319 of 383 people found the following review helpful
A good bit of this film is a superhero-origins story, in which we follow Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a plain-featured young man of about 20 years old who is a classic "90-pound weakling," as he tries five times to enlist in the Army during the early part of World War II. He is consistently rated as "4F" because of his size and various health issues, including asthma. Inside that small, frail body, however, resides outsized courage, honor, loyalty and persistence. During Steve's fifth trip to the Army recruiters, those virtues in Steve draw the attention of Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), a German scientist who escaped the Nazis and is working on a top-secret program to develop super soldiers. Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones), who is in charge of the program, wants to use a soldier who is bigger, stronger and has more training for the first human experiment with the Dr. Erskine's super-soldier formula, but the doctor strongly disagrees. He says the other soldier is a bully, but Steve is a good man. It is crucial that anyone receiving the formula be of good character, because the formula enhances the existing personality traits of whoever receives it. Steve would become even more of a good person, but a bully could become a villain.
The experiment is a success, but immediately after Steve is transformed into a handsome, ripped, perfect specimen of manhood, a Nazi spy assassinates Dr. Erskine and steals the formula. Though Steve manages to stop the assassin from escaping, in his first act of heroism as a newly minted superhero, the flask breaks in the process. Without a sample of the formula, it cannot be replicated because the doctor never wrote down the whole formula. Steve is now one of a kind. Unfortunately, the military can't think of anything to do with him other than turn him into a US-flag-wrapped peddler of war bonds appearing in USO shows with chorus girls, until Steve is sent abroad. He finds himself entertaining the recently decimated troops of Col. Phillips and is horrified to discover that his best friend James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes (Sebastian Stan) has been captured with 400 other Allied soldiers and is being held prisoner in a massively defended fortress deep in enemy lines. Col. Phillips insists he would lose far more men than he could save going after his captured men, and refuses to do anything. But the colonel's assistant, a female military officer, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), encourages Steve to fulfill his destiny as the super-soldier Dr. Erskine created him to be by staging a one-man rescue raid.
On every level this film is outstanding. It is directed by the talented Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III, Jumanji ). The screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (the writing team best known for the three Chronicles of Narnia films) is an excellent adaptation, staying true in every important way to the world of a comic-book icon with a 70-year history of stories in Marvel Comics since the Captain's first appearance in 1941.
All of the actors are terrific, but the star, Chris Evans (who played the comic-book superhero, Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, in the two Fantastic Four films), is superb. Evans gives a depth and breadth to his performance that is remarkable for any genre, but especially for a superhero film. In his capable hands, Steve is endearingly humble, yet enduringly determined to have a chance to contribute to the worldwide struggle against the Nazis in the beginning, origins part of the film. And after the transformation, he compellingly presents Steve as a fascinating contradiction of a relentless, manly warrior who is still emotionally innocent and naïve.
Steve's relationship with Peggy, as his romantic interest in the film, has significant barriers to their connection that makes it both amusing and exciting to watch. She is his superior officer and, for a young man who has barely even had a conversation with a woman before her, it takes more bravery than going to war for him to aspire to a relationship with a woman like Peggy. She is not only gorgeous, but a formidable warrior in her own right. What I found as intriguing as the romantic potential between these two, however, is the fact that they bring out the best in each other. Peggy gives Steve the inspiration to seize his destiny as a super-warrior when the colonel and other leaders have ordered him to sit out the war, and Steve's innate sensitivity and goodness soften the shell of cynicism Peggy has developed around her heart in the harsh, man's world of the Army.
The incredibly versatile Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada, The Lovely Bones) is terrific as Dr. Erskine. Hugo Weaving (who played V in V for Vendetta and Agent Smith in The Matrix movies) is his usual brilliant self as the villain Red Skull. Anytime he appears in anything it is a gift, but he is particularly skilled as a comic-book super villain. As for Tommy Lee Jones, he was simply made for the part of Colonel Chester Phillips. Sebastian Stan (Carter Baizen on Gossip Girl) is a convincing choice as Bucky. He and Chris Evans have excellent buddy chemistry as best friends since childhood. All of the other supporting actors are great, too, including Neal McDonough (Traitor) as Timothy 'Dum Dum' Dugan, Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher) as Gabe Jones, Kenneth Choi (Street Kings) as Jim Morita, and JJ Feild (Northanger Abbey) as James Montgomery Falsworth.
