Captain America: The First Avenger is about a scrawny kid, Steve Rogers, who want to join the Army and fight the Nazis. The Nazis have Johann Schmidt terrorizing civilians in search for ultimate power under his new army called Hyrdra. Dr. Erskine is brought over to America to create a new super soldier serum. He sees qualities in Rogers that he believes will make this latest experiment work, tada, you get Captain America, the super soldier.
The good; it’s a period piece, the stage of WWII is where this movie takes place. Much like X-Men: First Class, which take place in the sixties, I love that Captain America takes place in the forties. The special effects, which we’ve all seen in the trailer, that make Chris Evans look like a ninety pound weakling are amazing.
This is director Joe Johnston latest movie, after the mess of The Wolfman, and I’ve enjoyed Johnston’s work previously. This splits the masses, but I love The Rocketeer. So I’m glad to see Johnston keep going, and taking another stab at the period piece/comic book genre.
Captain America is a movie that stands on its own, there’s very little Avengers plot lines woven through out. This could be attributed to it being a period piece, another reason I love that. You just wanna see Capt America fight in WWII.
*SPOILERS* and then there’s Captain America, as a character we really see his journey. His bond with Dr. Erskine drives the first half of the movie, and he hasn’t even taken the serum or in costume yet. The film devotes time to learning Rogers’ motivations for wanting to fight, much like Batman Begins, it’s all character in that first half of the film, they, “chose… w i s e l y…”
Then there’s the supporting cast; Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt/The Red Skull was perfect. It’s a shame that we never really see his face in the movies he’s in anymore, it’s almost like he’s the new Doug Jones. There’s a scene where the Red Skull’s mask starts to droop, that’s was both creepy and awesome all in the same gulp.
Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips was perfect, he does the gruff war leader wonderfully, and with a flair of humor. Peggy Carter as the potential love interest is nice, in the comics, Cap’s love interest is Sharon Carter… the niece of Peggy. Bucky Barnes, not bad, did not think they were going to go the way of what could be… The Winter Soldier, nice touch. Dum Dum Dugan, can’t say much here, but he was there so that was a nice touch. Then there’s Toby Jones, who plays Arnim Zola, who’s basically a TV with arms and legs, and not human head. It was a fan boy moment to see his first screen time to be through a TV monitor.
Oh, and also look out for the first Human Torch, the android, not the member of the Fantastic Four. Look for him on display at the fair, speaking of the fair, Howard Stark demonstrates a flying car… will we be seeing more of the flying car in the form of the SHIELD transports in The Avengers movie???
Another great thing about this movie are the action poses that Captain America does, it’s almost like the filmmakers studied the comic pages and re-enacted those poses, I can’t count the amount of times that this happens in the movie.
The bad; Chris Evans as a scrawny ninety pound weakling, I know I had this above as a good thing, but it was almost too good. Like you were watching so closely to see if they messed up somehow and you’d see the magicians sleeve or wires. So being a winner can be losing too. And back to Evans, he looks the part, he fills out the costume… but he’s not Cap. Much like Ryan Reynolds isn’t Hal Jordan, I didn’t see Evans understanding the character.
*SPOILER* when Bucky falls to his demise, there should’ve been more out of Cap, he should’ve be more distraught, the line that he gives to Peggy at the bar about how he can’t get drunk and drink away his sorrows comes off flat and emotionless.
Which brings me to Bucky, we hardly knew ye. I mean we know how Bucky is before Steve gets the serum, but after he gets rescued, there isn’t much more character development. Make us care, let us hang out with Bucky and Cap, have them bonding over things, and then kill him. So that we care when he’s gone. Same with Dum Dum, he barely has any lines? Are we just appeasing the fan boys by placing him in the movie? Or will he be the SHIELD agent that he’s supposed to be in The Avengers movie?
Overall, worth seeing. Out of the comic book movies that summer, Captain America: The First Avenger is second to X-Men: First Class. Captain America has enough of everything; action, more action, humor, character moments, and it’s in the right spirit. Get ready, AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!