Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Plot: Set in World War II, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is desperate to enlist in the military, but he is deemed to small and unfit for service. Rogers is chosen to be the first subject for the ‘super soldier serum,’ a drug that will increase his strength and agility to super levels. He becomes the hero Captain America as he tries to stop Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), a crazed Nazi who harnesses the supernatural power of the Cosmic Cube.
This was the only superhero movie I was unable to watch right before writing the review, so I may not be as detailed as I normally am. But it’s easy to remember this movie, because it kicked so much ass! I left Captain America: The First Avenger with a giant smile on my face. Not only does director Joe Johnston deliver top of the line action, but there’s a plethora of great characters. First and foremost, Chris Evans is outstanding. He plays maybe the most likable superhero ever to appear on screen. He really sells you on Steve Rogers, especially in the first act when he’s small and scrawny. He has the heart and determination of another great movie icon, Rocky Balboa. When he actually becomes Captain America, he’s still great, but the movie just doesn’t require as much acting as the first part. Haley Atwell plays Peggy Carter, and she’s certainly in the upper echelon of female leads for any superhero movie. Her charisma is all over the place, and she and Evans have wonderful chemistry. Tommy Lee Jones couldn’t have been more perfect for Col. Chester Phillips. It seems like all his lines were gems. Stanley Tucci plays the perfect mentor for Steve Rogers at the beginning. It’s just a great cast all around, as well as a stellar script. Then there’s Hugo Weaving. Hugo Weaving as a villain is money in the bank. No one else can play Red Skull now…perfect. My favorite element to any superhero movie is the hero/villain relationship, and even though Captain America and Red Skull have two scenes together, they make them count with great dialogue. They also have a lot of fun with the time period. I loved seeing Captain America go to USO shows as a propaganda tool. It was a really fun touch. What also impressed me was the costume. This could have easily been a humiliating disaster, but not only do you accept the costume, it actually looks pretty bad ass. The score is awesome! It’s powerful and overbearing, which is exactly what Captain America should have. Oh yea, and the shield rules. Every time he threw that thing, it was just glorious to watch. Every action scene delivers, and there’s a lot of it. And what I love about the action is that it gets better and more intense as the movie goes along. The end battle is pretty ridiculous. The film drags a little bit in the middle, and like I said, I just wasn’t that into Steve Roger’s character once he actually becomes Captain America. The end is very powerful though, especially right before Captain America gets frozen, which is not a spoiler, because this is established in the first scene of the movie. Captain America is easily the second best Marvel/Avengers tie-in movie behind Thor.
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Great)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
-He’s kind of on cruise control in the second half, but he sells the entire movie in the first. You are totally 100% on board with Steve Rogers.
Worst Performance: Sebastian Stan as ‘Bucky’ Barnes
–He was alright, but it’s an important role, and I just feel like someone better was out there.
Best Line: “Why someone weak? Because a weak man knows the value of strength, the value of power.” –Dr. Erskine
-I love this line because it sums up both Rogers and Erskine in one sentence. Erskine’s dialogue in general was damn good.
Worst Line: “You don’t have one of those, do you?” –Bucky asking Captain America after Johann rips off his mask to reveal his Red face.
-This is a big moment…Red Skull finally reveals himself, and I just don’t think we needed a comedic moment there.
-The fight between Captain America and Red Skull at the end is amazing. This is an intense brawl. There’s also a great back and forth between the two characters…truly riveting. The fight does end on an odd note though…Where the hell did Red Skull go?! Asgard?
-It was hard to come up with one without just seeing the movie, although I have to say, the Cosmic Cube confuses me. It just seems like it put a bunch of laser beams into some guns, and that was it. I have to think there’s more to it.
-I’m going with a very subtle one, but I love the conversation betweenRogersand Erskine the night before Rogers takes the serum. This scene really shapes whoRogersbecomes, and it’s a scene that really makes you like Erskine, which sucks that much more when he dies.
-The first scene, because I would have preferred they didn’t show Captain America frozen. I know its common knowledge, but I just don’t think showing it in the first scene was necessary.
-This one’s easy. Captain America, Peggy Carter, and Phillips are in a car chasing down Red Skull’s plane. As Captain America is about to jump on board, he gives Peggy a kiss. Then he looks over at Phillips who simply goes, ‘I ain’t kissing you.’ Perfect delivery by Tommy Lee Jones.
Bad Ass Moment:
-I can’t remember if it was by the shield, or if Captain America just throws him, but regardless, when he sends a HYDRA underling into a plane engine…whoa.