Finally, the special effects in the action scenes, aided by computer-generated imagery (CGI), are absolutely breathtaking, making this movie a must-see on the big screen. There is also one other CGI effect that I found awe-inspiring. The real, buffed Chris Evans is trimmed down via CGI to the pre-formula Steve. "It's pretty amazing," Evans told Reuters. "They took shape out of my jaw line, they shrunk my skeleton, and they made my shoulders less broad." They certainly did. The skinny Steve has the body of a prepubescent boy. As for the actual physique of Chris Evans--he went through a specialized training program to put on 15 pounds of muscle on a physique that was already quite ripped.
Among the multiple feature films already done on the Captain, this should delight fans as a standout contribution.
115 of 136 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2011
When I was a kid in the 60's, Batman, Spiderman, and Captain America were my 3 favorite superheroes, and remain so to this day.
No need to rehash the other great reviews, but IMO, what they got SO RIGHT here was the CHARACTER of Steve Rogers BEFORE he becomes Captain America.
Just as Batman Begins had us totally invested in Bruce Wayne BEFORE he ever donned the cape and cowl, Marvel works the same type of magic with Steve Rogers & THAT (along with stellar performances by ALL the supporting cast) is what makes this a truly great film.
After suffering through the badly done CA movies of the past, it is a dream fulfilled to see the character brought to life so fantastically By Chris Evans & Joe Johnston.
And the Red Skull--OMG--Incredible makeup & Hugo Weaving shines as always to make the character come across as one of the premiere villains of the Marvel Universe.
Finally--watch the deleted ending scene to see how they really SHOULD have ended the movie--THAT was my only gripe--the truncated ending in the theatrical version.
So, to sum up--FINALLY a GREAT, FUN & FAITHFUL rendition of Captain America.
Bring on the AVENGERS!
It's time to ASSEMBLE!
149 of 190 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2011
Well, the summer will soon be nearing its end, although the temperatures outside don't seem to agree. With the changing of the seasons also comes the inevitable conclusion to the summer of superheroes (that's what I dubbed it a few weeks back). And now, with the release of "Captain America: The First Avenger" this year's heroic reign over the box office for beloved comic book icons will soon be coming to a close.
"Captain America: The First Avenger" is the story of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a young man who wanted nothing more than to fight alongside the brave soldiers in World War II against the Nazi onslaught. After being rejected repeatedly due to his frail physique, Steve volunteered for an experimental treatment that would transform him into a living, breathing super-soldier. Meanwhile, a Nazi scientist named Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) is attempting to harness power beyond anything this world has ever seen, and Captain America may be the only one strong enough to stop him.
After so many entertaining entries this summer ranging from Marvel's "Thor" and "X-Men: First Class" to DC Comics' "Green Lantern", did the heroic summer end with a triumphant victory or a disappointing defeat?
The answer, as evidenced by the movie's opening weekend box office victory over "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2", combined with mostly positive reactions from critics, is that the summer of heroes definitely ends on a high note. And I for one wouldn't have expected anything less from the star-spangled avenger.
Taking heavy cues from classic Hollywood escapism, the likes of which haven't been seen in quite some time, the film embraces its more traditional atmosphere without being heavy-handed or cheesy in the process. Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely ("The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader") this film easily feels right at home in the ever-expanding pantheon of Marvel's self-produced comic book movies, but with some noticeable differences in storytelling.
One of the big differences you'll notice, aside from the aforementioned atmosphere, between this movie and the ones Marvel Studios has released prior (including this summer's "Thor"), is that the story is much more serious-minded than the others. The majority of the previous films tied into this universe featured serious dramatic story arcs, but always with heavy doses of humor laced throughout to keep things sort of light-hearted.
That type of approach worked fine for those characters, and in the case of Thor it probably made his transition from comic book page to big screen that much easier to believe. However, for Captain America, a story filled with jokes, one-liners and sarcasm, even if they feel appropriate to the story, would have been completely wrong for the ever-stoic soldier and future leader of the Avengers.
