Captain America: The First Avenger Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 18, 2011
Excellent film! Marvel continues to roll in the big money with successful super hero movies. Captain America easily captured the taste and flavor of WW2 and the origin of the First Avenger.
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2012
Hail Hydra!!
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2011
I totally misunderstood the whole plot and concept for this latest Marvel flick it seems. I kinda assumed it was set during WWII with the Cap becoming super and heroic then the film would move into the present and we would have him running around being all mighty in a hi-tech completely wrong there then.

I must admit at first I was getting twitchy as the film was most definitely childish and along the lines of a live action videogame adaptation, but as the plot unfolded I did find myself enjoying the film a lot more. I think one reason I enjoyed the film is because it runs along the same kind of lines as 'Iron Man'. It does look good and it holds a slight sense of believability with its use of semi realistic technology (well it looks possible) over magic, sorcery and alien type characters etc...Its not an overly exaggerated fantasy in other words...unlike 'Thor' which is a completely different animal, certain aspects could be seen as more realistic.

Going back to my live action videogame adaptation notion, I firmly believe ideas may have been borrowed from the old videogame Wolfenstein. The troops of Hydra with their aggressive intimidating helmets and body armour, the flame thrower troops, certain sets, evil scientists, heavy metallic war machines etc...It was almost 'Wolfenstein: the Movie' but that ultra-tech Nazi combination always did have a powerful intriguing and exciting vibe about it.

I'm pretty sure in the original comics the Captain was actually fighting the Nazi's back in the day. I think that aspect was watered down to make this more easier going for younger viewers...I think, I'm not an expert on these matters. Shame really because it would have been much better with Nazi's, 'The Rocketeer' and Indy franchises both worked well battling against those naughty Germans.

That aside I think the development of the lead character Rogers was excellent in this film (best yet), really brought out that classic 'can do' spirit that the allies had during the time with all the propaganda...posters TV adverts recruitment ads in cinemas etc...The film was really put together well in this aspect and did the period proud I think with accuracy and visual style. Also we don't just get an eight minute flashback history of how Rogers dons the suit, it takes most of the film to bring him around to that point, learning what he needs from experience in the field of combat whilst piecing together the suit and shield (with Stark). Most of the time he's actually in military uniform and only wears the suit for missions which is much more realistic as you would assume the Hollywood bigwigs would want him in it 24/7.

Again much like the other Marvel films the casting has been really good and elevated the film greatly with strong solid performances from Jones and Tucci adding the class. Evans actually is pretty good as the Captain and much more likeable than the cocky jock in 'Fantastic 4'. Weaving is piling on the bratwurst as The Red Skull and doing it in his usual decent dastardly manner, Cooper makes a surprise success of Stark senior and finally Atwell is perfectly peachy as the love interest doing a far better job than Paltrow. Must add I loved Rogers hand picked team for his special missions, especially Neal McDonough's handlebar moustached bowler hat wearing tough guy. A really unique looking team of soldiers that kinda has a steampunk feel about them if you ask me, like something out of the classic videogame 'The Chaos Engine'.

So after the reasonable 'Thor' we are back on track with the Captain but one or two plot niggles bug me. What happened to Weaving at the end exactly? what was the cube thingy? what happened to the cube thingy? how exactly did The Red Skull manage to finance all those over so many men to be his soldiers presumably from the Third Reich and evade Hitler whom I'm sure would of been after him for deserting? And why did the serum do what it did to Schmidt?

Apart from that and some dodgy moments of bluescreen I did like the film. Its cool seeing all these Marvel films intertwine with each the use of Stark senior. A thoroughly enjoyable tongue-in-cheek pulp magazine styled action fest with dashing heroes, caddish evil villains, damsels in distress and of course plenty of good old fashioned Americana.
Super Reviewer
½ July 7, 2010
This is the final film in the lead up to The Avengers, and I must say, I'm very happy to report that this one really delivers, and is possibly my favorite in the Marvel film canon so far.

