Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Movie Review: "Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011)

Image Source
Movie"Captain America: The First Avenger"
Director: Joe Johnston
Year: 2011
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a short, scrawny weakling who would like nothing more than to serve his country in the fight against the Nazis during WWII. After failing numerous tries to enlist in the army despite constantly changing his name he is rejected on medical grounds every time. Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) discovers what Rogers has been trying to do and admires his tenacity and wants to enlist him in a special project despite his lack of physical aptitude. After a few brief tests against other candidates Erskine decides Rogers is indeed the best man for the procedure. Steve is injected with a special serum that turns him from a skinny, diminutive pushover into a tall, strong super soldier dubbed Captain America. At first, he is used simply for publicity as he goes town to town selling US war bonds.  While working a USO show in Europe, Steve’s childhood best friend and his whole unit is captured by a man called Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), who runs a wing of the Nazi party known as Hydra that develops hi-tech weaponry. Steve proves his worth on the battlefield as he single-handedly rescues his friend and all the other allied soldiers captured by Hydra. He is then allowed to form a special team that’s sole purpose is to find and shut down all of Hydra’s weapon producing factories. 

This film is a good introduction to the character of Captain America and his origin tale. Some might say that the beginning of the movie includes too much story with no enough action, to which I agree to an extent. However, all of the included back story is necessary to show where Steve Rogers came from and helps us as audience members understand him, as well as his desire to give his all for his country. This also shows why he's so gung-ho about America, and without this back story, well, it just wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. We enjoy that Rogers is used as propaganda to sell military bonds for WWII and this is a good explanation for why he is called Captain America in the first place. It also sets up his need to go out on a limb and eventually prove his worth to his fellow soldiers and to fulfill his lifelong dream of fighting for his country, no matter how small he started out. Once the enhancement "takes," the ass kicking really begins in the latter portion of the film, and we truly get to see what Steve Rogers and all of his new talents are capable of, proving self worth and all. "Captain America: The First Avenger" is also a good jumping off point for Hydra, or, "the bad guys," an organization which appears in many other Marvel films. Though this film is not as good as many of the other Marvel movies that came after it, it certainly serves as a good segue into "The Avengers" movie. It's hard to rate all of these individual character films on their own because they are such a small part of a much larger, interconnected and expansive universe.

Chris Evans manages to give a good performance as both the meek and timid pre-enhancement Steve Rogers, as well as the yolked up superhero post-enhancement Captain America. It was a bit distracting that filmmakers decided to digitally place his face onto a skinnier man's body and pass it off as Chris Evans, but we understand why they did it since Chris Evans is a pretty big guy naturally. It was just sort of weird and almost looked like a floating head from time to time. Evans also makes the character compelling in this origin story, someone we want to root for, and this gives us a reason to keep on watching him. Hugo Weaving is awesome as Red Skull, and in typical Weaving fashion, plays a bitchin' bad guy. We would have liked to see him on screen a little bit longer, though. And of course, as a rare treat, Tommy Lee Jones makes an appearance as Tommy Lee Jones.

As we mentioned above, this is not our favorite movie, but it is still good a good action film and is much better than some earlier comic book adaptations. All this being said, it is still one we pull out from time to time, especially if we want to marathon the entire Marvel collection.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 79%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!
For our "Iron Man" review, click here.

For our "The Incredible Hulk" review, click here.

For our "Iron Man 2" review, click here.

For our "Thor" review, click here. 

For our "The Avengers" review, click here.

For our "Iron Man 3" review, click here.

For our "Thor: The Dark World" review, click here.

For our "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" review, click here.

For our "Guardians of the Galaxy" review, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment