Review: “Captain America: The First Avenger”

Directed by Joe Johnston, Starring: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, and Sebastian Stan

Summary:

Born during the Great Depression, Steve Rogers grew up a frail youth in a poor family. Horrified by the newsreel footage of the Nazis in Europe, Rogers was inspired to enlist in the army. However, because of his frailty and sickness, he was rejected. Overhearing the boy’s earnest plea, General Chester Phillips offered Rogers the opportunity to take part in a special experiment… Operation: Rebirth.

After weeks of tests, Rogers was at last administered the Super-Solider Serum and bombarded by ‘vita-rays.’ Steve Rogers emerged from the treatment with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. Rogers was then put through an intensive physical and tactical training program. Three months later, he was given his first assignment as Captain America. Armed with his indestructible shield and battle savvy, Captain America has continued his war against evil both as a sentinel of liberty and as leader of the Avengers.

via movieweb.com

Review:

“Captain America: The First Avenger” is my favorite and, in my opinion, the best super-hero movie this year.  It brings back the great, old-school style of film-making that I love. It also  has great performances, a simple (in a good way) plot, and a decent amount of heart.  I think this movie is actually just above “Iron Man” in terms of quality and entertainment.

I think Marvel is truly amazing at finding the best actors and actresses for their characters. Every single actor so far has definitely proved their worthiness to play these super-heroes and Chris Evans is no exception. He has looks heroic, has charisma spare, and brings some real feeling to his role. He is great at showing his emotions and making the audience feel what they should be feeling. Tommy Lee Jones is terrific as Colonel Phillips and is actually really funny as the gruff military leader. Also, Hayley Atwell is fantastic and is definitely the best love-intrest in a Marvel Studios film. She and Evans have great chemistry together and have a quite believable relationship.  Then you have Hugo Weaving who’s perfect, as always, as the Nazi Villan, Red Skull.

Another great part of the movie is the aforementioned style and the clarity of the action. There’s  no quick cuts and up close shots where we can’t tell what the heck is going on. For some reason, in the last ten years, Hollywood has grown to think that we enjoy action scenes that are incomprehensible and edited so fast that all you see is motion blur. In “Captain America” we see every punch, kick and shield throw clearly and it makes the action scenes much more entertaining. The action is all well choreographed and just looks plain awesome and there is also a lot of it. Captain America is just so cool to watch on-screen and these action scenes were some of the best I have seen in theaters in a while.  The film also has a good visual style and when it switches from the cool and retro, 1940’s vibe to the gritty sci-fi action it doesn’t come across as tacky or awkward.

My only big problem was that the villan, Red Skull, was terrifically acted but poorly developed. You never really felt that threatened by him. He did look awesome and intimidating but his actions didn’t really make him very menacing. I wish they could have spent a good amount more  on his character and made him the awesome villan he deserved to be. This fact isn’t to detrimental but it brings down what could have been close to the best superhero movie to date and instead made it just great and nothing more.

Rating:

A very, very entertaining movie with great action and good performances but suffers from an underdeveloped antagonist

B+

Also make sure you stay after the film and watch the one-minute long Avengers trailer that takes place after the credits. It’s awesome!

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