It's kinda funny too, considering how as a kid I was never blown away by Captain America, and how during my cynical phase of my teenage years I rolled my eyes at the overload of patriotism and propaganda the character represented. I've matured though, and have learned to put things in their proper context. Yes, Captain America was definitely a product of the times during WWII, and yes, he was undeniably used as a tool (He punches Hitler on the cover of his very first issue, so yeah.) However, since then, the writer's seem to have done a good job of updating the character to fit the times, and have tweaked the patriotism and propaganda aspects accordingly.

Thankfully, Joe Johnston was able to surprise me with his directorial skills (the man has a very up and down track record), and he does an excellent job of handling the various facets of the character. It's all about context and tone, two very important things, and not just for filmmaking.

Steve Rogers starts out as a scrawny 90 pound asthmatic weakling, but, thanks to a special experimental government program, he's injected with a serum that turns him into an all American badass ready to do the bidding of the government, which, in the film, primarily concerns dealing with HYDRA, a radical, science based offshoot of the Nazis, and their leader Johann Schmidt, AKA the Red Skull, a twisted psycho hell bent on global domination.

The first half of this film is just top notch near brilliance. It handles all the backstory and "origin" elements with the perfect touch on all fronts. The montages where Captain America is used as a promotional propaganda tool/USO type of figure are just wonderful, and an absolute joy to watch, When the typical comic book type plot kicks in during the second half the film loses some steam, and isn't quite as fun, but it doesn't quite stumble enough to knock the film down totally. The actions scenes are good, and they are fun to watch, but the film feels more on auto pilot. That, and they way they handle the ending, particularly the last line, really sticks out to me, and not in a good way. But, the post credits teaser is good, so that makes up for it a bit.

As far as the production values go, this film is great. The period stuff looks really good, and blends with the futuristic, sci-fi comic elements better than I expected (again, Johnston has a mixed body of work). In a lot of ways, this felt like a slicker, stronger, and less hokey version of Johhnston's earlier film The Rocketeer, but still in the same ball park. The cinematography is quite good, the score (especially the musical numbers) is terrific, and the special effects, namely how they made Evans look like a weakling is unbelievably amazing. How they handled the look of the Red Skull is okay, but somewhat silly looking.

Now onto the casting and performances: I dug 'em. Chris Evans makes for a wonderful Steve Rogers, and his work here makes up for Fantastic Four. I used to not give him much credit as a performer, but somewhere along the line, something happened, and he managed to prove himself as someone with capability and talent. Hugo Weaving is okay, though unsurprising as the Red Skull. Tommy Lee Jones is in full Tommy Lee Jones mode, but he's still entertaining and has some of the more entertaining lines. Hayley Atwell manages to make something more out of what is usually an underused type of role, and that makes me happy. The film manages to make a genuine emotional connection work towards the end, and you actually care about her since they show her as more than eye candy. Stanley Tucci is great in his supporting role as the man who makes it all happen for Steve. Toby Jones is also nice as Schmidt's nerdy science lackey.

The only part of the casting that bugs me is how they handled the Howling Commandos- Cap's squad of soldiers. The casting is good, especially Neal McDonough as 'Dum Dum' Dugan (complete with trademark mustache and bowler), but they could have used more scenes and development, especially given the diversity of the group (including a token African American and a Japanese American). Yeah it's fun to see them kick ass, but in this day and age, it's harder to get by this sort of thing without an explanation. That's mostly just the intellectual in me complaining, but seriously, there's some great stuff there they could have addressed while still keeping the film a fun comic book movie.

