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The New Avenger!
Captain America - The First Avenger (DVD)
Member Name: thedevilinme
Captain America - The First Avenger (DVD)
Date: 09/02/12, updated on 10/02/12 (47 review reads)
Advantages: Most realistic superhero film to date
Disadvantages: Funny little Chris Evans
Certificate - 12a
Run Time - 124 minutes
Country - USA
Genre - Super hero
Rental - £2.99 per night@Blockbuster
Ever since the tantalizing and extremely brief appearance of the iconic Captain America shield in Tony Stark's lab in the brilliant Iron Man I have been looking forward to this movie. He was my favorite superhero as a kid and what the comic books were supposed to be all about, delivering a rather raw and stripped down movie around a more human character, this film version of the Marvel character thankfully sticking to that ethos and creating a more realistic hero (in context to the actual comic book) to the big budget, stunt fuelled, bombastic macho nonsense like the Dark Knight. The Stan Lee's and Alan Moore's created these guys and girls to experience human escapism though fantasy in a way that felt exhilarating at the time to try and keep up with the speed the world was changing. Batman Begins did capture the transformation well but before Christian Bale superhero's had become to camp/
Joe Evans created Captain America but was revived by Stan Lee at Marvel Comics to the character we know well. Like Spiderman his powers come from a molecular tweak and he retains most human traits. The previous attempts at Captain America on screen and TV have been a disaster; the last movie in 1992 deemed one of the dumbest movies ever made. They say it's as bad as Ben Affleck's Daredevil. If I was the makers of that movie in 1992 I would
be suing. No comic book film has ever been as bad as Daredevil.
Chris Evans plays the Steve Rodgers/Captain America lead, his pretty boy blue-eyed blonde chiseled looks perfect for this type of role, incredibly this his sixth comic book movie, a lot of typecast for such a young actor.
Chris Evans ... Captain America / Steve Rogers
Hayley Atwell ... Peggy Carter
Sebastian Stan ... James Buchanan 'Bucky' Barnes
Tommy Lee Jones ... Colonel Chester Phillips
Hugo Weaving ... Johann Schmidt / Red Skull
Dominic Cooper ... Howard Stark
Richard Armitage ... Heinz Kruger
Stanley Tucci ... Dr. Abraham Erskine
Samuel L. Jackson ... Nick Fury
Toby Jones ... Dr. Arnim Zola
Neal McDonough ... Timothy 'Dum Dum' Dugan
Derek Luke ... Gabe Jones
Kenneth Choi ... Jim Morita
Steve Rogers: "I know this neighborhood. I got beat up in that alley. And that parking lot. And behind that diner"
An evil Nazi, Colonel Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) and his regiment, blasts their way into a church in a small mountain village in Norway, where a mysterious glowing artifact has lay hidden and protected for many millennium. On orders of Hitler himself, Schmidt's unit's mission is to trawl the world to round up anything unusual that will help the Fuhrer build super weapons to win the war, known as Project Hydra.
High up in the Austrian Alps, with the help of Dr.Arnim Zola (Toby Jones), Schmidt is soon experimenting with the artifacts unknown powers, its astounding potential slowly being unleashed, the Reich impressed so far.
Meanwhile, over in Manhattan, young Americans are joining up in their thousands to aid their allies across the Atlantic, scrawny Brooklyn boy Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) desperate to serve. But after failing five army medicals in five different New York boroughs for various ailments the 5ft 4" (that's smaller than Tom Cruise!) has all but given up and confined to his fete he won't be able to enlist to fight for his country. His best friend and the considerably taller and better looking James Buchanan 'Bucky' Barnes (Sebastian Stan), on the other hand, is all signed up and cuts a fine figure in his uniform, the girls all over him and ready for nights dancing in Manhattan, the man Rodgers longs to be.
Well he is about to get that chance when, at that medical centre, a Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) with a distinct German accent overhears Rodgers despair and is impressed with his patriotism and bravery to serve. He offers the kid the chance to tryout for the SCR (Strategic Scientific Research), a special unit headed by Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones), looking for 'different qualities' in their fighting men.
