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Captain America: The First Avenger Movie Review (2011)

Captain America movie review

 

  It's time once more for yet another comic book movie adaption this summer. This time we have Captain America: The First Avenger. But this is not the Captains first rodeo; there have been several Captain America movies made since the character first appeared in Captain America Comics#1. Will Captain America finally get the treatment that he deserves?

 

Not the captains first rodeo

 

 

Captain America #1

 

  First off a little history lesson, Captain America was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Timely Comics back in 1940 (the March issue of Captain America #1 hit the newsstands in December of 1940). Believe it or not making such a patriotic character was a risky move on the duo's part. Remember this was back in a time before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when many Americans were isolationist and vehemently against spilling more young American blood in yet another war in Europe.

 

  Despite this fact Captain America became a huge success, which only grew even more once America had at last entered into World War II.

 

   Captain America's popularity has risen and fallen over the years as has the popularity of most comic book characters. Unfortunately previous attempts to put Captain America in film format have... shall we say been less than stellar.

 

Captain America Demotivational Poster

Bad Reb Brown, Bad! No Beggin Strips for you!

 

  So with so many previous injustices performed on Captain America, can there be hope at last for the shield flinging crusader? Let us delve into Captain America: The First Avenger and find out.

 

  We begin the movie at the ending, it is the present day and a research team has uncovered a large object buried in the arctic ice. S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are called to the scene to investigate and make the startling discovery of a man frozen inside of the object.

 

  We than shift focus to the 1940's as a Nazi organization called Hydra led by Johann Schmidt known as the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) attacks a monastery in search of a legendary artifact left behind by the Norse gods.

 

  The movie shifts focus again to an army entrance processing station, were we meet young and skinny Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). It is Steve's dream to fight for his country, but he is classified 4F and denied a chance to serve.

 

  Eventually after repeated attempts to circumvent the system so that he can enlist, Steve is caught, but is given the chance to participate in an experimental program to create a super soldier using a serum, being run by a former German scientist named Doctor Abraham Erskine.

 

  Physically Steve is the weakest and least healthy of all the recruits in the program, but he has the intelligence and heart that the doctor is looking for in the perfect candidate. Steve is selected to receive the super soldier formula which dramatically enhances his body and health.

 

Before After

Your mileage may vary.

 

  A HYDRA spy interrupts the experiment destroying any chance it can be reproduced. Steve chases down the spy saving a child's life in the process and becomes a national hero.

 

  Instead of being assigned overseas to fight for his country Steve is regulated to hosting and performing in events to raise money for the war effort, along with making Captain America propaganda films.

 

  While on a tour overseas visiting combat troops in Italy, Steve hears about the capture of the 107th a unit that his lifelong friend Bucky is a part of. The prisoners of war are 30 miles behind enemy lines and it is deemed too dangerous to rescue them. Steve decides to embrace his role as Captain America and with the help of Agent Peggy Carter and Howard Stark, Steve goes behind enemy lines to rescue them.

 

Old vs New Captain America

Not bad.

 

  During the mission Steve uncovers the Red Skulls plans to devastate cities around the world with a super weapon that is powered by the artifact that the Red Skull recovered from the monastery earlier in the movie. The remnants of the 107th become Captain America's elite fighting force as they strike against HYDRA bases all across Europe.

 

  Chris Evans turned down the role of Captain America on three different occasions and what a loss it would have been if he had not finally given in. His performance is amazing and I was shocked to learn later on that he played both young skinny Steve Rogers and Post super serum Steve Rogers.

 

  Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter also turned in a brilliant performance. It is not often that we get to see such a strong female lead in a film and her performance is one my favorites this year.

 

Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter

Being a badass character, point scored. Being a female badass character, double points scored. Being in a film with Samuel L. Jackson and turning out to be a bigger badass than him, hmm were going to need a bigger score card.

 

  The use of computers to make Chris Evans appear scrawny has to be the best use of computers in film to date. I really had no idea that it was the same actor playing both roles. Unfortunately much like Green Lantern there are quite a few moments were the CGI in the film is not the greatest. These moments usually revolve around the action scenes featuring Captain America.

 

  The reveal of Johann Schmidt as the Red Skull was a bit silly, or at least he looked silly to me. I think that they should have gone with more of a burn victim look for him. He came out looking more goofy than menacing.

 

Red Skull

Not exactly as menacing as agent Smith.

 

  The movie is full of cliche's and has a campy (not Adam West campy) war propaganda feel to it that harkens back to the films of the 20's - 40's. The filmmakers embraced this feeling and used it to good effect.

 

  One of the few misses for me other than the overuse of cliches was several of the scenes involving Captain America's missions with the 107th. They came across feeling forced almost like they were mini trailers for other films, placed inside the movie.

 

  Overall another good comic book action movie that I recommend you go out to the theater to see. So far Marvel has done an outstanding job with their licenses and it will be interesting to see them tie everything together when they release the Avengers movie in a year or two.

 

Final verdict for Captain America: The First Avenger 8/10

 

 -Professor

 

 

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