All in all, this is a rip roaring, exciting, and super fun film filled with a good story, a great mix of humor, pathos, and action, and even a tad bit of substance. The film does start to lose some of its magic in the second half, but as someone who is a little leery when he's sees Johnston's name on a film, I was exceedingly happy and quite surprised with how well this turned out. There just may be hope for him as a director, yet.
Super Reviewer
August 27, 2010
In a summer filled with super heroes and sequels, there are a few movies that shine bright, and although it is not perfect, Captain America is among the top of the summer flicks so far. With an astonishing look into the 40's, director Joe Johnson really captures the atmosphere to perfection, along with most of the dialogue and costumes. This tells the story of an unlikely man who is too scronny and weak to be a recruit in the army, but as Stark Industries decides to test it's new invention on him, he is the first of a new breed of "super-soldier." He then becomes famous around the world as he gains the name "Captain America," on television and performing live for audiences; However, his fame ends when he takes it upon him self to leave camp and begin the war on his own. All hell breaks loose and the film becomes awesome. There really isn't a part of this film that I can refer to as brilliant filmmaking in any sense, but the fact that they capture the vision of Captain America, the action sequences and the acting so well, can speak for itself. Although, it does seem to jump from event to event too quickly and leaves you wondering if there should be something that's missing, I still had a great time watching this film. Marvel hit the slumps at the beginning of the summer, but it is now back on it's feet. Captain America: The First Avenger is pure popcorn greatness.
Nikhil N.
Super Reviewer
½ October 30, 2011
Amazing and better than Thor. This movie was everything I expected and more. It offers an action packed story, great character, and it also captures the historic aspects of the time period from the fears and worries of world war II to the American use of propaganda. This movie successfully entertains and takes a fun twist on World History.
Super Reviewer
July 19, 2013
If we can get over the ridiculous pseudo-historical nature, it's mildly entertaining.
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2009
are marvel films for comic fans, anyone or just kids? if will smith does play cap america then it will be good, if leonardo di caprio plays i am guessing it will be sort of old school. how mch of it will be in WWII or will it all be after defrosting? Joe Johnston is directing
Super Reviewer
½ April 3, 2011
The ultimate superhero movie, quite possibly the best one made yet. This film has it all: action, romance, thrills, excitement and humor. An incredible and spectacular action-packed adventure that just roars across the screen. An unforgettable and explosive thrill-ride. It`s another Marvel Classic that truly delivers. The action sequences and effects are amazing and the performances are brilliant. A strong and awesome movie. Director, Joe Johnston creates a pure and near perfect adaptation of the classic comic. It`s astonishing and well-crafted. An eye-popping, stylish, kinetic and wickedly entertaining film. The all-star cast is truly wonderful. Chris Evans gives a strong and outstanding movie star performance that totally commands the screen. Evans has great heart and charisma that will have you routing for him. Hugo Weaving is truly awesome, he does not disappoint with playing this classic villain. Tommy Lee Jones is fantastic. A bold and epic heat-seeking missal of a movie. A stunningly well-done piece of comic book movie fun. One of the most epic and entertaining action-adventures since Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Super Reviewer
May 15, 2010
"Captain America: The First Avenger is one of the better made action hero films that has came about. I like Chris Evans, and I think he did an amazing job in this role. The man beefed up pretty big. I was impressed with his physique as much as I was with his performance. The movie had great talent in it. Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, to Samuel L. Jackson. Impressive. They all of course gave great performances even though their roles were not very big.
The action and story line was good as well. I have never read any of the comics or knew much about the stories to any of the Marvel comics, but I do enjoy the films. It was a good movie. See it if you have yet to."
michael e.
Super Reviewer
July 23, 2011
I'm someone who, I think like everyone else when hearing about this, thought that there would never be a good incarnation of Captain America, especially since the colossal failure of a film in the 90s. Boy was I and the rest of the world fooled when this came out. I think the main reason that many people were really skeptical about the film was probably due to how a superhero film probably wouldn't do as well as it could or wouldn't be as serious as it could be since it takes place in the 40s during WWII and sine Captain america, was more of a piece for its time when it was made, so people felt that the Nazi shtick would probably get old after a while, especially since it had been done in so many films and video games prior. Also Chris Evans also might've been a major reason people were worried about the films, especially since he played another Marvel superhero prior and that didn't go over that well *CoughHumanTorchCough.* But thankfully Evans does a fantastic job as the Captain and all the other actors do great jobs too and don't make any of the characters too stupid or cheesy unlike how other 40s era films made in the 90s, 2000s and on have been (Red Tails anyone?) Hugo Weaving being my favorite of all the characters, I mean you already are golden with a combination like that already. incredibly good villain actor and actor in general, and one of my favorite Superhero villains BAM (Plus that makeup is amazing). And while the films plot may not be as good as some other superhero films, it still is an enjoyable movie with that set aside and is pretty faithful to the comics as is. If you like action movies that don't prefer the typical aliens, robots, explosions bang bang movies made nowadays, you'd probably like this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 30, 2012
