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Captain America: The First Avenger Movie Review

Captain America: The First Avenger Movie Review

Captain America The First Avenger

Captain America The First Avenger


Title: Captain America: The First Avenger

Directed By: Joe Johnston

Starring: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Neal McDonough

So far, so good for The Avengers this summer. Thor’s a pretty cool guy and now it’s Captain America to show off what he’s got. Sure, he comes with the superhero standards – buff body, noble intentions and a sleek costume – but other than that, he’s nothing more than a poster boy for Marvel movies. Steve Rogers makes for a better propaganda symbol than superhero.

Chris Evans is Steve Rogers, a Brooklyn native desperate to serve his country. Sadly, his intense determination isn’t enough to make up for his slight stature and asthma, amongst other physical deficits, and his enlistment application is stamped with a big red F, time and time again. It isn’t until Steve crosses paths with Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) that he finally gets the chance to prove himself, well, an enhanced version of himself. Erskine straps Steve to some high tech contraption, pumps him full of glowing blue fluid and so Captain America is born.

Meanwhile, Hitler is building the ultimate weapon for himself, or so he thinks. The Nazi regime funnels resources into their deep science division, Hydra, in hopes that the unit’s leader, Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), will deliver a power the Allies cannot defeat. Problem is, Schmidt is obsessed with some sort of otherworldly power, a power his cohorts don’t believe in. When Hitler attempts to shut Hydra down, Schmidt, or Red Skull, is ready to take the reigns and conquer the world for himself. The only one who can stop him? Guess who.

Sure, Steve Rogers is a noble character and his dream of joining the army is endearing, but the entire first act of the film is tainted by poor CGI. Little Steve looks more like a character out of a Tim Burton animation than he does a legitimate smaller version of Evans. In fact, the character would fit perfectly in Tarik Saleh’s Metropia. The only time the pre-Captain America Steve looks legitimate is when his back is to the camera and that’s because that’s the only time he’s 100% a real person.

Things get much better once Steve emerges from the Erskine pod. A mix-up lands Steve in an army propaganda play rather than on the battlefield and that’s where the power of the cheesy time-lapse montage kicks in. We follow Steve from show to show as he gets into the gig and builds an audience. However, when he takes his act overseas and performs for the soldiers, he’s stopped dead in his tracks, as is the film. The switch is so abrupt between goofy wannabe soldier and man on the front lines that it’s hard to digest. Sure, Steve is far more muscular and has super strength, but what does this guy know about infiltrating a heavily armed compound? And who taught him how to parachute out of a plane in the midst of an airborne firefight?

Of course, any superhero film comes with some believability issues, but that’s the challenge, to overcome them and Captain America just doesn’t pull it off. Much of the blame belongs to some terrible effect work, in terms of little Steve and beyond. It’s so glaringly obvious when practical stunt work is used as opposed to CGI, it’s distracting and takes you out of the film.

In terms of the performances, they’re one note almost across the board. The only person that’s the slightest bit engaging and alive is Toby Jones as Red Skull’s right hand man, Dr. Arnim Zola. He’s a bit of an enigma and the fact that you can practically see the wheels turning in his head makes you desperate to get inside it. Otherwise, Captain America offers up a bunch of straight shooters. Evans is the noble hero, Weaving the dubious villain, Sebastian Stan’s Bucky, the loyal sidekick and Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter, the Captain’s crush. They’re playing superhero movie stereotypes and make no effort to take them further.

However, again, this is a superhero movie we’re talking about and that also inherently has the power to be somewhat entertaining when working with the basics. There are some visually stimulating action sequences, cool costumes and poignant hero-saves-the-day moments, but otherwise, Captain America has little to nothing to offer. Then again, there is that teaser for The Avengers after the credits.

Technical: C-

Acting: C

Story: B

Overall: C+

By Perri Nemiroff

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Film producer and director best known for her work in movies such as FaceTime, Trevor, and The Professor. She has worked as an online movie blogger and reporter for sites such as CinemaBlend.com, ComingSoon.net, Shockya, and MTV's Movies Blog.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Rushdan Rashid

    July 30, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Everybody knows what will happen to King Kong at the end of the movie. Just like Captain America, we know that he will be frozen in the state of suspended animation. And thanks to the HYDRA aircraft and his superhuman serum that was injected into his body that able to make him stay alive. 

    No doubt Captain America, is D’ one of the best movies of 2011! Many sources said there will be lots of accolades waiting to be won by this movie. It had already knocked Harry Potter from the No#1 spot in Canada, US & UK! Last week when I checked, before it was being released here (28/07)… the ratings were 22%, I went like WTF?!?! Don’t tell me it’s another effing ‘The Last Airbender’! Yesterday when I checked Rotten Tomatoes, the Ratings went up 78%!!!! The CA FB page is being filled with compliments as so speak even when I’m writing this message! I’ve watched it last night… before that, I was praying and hoping that the movie would… to be what I had expected. 

    You see, I have followed this character since I was young, from reading its comic books. But after watching it… what I got was beyond what I had expected! Instant classic! I thought boy scout superheroes are dead and buried. You see, nowadays many digs dark themed superheroes like Batman and Hellboy. Superman Returns (a genuine boy scout) was a success but not a huge success like James Cameron’s Avatar… and now Captain America, the result: a record breaking for Midnight Screenings box office gross, Weekend Box Office gross, and broke the record for breaking the US$100 million mark in less than 24 hours! 