Somehow Rodgers wins through as best in class and agrees to take part in an experiment, a genetic one, tasked to take a powerful serum based on Dr Schmidt's find over in Norway, Dr.Erskine, as it turns out, a renegade scientist from Hydra and now working for the Americans. Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) has developed a machine that can genetically change the human body after the serum is injected, and a success here, the 8 stone weakling transformed into a blonde six foot hunk in a mist of steam and flashing light in the pressure capsule, pretty British military agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), who is assigned to Rodgers, impressed with the new version.
Abraham Erskine: The serum amplifies the inner qualities of its taker, as well as their physical attributes. Good becomes great... bad becomes worse.
With the transformation comes special powers, and when the newspapers snap his heroism in action in downtown Manhattan the military decide the best use for Rodgers is as a PR stunt to raise money for bonds to fund the war, travelling America with a stars and stripe uniform and shield, renamed 'Captain America'. But Steve wants to fight and when Bucky goes missing on a secret mission to close down Hydra in Germany he takes it upon himself to be involved, his powers more than a match for Schmidt, who has also taken the serum.
Abraham Erskine: "One of the things people always forget is that the first country the Nazis invaded was their own"
I have really enjoyed the Avengers series, apart from the Incredible Hulk, of course and the still absent Hawkeye movie, but very excited about the coming Avengers movie, out this year. Although Captain America is not as good as Rob Downey Juniors brilliant Ironman it's not half bad and already one of my all-time favorites. It looks authentic and feels true to life to the comic books and I'm sure that side of things appreciated by fans. All too often these big budget superhero films become just over-the-top special effects sequences machine-gunned with dreadful dialogue to riddle the lowest common denominator with bullets. This one just sits right and with a solid narrative and a fun and chest out script it drags you in and doesn't let go. The Superman movie let go quickly, and from 40,000ft, how not to make superhero film. Less said about Green Lantern the better.
The films imagination is at full tilt and the sci-fi side looks great, the HYDRA super plane we see near the end not as out of place as it looks for the period, the real life NAZI weapons program producing some impressive and ahead of its time kit that almost won them the war. The Germans invented the jet engine first and were briefly ahead with nuclear bomb technology. The extremely futuristic Horten H.XVIII flying wing bomber and Triebflügeljäger fighter plane are very real and in museums, represented well here with a fantasy hybrid plane. If Germany had invented the nuclear bomb first then who knows where we would be - if we would 'be' at all?
These superhero movies always do spectacular money, a lot of geeks out there looking for their hero's in some form. From its relatively cheap $140 million it did an excellent $400 million back and so the sequel already green lighted. With the Avengers movie likely to wet our appetite even more for the famous five then the money will continue to roll in.
Rodgers is perfect and deliciously cheesy in the lead and all the other essential superhero performances in place, from the evil German to the shouty US generals. The only bit that doesn't quote work is the special effect to make Chris Evans looks small and feeble at the start of the movie so to impact the contrast when he goes all hunky.
It's suitably over-the-top when it needs to be but no more than that, Captain America as vulnerable as the rest of us if he gets hit too hard by a car or falls off a cliff. The film also has a warm human feel to it and you don't ever get irritated by shortcuts or exaggerations. You can't help but like Captain America.
The Daily Telegraph - "Evans is unprecedentedly touching and engaging for a superhero - and the rest of the cast help this adventure seem something close to character-driven instead of just being a bundle of stunts.
The Guardian - "The Captain isn't perfect, but he's the equal of Thor and loads better than the Green Lantern: he's the summer's pre-eminent superhero".
SXF Magazine - "Full of knowing nods for fans and stunningly designed, Captain America might not be perfect but it is an awful lot of fun".
The Seattle Post - "...good humored and uncomplicated, it concentrates on a single character, a single villain, a clear path to the present"
The Sun - "It serves its chief end to introduce the character, and Evans fills the role nicely. But as a stand-alone adventure, it's not captivating enough. I expect more from this genre".
Imdb.com: Ratings: 6.9/10 from 110,924 users
Metacritic.com: 66% critic's approval rating
Rottentomatos.com:79% critic's approval rating
Director Joe Johnson and his writer wife Sally Johnson and producer Jeffrey Ford talk about the movie. Comic book geeks may enjoy this is Joe Johnson has done lots of work on superhero movies.
-Outfitting our hero-
The look of Captain America and the feel of the movies are explored here.
Summary: The comic book genre is on the up!