Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Directed by Joe Johnston

Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely

Based on comic book, "Captain America" by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

Stars: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Neal MacDonaugh, Derek Luke, Kenneth Choi, JJ Feild, Bruno Ricci, Toby Jones, and Tommy Lee Jones

As I previously stated in my Avengers review, I did not see The First Avenger to prepare myself for the movie. There were some things about the film that I had questions that were answered by watching this film. I know the general lore of Captain America and his journey. I can say for certainty that this movie is better than Thor.

There was some hesitation about letting lead actor Chris Evans take over the role of Steve Rodgers, because he previously played a Marvel superhero as The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films.

The setting of the film follows almost exactly were the comics left off. Rodgers was a skinny kid that possibly weighed 110 pounds soaking wet when he is repeatedly rejected by the Army in the middle of WWII. His childhood friend, Bucky (Stan) tries to dissuade him from joining the army. A chance encounter from Dr. Abraham Erskine (Tucci) changes his life forever. Erskine recruits him to a top secret operation to create a new breed of super soldiers to fight the Nazis. Most importantly to help stop the tyrannical Red Skull (Weaving) and his HYDRA army from taking over the world.

For me, I wish that Marvel would have concentrated more on these "origin" movies as well as The Avengers. I think that Iron Man 2, Thor and this movie all suffer from having to tell the back story of the characters that are going to make up this superhero team. It seems the quality of film suffers, because it has to be filler to see how this component of the Avengers came from.

There were some aspects of this movie that I didn't like, but that would be spoilers for people who are not familiar with the lore of Captain America. Chris Evans was fine here. He was not bad or good. I thought that the character presented on screen was brave and stupid. When Steve becomes Captain America, he doesn't listen to reason that his actions has consequences. Steve is supposed to be this tragic hero, but comes across as being over-confident to a point where you want something to happen to him. The action scenes were okay. Nothing remarkable here.

I have to stay Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips was great. He was chewing the scene with his one-liners. Weaving was solid as Red Skull. Steve's sidekick, Bucky was very charismatic on screen. The love interest for Steve, Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell was strange. I wondered if she was interested in him before he got taller and buffer. What if he stayed the scrawny toothpick?

I had a couple of issues with the plot. How comes the shield is supposed to be indestructible, but the shield has wear and tear on it? Would you think that a massive faculty like HYDRA would have been trounced by  a lone man in a loud red, white and blue getup? I didn't understand how the hell the Terraset ended up in a lockbox in Norway? If Steve Rogers meets Iron Man's father who built the device that made him, did he acknowledge that in The Avengers? I could be nitpicking. Somebody help me out.

My Rating

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