Thankfully, the writers paid attention to this (most likely with some heavy hints from Marvel) and avoided those mistakes. While there is still the occasional joke, they are few and far between; leaving us with a movie that captures the essence of Captain America perfectly. Plus, having a little joke here and there is good to break up the potential monotony of the drama unfolding, I was just glad Cap wasn't the one cracking wise.
Another major difference between this film and the others, is that here we are presented with a hero who always dreamed of doing nothing more than fighting for what's right. In today's comic book movie landscape I can't think of any characters with this mindset. To me this was so refreshing because finally we get to see one of the few characters that's doing precisely what he's always wanted and sought after. As opposed to having the heroic mantle thrust upon him by circumstances (Iron Man or Spider-Man) or being born into it (Thor).
Now, to clarify I am a comic book fan so I already knew that Captain America was one of the few heroes that willingly accepted the heroic mantle placed before him. I just wasn't sure if the movie would keep this aspect intact or change it to be more cookie-cutter and follow the tried-and-true recipe of so many of the other adaptations over the years.
Despite my foreknowledge of that particular character trait for Cap, I still found it a fresh approach to a genre that has so many similarities within origin stories. After all, there are only so many types of origins one can tell before you become repetitive.
One last difference with this film, that I shall touch upon briefly, is that this was a pure origin story from start to finish. With most other comic book films the origin portion of the character's first movie comprises approximately half to two-thirds of the overall running time. This movie doesn't finish Cap's origins for this cinematic universe, meaning taking him from first becoming the hero to being ready for next summer's "Avengers", until the credits roll.
This was important because the other Marvel Studios movies featured stories set in the modern day; whereas, Captain America was created during World War II. So, for him to believably fit into the modern day landscape of 2012's "Avengers" team-up film, the movie had the unenviable task of introducing the character and doing justice to his time in World War II. All the while, somehow bringing him up to the modern day setting we've become accustomed to with the other films. Not an easy set of tasks, but one that the writers and director Joe Johnston pulled off quite nicely.
Speaking of director Joe Johnston, I was personally a little skeptical when he was handed the reins to this key piece of the "Avengers" film puzzle. He's a director that has been hit-and-miss with big budget franchises or franchise makers throughout his entire career.
Sure, he did an admirable job taking over for Steven Spielberg to helm "Jurassic Park 3", but even so, the movie wasn't as strong as its predecessors. Most recently he was responsible for what ended up being a snore-fest of a reintroduction to a classic movie monster with last year's "The Wolfman". But, after watching this film, I have to say that I don't know if anyone else could have handled the movie any better.
Truth be told, whether you like or dislike some of the movies in Johnston's filmography, one thing is for certain, he may have been preparing for this movie his entire career. With his work on the two movies I mentioned a moment ago, and his history with visual effects during the original "Star Wars" trilogy, all of that served to prepare him for the numerous action sequences and vast CGI work necessary for bringing such a character to life. But, perhaps the most pivotal point of preparation for him may have occurred during his directorial work on 1990's "The Rocketeer".
That film was by no means a financial success, and ultimately failed to kick-start a franchise for Disney. However, the movie's perceived shortcomings were not a fault of the director in my opinion. Reason being, the film was actually quite entertaining, but the marketing done by Disney was poorly planned and failed to really sell audiences on the vast adventure awaiting them inside the theater. Despite all that, the film's retro style, attitude, and timeframe are comparable to "Captain America: The First Avenger", and may have been the key to Johnston's success on this picture.
Speaking of the film's success, much of the movie's box office victory over the final "Harry Potter" installment could easily be laid upon the shoulders of its star, actor Chris Evans. Even though Chris had already become known to comic book fans for his spot-on portrayal of the Human Torch, I personally believe that it will be his performance here, and in the sequels to follow (including "Avengers"), that Chris will be remembered for in the eyes of comic book fans.
Chris' portrayal is the perfect blend of idealism, strength, honesty, and authority that makes Captain America one of the purest heroes in comics and film. Now, it was a going concern among fans that perhaps Chris was miscast given his penchant for sarcasm. However, for Cap, Chris reportedly chose to remove several humorous lines of dialogue in order to stay true to the character. That choice was one that I personally appreciate, because it shows a respect for the source material; a trait which will always be pivotal to any comic book film's success.
