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I Asked For An Army. All I Got Is You!!
Captain America - The First Avenger (DVD)
Member Name: Andy.mack
Captain America - The First Avenger (DVD)
Advantages: Good characters, decent direction and a good script
Disadvantages: Not quite as crisp as it could have been but that is easily overlooked
Until recently I've really struggled with Comic Book Movies. They always appeared to be the same old film pumped out again and again and I was finding it all a bit stale. The X Men series stood out from the pack but then a new lease of live was brought to the genre first by the new Batman franchise and then by Iron Man. This gave me a renewed sense of hope when I saw that Captain America had been given the Hollywood treatment. I had a decent level of expectation and over the weekend we took an unexpected trip to the Cinema and I'm glad to say that it lived up to my expectations.
A New Hero
Following a lifelong ambition to serve the American Military in the war effort against Hitler's Germany, New Yorker Steve Roger's finally gets his chance. He won't be heading to the frontline however as his physic and intelligence ensure he is destined to become the first in a line of American Super Soldiers. When the scientist in charge of the operation is killed by a Nazi spy, Rogers is left to promote the American Armies cause rather than fight in it as Captain America. On the frontline a new threat is looming and when his best friend is captured by the Nazi's Rogers can no longer stand by and heads behind enemy lines and creates a new task force aimed at destroying the rogue Nazi Hydra movement.
A New Damn
It would appear that Hollywood executives have finally got the message from the movie watching public. They've started to make the Superhero movies more enjoyable and dare I say fun to watch due to a slightly different, don't take this too seriously approach. With help from the team behind the likes of Iron Man, Batman and even the latest Incredible Hulk movie there was plenty of help on hand for director Joe Johnston who prior to this hadn't made a single movie I'd actually enjoyed. His previous work on Jurassic Park 3 and Hidalgo hadn't left me with much hope, but this really works.
He really captures the feel and look of the 1940's well and creates what can only be described as a believable incarnation of war torn Germany and war time New York. The special effects are stunning and throughout the film he really has ensured that everything works well. This affects every aspect from the make-up and lighting through to the stunts and explosions. It also helps that the script works well and contains lots of little jokes and hooks to keep the viewer interested. Even the tie in with the forthcoming Avenger movie and the others in the series works well, but I don't want to spoil that but if you've seen it you will know what I mean.
It seems that Chris Evans, no not the Ginger one off BBC, is really making a name for himself at present in Hollywood. Having really come to prominence in the Fantastic Four movies he also put in an excellent performance recently in Losers and has followed that up here with Captain America. I had my doubts about him in the role but it really worked rather well. He gave the character an approachable side and managed to maintain some of the comedy he had previously displayed in the Fantastic Four movies. His casting as Steve Rogers actually works a lot better than I expected and I can honestly say I'm looking forward to seeing him as Captain America again in the future.
Opposite Evans is the truly inspired choice of Hugo Weaving. He always brings a dark and foreboding presence to roles and this is no exception. His performance as Johann Schmidt the head of Hydra is dark, disturbing and absolutely perfect. He brings out the best elements of the character and makes him seem more evil than I thought was possible. The addition of Tommy Lee Jones as the American Army General and Hayley Atwell as Roger's love interest work in their own way but the clash between Evans and weaving is really what made this movie. The two characters clash brilliantly and this really works from the audience perspective.
A Decent Movie
As I've already mentioned the comic book genre is improving dramatically and this is further proof of the progress these style of movies have made since the likes of Daredevil and Electra were being churned out to make a quick buck. As an introduction to Captain America this is a great starting point and reveals enough characterisation to give you and real insight into the character, whilst still retaining enough action to keep it entertaining. I wouldn't say it was a perfect film as it still could have been better, however it delivered exactly what I was expecting and kept me entertained throughout its 2 hour runtime and for me that is enough to secure a four star rating.
Summary: Another decent addition to the Superhero genre