
I knew nothing about Captain America prior to viewing this Marvel film. Many people were skeptical about Chris Evans being cast as the man in red, white, and blue mainly because he is previously known for playing Johnny Storm in the not so fantastic Fantastic Four movies. Despite, the fact that he had a lot of pressure going into this film, I thought he did a fare job. I personally don't think this was the best Avengers tie in movie but it was fine. The first half of the movie did a very good job of establishing the story behind the creation of this man and how he was initially just an experiment and then turned into a propaganda piece for the war in order to excite people and inspire them to fight the fight. Afterward, when he finally does take initiative and attempts to infiltrate and destroy the enemy, the movie turns into a pretty standard and generic action movie. Hugo Weaving is cast as the villain known in the comics as the Red Skull. Despite a good looking face (a red face), he never really becomes too menacing and isn't given enough screen time as the red skull to really effect us. Tommy Lee Jones is in his realm as an army commander who is in charge of operations including Rogers and is very funny as well as delivering the lines extremely well. Speaking of lines, this movie doesn't have the best or worst script and I think they (the writers) could have spent more time developing better dialogue that didn't sound so rushed. Director Joe Johnston who is know for The Rocketeer brings the 1940s World War feeling to the screen brilliantly and with great set designers and art direction. Tony Starks father plays a fairly significant role as the man behind the suit and weapons of the Captain. Played by Dominic Cooper, we get an inside look at how Stark got his attitude and knack for building new technology. The 3D added nothing, which is not unusual nowadays. The only time it was ever apparent was when the shield was thrown towards the screen which happened maybe twice. This movie does a nice job of finishing the tie in movie for the upcoming epic Avengers movie die to release next year. My only hope is that all of this build up with the individual super hero movies is not wasted. This is worth a rental and I will probably buy this on blu-ray when the price is greatly reduced.
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.
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.
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***
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.
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.
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).