Fighting alongside Chris and serving as a potential love interest for Cap is actress Hayley Atwell (TV's "The Pillars of the Earth"). Hayley brings a strong sense of authority to the role of Peggy Carter, but with a touch of vulnerability for being a woman amid a predominantly male setting (i.e. fighting in a war). Not to mention, a slight playfulness that belies the soldierly outward appearance and exposes a young woman who would at times like nothing more than to flirt with a guy, namely Steve Rogers/Captain America.
In the other major supporting roles are some terrific actors; such as, Tommy Lee Jones ("The Fugitive"), Stanley Tucci ("The Road to Perdition"), and rising star Dominic Cooper ("Mamma Mia!"). Each of these supporting players is responsible for the film's few humorous bits, while still delivering very entertaining, solid performances.
As always veteran actors Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci elevate any project they appear in, but it is Dominic Cooper that surprises me the most. His portrayal as Howard Stark (Tony Stark's father) is great, especially as he infuses shades of Robert Downey, Jr's portrayal of Tony from the two "Iron Man" films. For me this nod to his future son's personality further cemented the cohesive nature of these interlinked films that Marvel has been producing over the last few years.
Now, I mentioned that Captain America was a great hero and Chris Evans perfectly captured all of the qualities necessary to make him so; however, every hero is only as great as his villain. For this purpose, actor Hugo Weaving brings the supremely evil and despotic Johann Schmidt, also known as the Red Skull, to sadistic malevolent life.
When playing a character codenamed Red Skull, and one that has the physical qualities to inspire such a moniker, I think it could conceivably tempt an actor to sort of ham it up. Basically, go into a scene-chewing mode as the sneering bad guy who does everything evil just for kicks and all that's missing is a handlebar mustache for him to twirl in his fingers. Thankfully, as with many other potential pratfalls that could have plagued this movie, this one was avoided as well.
Actor Hugo Weaving, who is no stranger to playing a major villain (he was Agent Smith in "The Matrix" trilogy), portrays Schmidt in a way that is obviously sinister, but without becoming an over-the-top caricature. This was vital to making his character more believable to audiences given his garish appearance and thirst for other-worldly power beyond belief.
What I mean is that his motives are deeply twisted and malevolent, he is a Nazi after all, but you see the sincerity in how deeply he believes in what he's doing. That he's not just doing these evil things just for the sake of doing them. He has a purpose and he believes it to be right. Thus, as a character he is much more believable, amidst all of the more outlandish elements surrounding him, including his own appearance. Again, just another aspect that was pivotal to making this film work.
After all that being said, as I mentioned earlier, the summer of superheroes definitely ended on a high note. Plus, with a movie this solidly entertaining, featuring a home-grown hero, to bring the season to a close is perfectly fitting.
So, as you have undoubtedly figured out by now, "Captain America: The First Avenger" is an excellent adventure film. And one that serves as a fun throwback to classic escapism from Hollywood's past. The movie easily lives up to its Marvel Studios predecessors and firmly cements this hero from a bygone era's place in this hyper-real cinematic universe that began back in 2008's "Iron Man".
"Captain America: The First Avenger" is rated PG-13 for violence and brief language.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2011
When i first heard that they were making a captain america movie, I was both excited and worried. Marvel had already let me down with my favorite hero, wolverine, that I was nervous that they would destroy my second favorite. But as more screens and trailers began to arrive, I was excited that Steve Rogers would be given the movie treatment that his character deserves. I can say that overall this was a great superhero movie that captured the greatness that Captain America represents. I'd give this movie a 4.5/5 if I could. I had to go to the low-end on Amazon with a 4/5 because to me the movies biggest weakness is the incredibly under-developed red skull who is a much more terrifying and complex villian than the movie could produce. I do give Hugo weaving credit for what he was able to do with the character though.
Regardless this movie was excellant and it has me pumped for The Avengers coming out next year.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2011
This is the best movie I've seen this year and, for me, that is big. I've watched The Rise of The Planet of The Apes and the new X-Men movie, but I really liked Captain America. It has a lot of positive messages and different scenes and action parts that keep you interested. It isn't the same old thing.
Although, I wish Captain America would have said, "I love you," to his girlfriend, when talking on the phone. It seemed like they were getting to that point but he never confessed it. I think that would have been a heartwarming moment.
