Chris Evans as Captain America / Steve Rogers
Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter
Sebastian Stan as James Buchanan 'Bucky' Barnes
Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips
Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt / Red Skull
Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark
Richard Armitage as Heinz Kruger
Stanley Tucci as Dr. Abraham Erskine
Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Directed by Joe Johnston
Running Time: 2:05
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Captain America: The First Avenger was a decent film but was more drama than action.
90 pound weakling Steve Rogers is desperately trying to get into the Army so he can go off and fight the Nazis. But besides being tiny, he's got 101 different medical issues and he is continually rejected. But one Army scientists notices Steve has one thing the other soldiers don't - heart. And so he enlists Rogers into a new experiment that takes Rogers from that 90-pound weakling to a well-built fighting machine. Over in Germany, a former confidante of Hitler, a man known as the Red Skull, is amassing his own army, with a new secret weapon that will destroy the world and all who live on it. Rogers, now known as Captain America, must put together a group that can take down the Red Skull and save the world.
My review is going to be slightly tempered by the fact that when I was watching the movie, there was no air conditioning, and it was during this massive heat wave. So sitting in the theater was a bit uncomfortable to begin with. I don't know much about Captain America, as I was never a huge comic book fan growing up (though I am waiting for the inevitable live-action Archie movie) and so I wasn't knowledgeable about his origin story. From the perspective of story, the movie was actually pretty good. Unlike a lot of other origin stories, you really got taken back and spend a lot of time with the character before he turns into the super hero we've all come to know. My only problem with that is, it took nearly an hour before anything truly exciting happened. Watching Rogers get beaten up and fail his tests over and over again, watching him fail with the ladies... it all takes time. And when I go to a comic book movie in the summer, I want a little more action mixed in with my back story. There were some moments of humor, and the characters surrounding Rogers were good (especially Tommy Lee Jones) but there simply wasn't much happening. And seeing Chris Evans's face on a tiny body was plain weird. The CGI was good, but the voice didn't fit the body and it made it hard for me to like the guy because I was put off by him. Why wasn't his voice higher when he was small and then become lower once his body changed? Visually the movie was top-notch. Director Joe Johnston has done some big special effects films in the past so he was a good choice for this kind of film because he has a good eye for visuals. Setting the movie mostly in the 1940s gave us a different impression of the super hero because we're so used to seeing them in modern times, using modern gadgets. Captain America really had only his new found strength/speed and some armor. Granted, it was a shield that could seemingly withstand a nuclear device if it needed to, but still, it's not like it can cover his whole body. Speaking of which, why did not one shoot at his feet?
I thought Evans was a good choice for the role. He did have an all-American look about him and he fit into the costume rather nicely. He was surrounded by a bunch of people who knew when to step up and take over a scene, and when to sit back and let Evans take control. His love interest, played by Hayley Atwell, was someone I hadn't seen much of, but I thought of her as a cross between Claire Danes and Scarlett Johansson, which is a pretty good combination to me. The aforementioned Tommy Lee Jones was very amusing in his role, and Hugo Weaving nearly stole the movie as the Red Skull. That man is completely underrated as an actor and will hopefully find his way to an Oscar some day. While the majority of the movie takes place during WWII, the movie opens and closes in modern day, helping to set up The Avengers movie due out next year. In fact, back in the 1940s, one of the people working on the project that made Rogers into Captain America, was none other than Howard Stark, soon-to-be father of Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. And while it was leaked onto the internet before the screening, the additional footage found after the credits was not at the press screening, but stay for the credits to get even more information on what will likely be one of the top three grossing films of 2012.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I liked Captain America: The First Avenger though I was hoping for more action and less drama. I liked what I got, but I was hoping for me. The movie left me sort of feeling blah at the end, but part of that also had to do with the environment. I generally like to judge films by whether or not I'd be willing to see it in theaters again, or whether or not I'd buy it on DVD. Or whether or not I want nothing more to do with it. I think for this film, I'd be willing to watch it again on DVD.
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