Sunday, July 24, 2011

Canon Movie Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

Earlier tonight, My brother and I went up to the theater and took in the latest offering from Marvel Studios, Captain America: The First Avenger. Directed by Joe Johnston (Hidalgo, The Rocketeer), Captain America stars Chris Evans as the titular character, and includes a supporting cast of Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, and Dominic Cooper. In Captain America, a young man named Steve Rogers wants nothing more than to enlist in the army and fight the Nazis in WWII. However, his small frame and a few medical problems cause the army to reject him, until he runs across a scientist named Dr. Abraham Erskine (Tucci). Erskine is looking for a man to become a 'super' soilder through a series of injections, and despite his small frame, he thinks Rogers is the perfect man for the job. Even though Colonel Chester Phillips (Jones) doesn't share Erskine's beliefs, Rogers is eventually chosen to receive the treatments, and he eventually becomes Captain America, the U.S.'s best hope against the evil Red Skull (Weaving).

Not surprisingly, the film is full of action sequences and CGI effects, the most impressive of which is the transforming of Evans into a little weakling. At the start of the movie, Rogers is all heart with hardly any muscle, and because of that he's a scrappy underdog that one can't help but to relate to. Once his transformation takes place, even though Rogers is the same guy, he just becomes a boring one-dimensional hero. I don't know if it was Evans or the screenwriters, but something was definitely lost in the transition of Rogers from zero to hero. It's not as if he's an arrogant jerk, but rather he's just dull. Rogers' main love interest in the film, a British solider named Peggy Carter (Atwell), looks the part, but I was never convinced that these two had any sort of sparks despite the fact that the story practically forces that down our throats. Actually, Peggy's also much more interesting in the first part of the film when she's a tough woman soilder in a man's world rather than the love stricken girl we see in the second part.

As for the rest of the cast, it's solid, but not spectacular. Tommy Lee Jones plays, well, himself as a no-nonsense army Colonel. I will say that some of his wisecracks were quite enjoyable. Weaving is also solid as the evil Johann Schmidt, who eventually becomes Red Skull, while Sebastian Stan was solid as Rogers' close friend, Bucky Barnes. I must say that I wasn't too impressed with Tucci's performance as Dr. Erskine, as his German accent was inconsistent at best. In the second half of the film, Rogers leads a team into various battles against Red Skull and his Hydra squad, which are full of action and explosions. The problem is, we never really learn anything about these guys and why they were chosen other than the fact that they just happened to be in the same unit as Rogers's buddy. Heck, they didn't even mention their names until the credits.

Director Joe Johnston does a nice job of recreating the 1940s in Captain America, from the 'World Fair' setting at the beginning of the film to the montage of Captain America shilling war bonds and starring in films. Although it may have seemed a little long and really didn't mean much to the overall story, it was a humorous look at the parading of Rogers as some sort of Uncle Sam type figure. The film looked great in some parts, although most of the action sequences kind of looked similar and featured so many explosions that they eventually lost all meaning. Plus, maybe it was because I was seated right next to the speakers, but I found the score of this film to be overwhelming and just plain annoying.

Overall, this is a decent flick that will provide entertainment for the time you're in the theater. However, it's not much more than that. The acting is decent at best, and the script could have used a little more in the way of character development. Plus you never really get the sense that Rogers is in any sort of peril in his battles, and they just rush through the second half of the film to get to the next action scene. Overall, I'd give Captain America: The First Avenger a 4.5 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts about this movie, then feel free to share them by leaving a comment.

1 comment:

  1. in my opinion. captain america the first avenger was not a good movie compared to the Thor and Green Lantern. effects are more simple and its somehow short specially when his comrade was fell of the train.

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