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Truth And Justice
Captain America - The First Avenger (DVD)
Member Name: T4imbo3107
Captain America - The First Avenger (DVD)
Advantages: Epic scale film!
Disadvantages: Maybe too patriotic for some.
To tell a story like Captain America, the production has to be to a high quality and good production. Here is no exception with a film that has a good strong cast as well as utilising a high calibre of special effects in quite a subtle manner the film is better than I initially expected. It tells the story of Stephen Rogers, a man who can only be described as a short and quite weedy man. He wants to join the Army and due to a long list of conditions such as Asthma and high blood pressure is refused point blank, all he wants to do is serve his country, and this is in the midst of World War II. So the film has its setting and to be honest as a period piece it works really well and the attention to detail is immaculate. When Rogers gets his opportunity to enlist, he takes it and discovers that he has been "volunteered" for a top secret project, one that will make him a super-soldier to fight against the Nazi's.
Having seen Chris Evans in the Fantastic Four, I was always dubious that the actor couldn't pull off the more serious and far darker role of a action hero who isn't all mouth such as Johnnie Storm, in that film he was more irritating then anything else. Here he plays a kind of dual role, the Stephen Rogers before the change when the Super-Soldier serum is injected into his body and the new Steve Rogers after the procedure where the man is made into a lean, muscular fighting machine. Evans plays the character with a lot of gusto and energy, yet he is never over the top and to be honest its nice to see him get away from some of his previous roles in a part that is played in a more serious manner and less comedic. It's also safe to say that his appearance alters and okay it is by means of CGI that we see the weakling, but when we see the character transformed, is when the film really comes alive.
As with any hero, there is always a nemesis and in this case the writers have stayed loyal to source and chosen the Red Skull. Hugo Weaving from The Matrix plays the Red Skull and we do get to see a lot of background to the character and who he is and how he came to get the position of head of the Hydra organisation. Weaving speaking in a German accent portrays the character with what I call 1930's serial villainy. It works and it works well as the character comes across as very dangerous.
Backing up the rest of the cast is Tommy Lee-Jones as the gruff all-American Colonel, he is Rogers Commanding Officer and initially detests him, but by the end has respect for what Captain America has achieved. It's surprising how old Jones looks; I guess this is because Channel 5 seems to keep repeating the Men In Black far too regularly! Also Hayley Attwel plays Peggy Carter the love interest who is a strong woman on her own and this is shown quite early on when she knocks out a Soldier over a sexist quip. To link this in with the rest of the Marvel universe a character called Howard Stark, played by Dominic Cooper has been added. This is Tony Stark's father from the Iron Man series.
I have to say one of the most impressive factors in this film is the small and weedy Stephen Rogers being shown on screen, effectively this was Chris Evans being shrunk down by computer special effects, it is convincing and shows what can be achieved if done correctly. It's also a film that bottom line is good against evil; it does have certain factors in the film that make it an action adventure film, but with serial qualities. The action scenes are always top notch and although the story is set on different continents across different times, the story is easy to follow at all times and never really confuses itself with a different franchise. It's also interesting to see that the actions sequences utilise air, land and sea rather than being fixed in one position and so the use of different types of transport including foot is used and used really well. This is evident in the early part of the film where Rogers has to chase an assassin and we see the full scope of his strength and what exactly he is capable off when placed in a situation. The battle scenes throughout the film are gritty and look dirty, by this I mean that it's muddy, grimy and looks like a warzone. The noises are loud and here the action is full on throughout, I felt some of these were a little rushed but as the film grows and the characters evolve, so does the size of the locations and the amount of action. In fact the climax of the film is claustrophobic in comparison to the previous sequences, yet I felt this was the correct approach to take rather than getting bigger and bigger to the extent it simply fails.
The costume is always a talking point for any fan base and here you see Captain America in a number of costumes, from where he is on-stage, don't ask, to where he feels he has more to offer the world. All are loyal to what has been in the comic books and emphasise America, which is the focal point of the film, although London is seen a lot throughout.
Overall this is a very good film that attention has been paid to the story and to the production, most of it was filmed in Britain anyway and Manchester doubles for New York, however you only find this out from the extras that cover all aspects of production from script to screen and covers the origin of Captain America quite well to ensure the viewer is aware of the provenience of the character itself. The commentaries are worth listening to as well as the director Joe Johnston tells you about the production and allows you to understand what he was trying to achieve. Add in Deleted Scenes and the obligatory advertisement for upcoming features such as games and other DVD releases then the package is something that can be watched again and again, and yes the picture quality is amazing. After previous failures with Captain America, this release sets things straight and gives the character what he deserves, part of the story is told in flashback and you just have to sit there and watch the film to understand it. It is good entertainment and for 2 hours and 4 minutes, will escort you away from the world for a good piece of escapism. There is an end scene like other Marvel releases and this leads into something special, in fact you'll know what it is if you have seen Thor, Hulk and Iron Man 2 as the last part is being used to set something else up.
Summary: Cap is back!