    Watch it in 3D! I enjoyed it! Both Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci were superb! Great performances from the main characters as well especially Chris Evans as Steve Rogers aka Captain America! We not only have a hero but ten heroes! Bucky and the Howling Commandos! There’s plenty of connections too with Iron Man 2 (ie. World of Tomorrow, Howard Stark is Tony Stark/Iron Man’s dad, the idea to generate more power into Iron Man’s MARK IV armored suit from Stark’s short research on the chip of the mysterious tesseract energy cube), THOR (as the mysterious tesseract cube comes from Thor’s dad, Odin, he lost the cube in Thor), The Incredible HULK (after Ross explains how Banner became the Hulk, Blonsky agrees to be injected with a small amount of a new super soldier serum, which gives him enhanced physical attributes, though has the side effect of making him more arrogant and overconfident. So I guess HULK can defeat Captain America as proven in that movie but that’s with a different individual).. etc. 

    Oh, when the credit starts rolling on the screen, you might think, oh heck! Is that it?!?! No. There’s more! Stay until the credit ends. There’s a hidden scene post credits like in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk & Thor! So stay right to the end until the MARVEL STUDIOS logo comes out. Don’t worry you wont be alone and… please DO scream at the projectionist or light operator to bloody close the auditorium lights so you can watch the hidden scene at ease! We did it! With honor lol! 

    I know my inbox message is lengthy, my apologies.. thanks for your time reading it, just thought of sharing and please spread around! With the accessible of downloading illegal movie files via the internet, it’s so sad to see what others are missing! Besides, I really want to see many more Captain America movies in years to come:) So stop this illegal activity, if you want to download it, watch it first in the cinema in 3D AND THEN you may do so lol! Yes, I recommend you to watch it in the cinema in 3D, its fun! As for me, as I said it won’t be the last, I’m gonna watch it again but overseas! I’m not just a moviegoer, I’ve converted myself as CA movie supporter. 

    Oh, Peggy has a niece in 2011 named Sharon Carter and she’s gonna be Cap’s love of life. Why am l telling you this? Because many had asked me that question! “She’ll be too old or dead in 2011!” What am l raving about? Go see for yourself, feel free to ask me later, cheers! :))

  2. Rushdan Rashid

    July 30, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Everybody knows what will happen to King Kong at the end of the movie. Just like Captain America, we know that he will be frozen in the state of suspended animation. And thanks to the HYDRA aircraft and his superhuman serum that was injected into his body that able to make him stay alive. 

    No doubt Captain America, is D’ one of the best movies of 2011! Many sources said there will be lots of accolades waiting to be won by this movie. It had already knocked Harry Potter from the No#1 spot in Canada, US & UK! Last week when I checked, before it was being released here (28/07)… the ratings were 22%, I went like WTF?!?! Don’t tell me it’s another effing ‘The Last Airbender’! Yesterday when I checked Rotten Tomatoes, the Ratings went up 78%!!!! The CA FB page is being filled with compliments as so speak even when I’m writing this message! I’ve watched it last night… before that, I was praying and hoping that the movie would… to be what I had expected. 

    You see, I have followed this character since I was young, from reading its comic books. But after watching it… what I got was beyond what I had expected! Instant classic! I thought boy scout superheroes are dead and buried. You see, nowadays many digs dark themed superheroes like Batman and Hellboy. Superman Returns (a genuine boy scout) was a success but not a huge success like James Cameron’s Avatar… and now Captain America, the result: a record breaking for Midnight Screenings box office gross, Weekend Box Office gross, and broke the record for breaking the US$100 million mark in less than 24 hours! 

    Watch it in 3D! I enjoyed it! Both Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci were superb! Great performances from the main characters as well especially Chris Evans as Steve Rogers aka Captain America! We not only have a hero but ten heroes! Bucky and the Howling Commandos! There’s plenty of connections too with Iron Man 2 (ie. World of Tomorrow, Howard Stark is Tony Stark/Iron Man’s dad, the idea to generate more power into Iron Man’s MARK IV armored suit from Stark’s short research on the chip of the mysterious tesseract energy cube), THOR (as the mysterious tesseract cube comes from Thor’s dad, Odin, he lost the cube in Thor), The Incredible HULK (after Ross explains how Banner became the Hulk, Blonsky agrees to be injected with a small amount of a new super soldier serum, which gives him enhanced physical attributes, though has the side effect of making him more arrogant and overconfident. So I guess HULK can defeat Captain America as proven in that movie but that’s with a different individual).. etc. 

    Oh, when the credit starts rolling on the screen, you might think, oh heck! Is that it?!?! No. There’s more! Stay until the credit ends. There’s a hidden scene post credits like in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk & Thor! So stay right to the end until the MARVEL STUDIOS logo comes out. Don’t worry you wont be alone and… please DO scream at the projectionist or light operator to bloody close the auditorium lights so you can watch the hidden scene at ease! We did it! With honor lol! 

    I know my inbox message is lengthy, my apologies.. thanks for your time reading it, just thought of sharing and please spread around! With the accessible of downloading illegal movie files via the internet, it’s so sad to see what others are missing! Besides, I really want to see many more Captain America movies in years to come:) So stop this illegal activity, if you want to download it, watch it first in the cinema in 3D AND THEN you may do so lol! Yes, I recommend you to watch it in the cinema in 3D, its fun! As for me, as I said it won’t be the last, I’m gonna watch it again but overseas! I’m not just a moviegoer, I’ve converted myself as CA movie supporter. 

    Oh, Peggy has a niece in 2011 named Sharon Carter and she’s gonna be Cap’s love of life. Why am l telling you this? Because many had asked me that question! “She’ll be too old or dead in 2011!” What am l raving about? Go see for yourself, feel free to ask me later, cheers! :))

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