Other than that..... the movie was great! It's a family friendly video and you don't have to worry about your kids hearing or seeing anything bad. I can't recall any curse words and there were no inappropriate scenes or jokes. The women in the film were also well dressed and I didn't see any women dressing provocatively.
I give this movie an A plus and I recommend this movie to anyone!
55 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2011
The movie starts at its WWII origins. Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers a puny 4F man who has lied his way into a military science experiment. Tommy Lee Jones plays an excellent Colonel. Meanwhile evil Nazi Hugo Weaving believing he is Darth Maul, has his own plans for world conquest using sharks with frickin' laser beams. (Just kidding about the sharks.) Rogers is a 90 pound weakling who displays intellect, courage, and guts. He is selected for the military's secret program and is transformed into a muscular super hero. The special effects were very good, although we do know from "Last Action Hero" you can't really jump around car roofs. After Rogers is transformed he becomes Captain America to be used as a recruiting tool, as Tommy Lee still has his doubts about the 90 pound weakling.
Of course things change and the rest of the story shouldn't be too hard to figure out, even if you don't read comics. Now the very end utilizes the one-eyed Samuel L. Jackson from Iron Man 2 which hints at an ultimate sequel providing everyone isn't dead by then.
The movie combines action, drama, light comedy, and light romance. Good acting, good dialouge, good frickin' laser beams.
No swearing, nudity, or sex. Safe to drop off the kids.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2011
After a hell of a lot of hype, Captain America: The First Avenger is finally in theaters. It delivers on the hype and goes even beyond that, turning star Chris Evans into a bona fide leading man. Captain America is among the best of the comic book movies released this summer. It's a lot better than Green Lantern, a bit better than Thor, but not quite on the level of X-Men: First Class.
The trail to The Avengers is blazed by director Joe Johnston, and he and Chris Evans bring style and substance to a character that I previously couldn't give a damn about. I've always thought of Cap as just a bit too hokey, too much of a cookie-cutter symbol of USA patriotism and old-timey square-jawed superheroes. I remember smiling when I learned that Evans was cast in the role; if anyone could bring genuine charisma to the character of Steve Rogers, it was the former Johnny Storm (and Lucas Lee!).
The film starts out in a barren arctic landscape, where a group of government officials have discovered something buried. The site is excavated, and before Cap's shield is discovered, my brother turned to me and asked, "Are we in the right movie?"
Then the film smash cuts to WWII-era New York City, where we meet our hero Steve Rogers for the first time. If you haven't seen the trailers (unlikely), you will be taken aback a bit by the CG wizardry put to work to attach the always-buff Evans' head to a seriously scrawny, short body. Even as a gaunt punching bag, Evans imbues his character with a likability that is integral throughout the movie. With a lesser actor in the lead, this movie wouldn't be half as good.
We are shown Rogers' undying patriotism as he continually applies to be shipped overseas as a soldier. He is constantly turned down due to his tiny physical stature and myriad health problems. He is overheard by Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) while talking to his buddy Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and defending his drive to join the army. Dr. Erskine sees unwavering spirit of Rogers, and offers him a chance to fight for his country- a serum that he has designed, which can turn an ordinary man into the perfect soldier. Tucci does a great job making Dr. Erskine feel like a person, not a throwaway character, in the short screen time he is given. He believes in Rogers, and Steve spends the rest of the movie trying to live up to his expectations and make him proud.
Dr. Erskine tells the story of Dr. Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), also known as The Red Skull and Cap's main enemy in this movie. Dr. Erskine's super soldier serum was discovered by Schmidt, who, as a power hungry man, demanded to be the first test subject. It turns out that the serum brings out the inner qualities of the man; a good man's qualities become better, while in the case of The Red Skull, he was horribly disfigured. Ever since Erskine defected to the US, Schmidt has tried to track him down and kill him, because he knows that if he is able to make another super soldier, it will be the one thing capable of stopping his plans for global domination.
