Review: Captain America – The First Avenger

The last film before The Avengers assemble actually features the very first Avenger – Captain America. That’s probably ironic or something.

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans digitally reduced in the most convincing manner) is the scrawniest kid you’ve ever seen. I mean, REALLY. He’s got every ailment going too. He’s the walking, talking embodiment of downtroddenness. Except he has heart. A huge heart, and he doesn’t like bullies. Seeing the Nazis marching across Europe boils his blood and he wants to stop them. He tries to sign up to the Army to do his bit for his country but they turn him away. That is until he’s spotted by exiled german scientist, Dr Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci). He sees Rogers exceptional qualities and asks if he’d would like to sign up for his super-soldier programme…

Joe Johnston’s Captain America – The First Avenger is a fine enough movie. It looks great, Johnston has always handled the World War II period stuff well (see The Rocketeer), and this is no exception. The scrawny skinny Steve Rogers is an amazing piece of work and is never anything less than convincing (Eat your heart out, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button). It just lacks that certain something. Is Captain America just too goody-two-shoes? Do we only feel for Rogers when he’s the man out of time? It’s hard to tell.

Modern cinema’s only bad guy, Hugo Weaving, plays an eerily-close-to-the-comic-book-looking Red Skull but isn’t given a massive amount to other than act menacingly occasionally and give the film it’s McGuffin, The Tesseract, an object of Norse legend that gives the Skull and his HYDRA forces an unlimited power source. Rogers is surrounded by a colourful cast of characters, Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Phillips and Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark (Yes, Tony “Iron Man” Stark’s father) standing out the most with their wry witticisms. Hayley Atwell plays Peggy Carter, the inevitable love interest, and starts of relatively feisty before slowly morphing into your typical tearful damsel, though thankfully she’s not in distress.

The action is competent rather than spectacular, some battle scenes where the Cap leads his howling commandoes only alluded to, disappointingly (though there has been a suggestion the sequels will centre around The Captain’s adventures taking place in this movie). It just somehow lacks the same level of fun and enjoyment of its Marvel stablemates like Thor and Iron Man. Don’t get me wrong, this is no Green Lantern, a film that stank of terminal averageness, it’s simply Captain America – The First Avenger doesn’t quite hold up to the exceptional quality of the other Marvel movies it will inevitably be compared against.

Captain America – The First Avenger is available on Blu-Ray and DVD in the US from 25th October and in the UK on 5th December.

More Reviews:

Troll Hunter

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Tron

The Girl With Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Hackers

WarGames

Super 8

The Parallax View

Cowboys And Aliens

Swamp Thing

X-Men First Class

The Human Centipede

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen

One Response to “Review: Captain America – The First Avenger”

  1. Great review, agree it was overall solid rather than stunning and it’s annoying the sequels will be in modern day. Roll on Avengers 🙂

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