Archive for July, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

Rating – See it now.                                             

So the film of the day was Captain America: The First Avenger.  Let’s start by saying that writers, Markus and McFeely had a lot on their plate before they began to write a screenplay.  They had to start a Captain America franchise, while simultaneously tying it in to the blossoming Avengers franchise.  They had to write a story that lives up to the hype of recent super hero summer blockbusters.  (Lets face it, with a superhero movie coming out what seems like every other week, they had better be good if they want to make it.)  The writers also had to tie into the story how Captain America, a character from the 40’s is somehow supposed to fight alongside other heroes in the present day Avengers next summer.  And finally they had to cram all of this into a nice, two hour, not drawn out package.

Given all they were dealing with, I think they succeeded.  Captain America is believable (well as far as super hero movies go), easy to follow, fun, action packed, and even allows Paramount to throw in references to the Avengers without being annoying.  The story starts with scrawny Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, being denied by several Army enlistment camps.  Going into the movie I somehow missed the fact that they had the same actor play scrawny Steve Rogers, and muscle bound Captain America.  They CGI’d Evans’ face onto the scrawny body, and the effect worked well enough that you don’t even notice it.  But I digress…back to the story.  Even though Rogers is scrawny and unhealthy, he shows tenacity.  Tenacity that is eventually recognized by the right people.  I don’t want to give too much away and I am sure you can figure out the rest of it from there, but Rogers is eventually muscle bound and ready to fight Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull.  (Red because of Communism..get it?)

I thought that Chris Evans played the role well.  His character definitely evolved from the start of the film to the end and I think he was able to handle that.  Hugo Weaving is always entertaining as a villain, which is why I might have been slightly disappointed here.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked the character, and they really did a great job with his makeup, but I just wanted more.  It didn’t help that there were several scenes where his accent made me think of Willem Defoe’s Klaus from The Life Aquatic.  I think the best acting job, though, came from Stanley Tucci.  He was convincing, and quite humorous as Dr. Erskine.  I would have liked to see more from him.  The rest of the cast handled their parts well, while allowing Captain to shine.  Tommy Lee Jones was also good for a few laughs.

Overall, Captain America did what it set out to do.  Entertain (and get fans excited for The Avengers).  It had everything you would want and expect from a superhero blockbuster.  Explosions, cool weapons, action, a believable plot/threat, and even a little love.  Despite some violence and a PG-13 rating, this was actually a pretty family friendly movie. The 4 year old kid in my theater dressed in a sweet Capt. America costume and throwing his plastic shield down the aisle seemed to prove this.  Stick around to the end of the credits if you want to see a teaser trailer for The Avengers.  Kinda’ cool but nothing you won’t be able to see online.

– Gish


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