Tommy Lee Jones is great as an Army Colonel that continually tears down Steve Rogers both before and after his superhero transformation. Hayley Atwell plays the romantic interest, and has great chemistry with Evans. Her character is there to comfort Steve when he is distraught about the fact that, after his transformation, he is relegated to putting on a silly spandex costume (the original Captain America uniform) and parading around in a stage show to help sell war bonds (some of the funniest scenes in the movie happen here). After being booed, humiliated and lambasted by troops serving in Italy, he decides enough is enough and to go on a one-man mission to rescue P.O.W.'s at a nearby camp, and finally gain the respect of his fellow soldiers.
After that, the movie is mostly just about Captain America taking down Red Skull, until a heartstring-pulling ending that sets up The Avengers. All in all, it was a great summer popcorn flick, and a real star-making vehicle for Chris Evans. Marvel has done a great job in casting all of the Avengers, and it's one more movie I can't wait for next summer. Great job, Marvel.
55 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2012
POST-PRODUCTION 3D (converted from 2D to 3D)
My ratings are based mainly on the QUALITY OF THE 3D, not the video content.
There are about 60 out of screen effects that extend about 10% of the way, from the screen to the viewer. Many of them are quick but easily noticeable. An additional 5 effects made it to 20% or more.
IN SCREEN / OBSERVATIONS:
The cardboard cutout syndrome is glaringly noticeable early in the movie and in A FEW other scenes throughout the film with only 1, 2 or 3 depths and a flat background. The balance of the scenes converted well and only appeared slightly shallower in depth than normal and the syndrome was negligible.
If you like action type films, it is easy to overlook the shortcomings of a (fake 3D) conversion and enjoy this movie for what it is. The 3D definitely adds to the viewing experience of this film.
ACTIVE GLASSES USERS:
In addition to the menu; Crosstalk was evident 6 times but only 1 of them was a major eyesore.
(crosstalk varies from system to system)
3 ½ star
MY 3D RATING = GOOD to VERY GOOD (poor, fair, good, very good, excellent)
Note: As far as the percentages go, everyone's eyes are different. What I see at 25% you may see at 15% or 35%. To fully realize how far something is out of the screen for you, pause on an effect and direct a partner with an extended finger to the tip of what you are seeing. You may be surprised.
Click on `See all my reviews' for the lowdown on other 3Ds
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2011
"Captain America: The First Avenger" is right up there with 2008's Iron Man (and might even surpass it) as Marvel's best movie and it may well be one of the best superhero films ever. There is something about the superhero film that makes it a special genre in my heart and I am in love with the mythology of these characters. This is my first review on Amazon and I normally wouldn't go through the time to write a review but this movie is worth it. You all know the plot synopsis, so I won't repeat it here. But it is absolutely safe to say that this an excellent, fun, and amazing movie. First off, the cast is top-notch and, as Chris Evans (who is without a doubt the best of the bunch) said in a recent interview, "there is literally not a weak link in the chain". As I stated above, Chris Evans really shines, no, EXPLODES, in his role as Steve Rogers/ Captain America. I have never seen an actor embody a superhero role as greatly as Chris does. If there is one thing Marvel Studios has gotten pitch perfect in all of their films, it is the character development and casting of its lead actors, from Robert Downey Jr. who made Tony Stark one of the greatest film characters of all time to Chris Hemsworth who came out of nowhere and made the role of Thor really stand out as he embodied that character. But this isn't a review for those films, this is a review for Captain America and Evans has succeeded on all levels. I, and just about everyone else in the audience in my packed theater, fell in love with his character from when he first started out as "skinny Steve" (through the use of some pretty impressive special effects) to after the Super Soldier transformation. You can really identify with him and you can feel empathy towards his actions and his personality. Suffice to say, he has made Captain America my personal favorite superhero.
The other cast members are amazing as well. Hayley Atwell really makes a splash as British SSR officer Peggy Carter and the romance that develops between her and Steve is both believable and heartwarming. Every superhero movie has to have romance in it (it is a staple of the genre, after all) and the romance in this movie is one of the genre's best, not to mention Agent Carter is a kick-ass, strong-willed character who Atwell portrays pitch perfectly. Hugo Weaving as Cap's nemesis Johann Schmidt/ The Red Skull is both menacing (thanks to some cool and pretty impressive make-up effects) and downright evil. He stands out in all the scenes he's in and you really couldn't imagine a more perfect choice for Cap's arch enemy as Hugo portrays the character with a great German accent perfectly. That's a word that I associate with this movie a lot: perfect. I have come to believe that the word does not exist and has no meaning to it but I feel that this movie is as close as it could get to fulfiiling my expectations and more.
