Captain America: The First Avenger
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER delivers a campy style with great characters in a vintage time period of innocence and patriotism. But much like the very good SUPER 8, it lacked a certain emotional connection that kept me just at arms length from truly loving the picture. However also just like SUPER 8, I can safely say I respected the quality, appreciated the themes and most importantly was pleasantly entertained.
Little Steve Rogers (terrifically portrayed by Chris Evans) wants nothing more than to join the U.S. military to fight for his country during WWII. Unfortunately his size and health keeps him at bay. Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) witnesses some of Steve’s strength in heart and character and believes he is the best candidate for the military’s secret weapon. After agreeing to the dangerous treatment, Steve is transformed into a strong physical specimen who can jump higher, run faster and punch harder than any human can imagine. But more importantly he becomes a symbol of hope and encouragement for the war and the only one who can stop German Johaan Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) who has plans of world domination.
The building up of the Captain America character is interesting and exciting. Watching young Steve Rogers as a puny man with a heart full of strength and honor is a joy. If anything, it may have been cut too short but I understand most audiences want to get to the hero of Captain America in action rather than watch a character gradually develop. Director Joe Johnston does a fine job of allowing both elements to happen organically. While the third act utilized some of the best 3D moments I’ve seen since AVATAR (audience members, including myself, literally ducked when Captain America’s flag colored shield came flying at the screen) picking up-tempo in action, I actually think this is where the film faltered. I found the action itself to be unmemorable and thrown together. However because the story dealt with WWII, the end results always created a sense of pride and spirit within me.
I enjoyed the costumes, the sets and the entire feel of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. Tommy Lee Jones delivers his usual flat careless demeanor that only he can pull off and the rest of the supporting cast did their jobs aptly. The villain is over the top, while his red skull and masked henchmen give off a Saturday morning cartoon vibe rather than the threat of violence to actual people. Any blood or human suffering is quite minimal that helps support the genuine good guy vibe Captain America represents. While I believe the third act lacked direction, the final moments of the film had me extremely excited for the upcoming THE AVENGERS. Captain America is a great character that I look forward to interacting with our current collection of superheroes. He is the epitome of a good guy and I can always get on board with an old fashion patriotic good vs. evil supporting the United States of America.
I can’t imagine too many people not liking CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. While there may not be any one element that stands out as just amazing, as a whole everything is good. If you want to be entertained in a positive manner that everyone can enjoy, I say you can’t go wrong with CAPTAIN AMERICA.