An exact application of the Marvel Superhero Origin Story Template. The lack of interesting backstory or a truly "super" power makes for a boring outing from the usually-reliable stable. Hugo Weaving was great in a mask again, though.
Super Reviewer
August 14, 2012
Chris Evans gives one of his best performances in the raunchy comic-book adaptation. The retro perspective as well as explosive action sequences makes Captain America another terrific film in the long line of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 4/5
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2011
America, F yeah.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2011
A well put together super hero movie that provides plenty of character development and detailed set pieces.
Super Reviewer
January 12, 2012
The last time Chris Evans played a superhero things didn't go well at all. But now that he's done with being an annoying ball of fire, he gets to play a better hero who is more likable and realistic. (Albeit, taking a super-human serum.) In Captain America, Steve Rogers wants to join WWII to fight for his country and show his patriotism. The only problem is that he is incrediby skinny and he has the medical history of a 90 year old which means he isn't allowed to enlist. At first I though it was a different actor playing skinny Steve but when he spoke I realized it was Chris Evans with a bunch of special effects added to make him look skinny and weak. The effects to do so were great, they did a really good job of making him look like one bitch-slap could put him in a coma. Rogers however is able to enlist because his loyalty to America and expression of self-sacrifice is the one trait the army is looking for to turn him into a super-soldier.I really liked how the whole thing played out; his transformation into this big buff guy isn't forced or rushed and it felt natural to watch the whole thing play out, I actually bought his development, realistically speaking. I also think Chris Evans did a really good job as Captain America and so did the rest of the cast. Tommy Lee Jones is always fun to watch, Hayley Atwell played her part as an army chick really well and I even liked Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark, the father of Tony Stark/Iron Man. The real show stealer though was Hugo Weaving as Red Skull. I think he displayed how sinister, arrogant and ruthless his character was perfectly. Whoever plays him next in the reboot (It's inevitable, all for $$$$$) has his work cut out for him. As usual with Marvel movies, the special effects and action were well done, but I think a few action scenes in the movie were somewhat rushed. One part has it all in montage and I would've liked to see most of what they were doing play out with a slower pace. A really cool thing to watch in this movie (besides a funny Stan Lee cameo) is Captain America gradually develop into a superhero. At first the army uses his super-soldier stature and courage as a tool for propaganda to get people to jion the war and send in bonds, but he decides that he wants to fight for his country. He goes out to fight, he rescues a bunch of POWS and he becomes a symbol of patriotism in the war and also the ultimate hero...until Howard Stark's son gets a hold of certain technology. Overall, the movie has really good acting, a well paced storyline, a ruthless villain, a likable hero and some fun action scenes, despite feeling rushed, which is my only complaint. Otherwise, go see it, it's a great Avengers setup and a really well done superhero movie.
Super Reviewer
May 21, 2012
El Capitan! I am really impressed with Chris Evans. I always thought him a smarmy, fratty douche - well cast for the lead numbnuts he plays - but since he has lost fat and gained muscle for Captain America, he looks more like the nice, upstanding boy next door. He infuses the diminutive Steve Rogers with politeness and heart and the spandexed superhero with just the right amount of jaunty idealism. Hayley Atwell...schwing!

Super Reviewer
May 19, 2012
I feel pretty bad giving this a low score simply because Captain America is a great character. Evans does brilliantly crossing between Steve and the Captain and really pays justice to the type of person Steve is. He's such a likeable character and the casting is perfect. It was a good film, I just didn't like the whole Red Skull thing. I know that's part of the Marvel Universe, but I saw the film better than what I did after the revelation. I thought it cheapened the film and took something which could credibly become true (the science stuff of creating a super soldier) and then brings something which I cannot suspend my disbelief to comfortably watch. Such a shame.
Super Reviewer
½ May 11, 2012
What a great film! It did something that most films today can't do. It had a good, uncomplicated plot with a great script. Definitely up there as one of my favorite superhero films. For me, it's hard to find a flaw with this film and even when it got a little campy, I enjoyed it a little bit more. That's what this hero, era and story was all about. Inspiring without taking itself too seriously. The filmmakers did everything they should have to bring this hero to the big screen.
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