Now the other supporting cast members are scene-stealers in their own right. Sebastian Stan is a great friend and a great sidekick to Cap and he really does a fantastic job in his role. He isn't in the movie enough, but when he is, you can't help but like his character. His performance gets me really excited for the ensured sequels where he returns as the Winter Soldier. Other supporting cast members include Tommy Lee Jones as Col. Chester Phillips who provides a lot of great humor and good ol' American behavior as arguably the number one scene stealer and Stanley Tucci puts his best German accent to good use as the relatable and caring Dr. Abraham Erskine, who creates the Super Soldier serum. Dominic Cooper makes the role of Howard Stark is own by playing the character his own personal way and not mirroring RDJ's performance. Lastly is Toby Jones as The Red Skull's assisstant and a classic Captain America villain in his own right, Arnim Zola, who I hope to see more of in future Cap movies as well, as he gives a great performance in the movie.
Now on to the action sequences. There are four major action sequences in the movie (the Heinz Krueger chase through Brooklyn, the HYDRA factory rescue mission, the high-speed train sequence, and the finale at Schmidt's HYDRA base and in the air on the giant Valkyrie warship which is by far the best, and not to mention the cool montage of Captain America and the Howling Commandoes taking out all of the HYDRA bases). Joe Johnston, the director who I am finally complementing for his superb job, stages these action sequences in a nostalgic, old-fashioned way that ironically is a breath of fresh air in today's virtual Hollywood blockbuster industry. He really was the best choice to direct this movie, as his special effects work on movies such as the Star Wars series and "Raiders of the Lost Ark", both of which are paid homage to in this movie, as well as his period movies "The Rocketeer" and "October Sky" have prepared him to make this movie. Speaking of period pieces.....
The best part to me personally about this whole movie was the production design and the cinematography. The 1940's setting is absolutely amazing and it really stands out with the coloring of the browns in Brooklyn, the grays in Europe, and the red, white, and blue of Captain America's costume. You really feel as if you are being transported to that time period and I can only hope that "Captain America 2" has flashbacks to this timeless decade. I mean, really, the period setting and filming style of this film was just knocked out of the park. The bookend scenes in the present day were done well too, especially the ending scene when Steve finds himself in modern day Times Square, New York City. This was just such a cool contrast to the rest of the movie, which may sound like a detriment to the film but it was really well done and I liked it.
In closing, I give no higher honor than to a movie like "Captain America: The First Avenger" as being my first movie review. This film was old-fashioned, exhilariting, beautiful, was filled with fine performances (especially by Chris Evans who deserves all the praise he will recieve), and was one of the most amazing superhero films I have ever seen. Steve Rogers is an inspiring character and Alan Silvestri's patriotic score that plays over the credits gives support to this and to an awesome film-going experience. I have signed up to be notified when this movie is released on home video as I would love to add it to my own personal collection. I also look forward to seeing more of Evans as Steve (my new favorite superhero) in next year's "The Avengers" (that trailer looked awesome, by the way) and in the inevitable "Captain America" sequels. Heroes Are Made In America!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2011
This was a movie that Icertainly enjoyed. The lead role in the movie is a character named Steve Rogers. He constantly gets rejected
from joining the Armed Forces. He is finally accepted thanks to Dr. Abraham Erskine. Dr. Erskine wants to try a procedure on Rogers. This
procedure is done in New York. Rogers comes out of the procedure taller and more muscle bound. He isturned into the ultimate soldier.
A Nazi spy in attendance kills Dr. Erskine but is captured by Rogers.
Rogers becomes Captain America and is used as a public relations gimmick despite his new physical powers. Colonel Chester Phillips played by Tommy Lee Jones suffers a loss on the battlefied and 400 men are captured. Captain America(Rogers} leads a daring rescue
mission and saves the men. This is where he meets up with the Red Skull(played by Hugo Weaving). This immediately calls for a showdown.
After the death of Roger's childhood friend at the hands of the Red Skull Captain America hops into action. This results in an action packed finale. There is a surprise ending as well. See this movie.