Saturday, 30 July 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

Summer 2012 is going to be another comic book summer with Spider Man, The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers all being released.  The Dark Knight Rises will no doubt be the best of the three but it is The Avengers I am most excited about.

Samuel L Jackson’s post credits quest of assembling The Avengers finally came to an end as Captain America: The First Avenger, became the last member to make his big screen appearance.

PLOT:  Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a tiny little dude with a myriad of health problems and is illegible to enlist in the US Army.   Steve deals with rejection by getting his ass kicked in a back alley until he is spotted and recruited by Dr Erskine (the great Stanley Tucci) for an experimental procedure which will turn him into a super soldier. 
Skinny Steve climbs into a metal chamber and gets injected with magic serum.  Upon his release we are introduced to Sexy Steve and heavenly trumpets play and angels cry at the sight of his wonderfully toned body.
Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) has found a cosmic cube which has allowed him to develop, and I use the technical term, “people vaporising” guns and tanks. 
We all remember just how much fun Tommy Lee Jones can be.  There is occasional confusion as I can’t tell the difference between Bucky and Howard Stark until I realise one of them wore a moustache and the other did not.  Schmidt flays his own head, becomes Red Skull and attempts to take over the world for reasons known only to himself.  Captain America (fuck yeah!) saves the mother fucking day (yeah).  END PLOT

The plot of Captain America is fine as the story of a little guy standing up to a bully.  It also came across as a last minute attempt to link together all the characters before The Avengers blasts onto the big screen by hinting at Thor’s world with the cosmic cube and Howard Stark, in an unnecessarily extended role, tied in Tony Stark.

Those of you who know me already know that Chris Evans is my go to guilty pleasure actor and if I need an easy going 90min flick putting in a Fantastic Four or the much loved Cellular is never too much bother - and I wont hear a bad word about them. 

Evans has the charm to pull of a leading man role and he was a solid choice for Steve Rogers although there were times when he was a bit stiff.  If the stiffness was an intentional character trait this will play better against Robert Downey Jnr’s Tony Stark. 

Stanley Tucci steals the show in a role which was nothing more than a cameo.  As I am not familiar with the comic story I didn’t realise just how small his part would be and he was missed towards the end of the film.

Hayley Attwell as Peggy Carter fared a lot better than most Marvel female love interests.  Peggy had much more backbone than Pepper Potts or Jane and avoided any real damsel in distress moments.  It is almost a shame that she wont have a part in The Avengers.

Hugo Weaving wasn’t particularly menacing as Red Skull and seemed to be battling with a sssssspeach impediment which elongated all “S” ssssyllablessss in an annoying manner. 

Despite being a Marvel based film the action was quite grounded with most of it taking place in a WW2 setting.  The breakout from the Hydra’s layer was very well done - although the final battle between Captain America and Red Skull was perhaps a little disappointing.

My main concern was Captain America’s uniform as it had the potential to look ridiculously cheesy and I wasn’t sure how they were going to get away with it on the big screen.   The tone of the film was quite campy, fun and didn’t take proceedings too seriously so the evolution of the Captain America costume within the film itself worked - thankfully.

If there was one thing I did not like about Captain America it would have to be the score. There didn’t appear to be any distinguishable theme and for the first time in a long time I don’t think there is a single section that will make it onto my I-pod.  The brass heavy score reminded me of The West Wing but it just didn’t have any heart to it and for an Alan Silvestri score it was very disappointing.

Captain America: The First Avenger was a fun couple of hours which in no way harmed the Marvel brand or my love for Chris Evans and it gets a solid 7.5/10.  

I did sit through the never ending credit sequence to watch the teaser trailer and although it showed us absolutely nothing of any great significance I left the screen hyper - excitement for The Avengers starts now.


  1. I did like this!! I gave it a 7/10 so we aren't far off in asssessment! For me it worked because the bloody curse of modern movies, CGI, didn't overpower evertyhing in sight. I couldn't believe it ...there were humans in this!
    That was my main gripe with the last Harry Potter movie, the CGI swamped everything else and HP, Ron, Hermione just became lost in amongst all the flames, explosions, etc, etc,.
    for me this is the best of the super hero movies this year, beating even the solid X-Men, both because of the sparing use of cGI and it was a new character to the big screen. It was a refreshing change next to some of this yearsoferings.
    I'm a real Haley Atwell fan, and I'm pleased she wasn't mis-used in an eye-candy role as she is a fine actress, and above that sort of nonsense.

  2. The CGI didn't bother me in HP but I am not a fan of the series so I was never going to fall in love with that film.

    I thought I would be much more gushing in my review especially as the performances were solid but I just didn't fall in love with any of the characters.

    I will be keeping an eye out for Hayley Atwell - she isn't an actress I know a lot about but I really liked her performance in this.

    Captain America was good but I've been in love with the X-Men characters for years so I got a lot more out of First Class enjoyment wise.

  3. I'd split this movie in two:
    to first part, the first half where despite other earlier superheros movies this is not centered on superpowers but in the protagonist's dedire to be righteous, I give a 8/10,
    to second half I give a 6/10, the final is a little bit... how can I say... approximate.

  4. The finale fell a bit flat for me too!

    It was a good film I just didn't fall in love with it the way I would other films.

    Thanks for reading! K :-D

  5. Those credits did seem to go on forever didn't they! Totally right about the final act, was all kind of ho hum, still enjoyed it though.

  6. It was fun but I didn't fall in love with the Captain the way I thought I would.

    I am normally in a race with the rest of the screen to be first out when a film ends so it was a real shock to the system to sit there through the credit sequence - even though it was a nothing clip I'm glad I saw it