Saturday, 28 April 2012

Film Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011)

Captain America - The First Avenger - poster Director: Joe Johnston
Writers (Screenplay): Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Writers (Comic Books): Joe Simon, Jack Kirby
Running time: 120 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

Genre: Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi
UK Release date: 29th July 2011

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 28th April 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

I deliberately avoided this film when it came out last year because it didn’t really interest me. I don’t mind anyone using mythology or fictitious events as a background to their stories, but when they start playing with events that are still within human memory then I begin to feel uncomfortable. I guess it’s because the fiction can so easily be confused with the facts and a new version of events becomes accepted. However, I put my prejudices aside and decided to give it a look anyway and I must say it’s not all that bad a film; certainly better than I was expecting. But more of my thoughts after this brief summary.

Captain America: The First Avenger Steve Rogers is a weakling, he has many medical problems but he more than makes up for that in spirit. When America joins the Second World War he is one of the first in line to enlist but he is turned down at every attempt. His best friend, James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes has got in and is about to deploy. They go out for one final night where Steve meets Dr. Abraham Erskine who enlists him into a special unit led by Colonel Chester Phillips. The training is conducted by British officer, Peggy Carter, and she takes a special interest in Steve. Meanwhile, in Europe, a rogue scientist, Johann Schmidt (aka the Red Skull) and his assistant, Dr. Arnim Zola, are drawing up their own plans having successfully retrieved a very powerful artefact. With training completed, Steve is chosen to be the first of the recruits to be ‘enhanced’ using Dr. Erskine’s procedure. It’s a success but one of the Red Skull’s agents, Heinz Kruger, destroys the equipment before Steve chases him half way across the city in an effort to capture him. He is seen as a hero and a Senator asks him to go on the road to promote war bonds. He becomes very well known for his costume and his new title, ‘Captain America’. But when his friend is captured by the Red Skull, he decides to go into action for real. I won’t say any more or the Spoiler Police will be performing a ‘procedure’ on me… not a pleasant one either.

Captain America - The First Avenger - 1 As with all of these films the effects are first rate, I particularly like the way the character of Steve was made to look really weak and scrawny in the early scenes. All the performances were pretty good; Chris Evans did a decent job as Captain America/Steve Rogers, as did Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter. I really enjoyed Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips, Stanley Tucci as Dr. Abraham Erskine and Toby Jones as Dr. Arnim Zola. I’m afraid I was a little disappointed by Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt/Red Skull, but I think that had more to do with the character than his performance. Also worthy of note were; Sebastian Stan as James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes, Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark (doing a great impression of Howard Hughes by the way), Richard Armitage as Heinz Kruger and last but not least, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

Captain America - The First Avenger - 6 Although I did enjoy this film up to a point, I did find the focus on America a little off-putting. Yes I know they did try to make it look a little international by drawing in a team made up from other nations that were also involved in WWII, but that didn’t quite cut it for me. The bad guy didn’t work either I’m afraid; he didn’t offer enough threat and so turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. Now I know this is just another stepping stone towards the ‘Avengers’ movie, but I expected a lot better.

My Score: 6.7/10

IMDb Score: 6.8/10 (based on 131,716 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0458339/

MetaScore: 66/100: (Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 79/100 (based on 216 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 75/100 (based on 126,843 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/captain-america/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

Captain America - The First Avenger - 4 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
[a body is discovered in the Arctic]
Search Team Leader: Get me the Colonel! I don't care what time it is! This one's waited long enough...

Abraham Erskine: Do you want to kill Nazis?
Steve Rogers: I don't want to kill anybody. I don't like bullies; I don't care where they're from.

Col. Chester Phillips: General Patton has said that wars are fought with weapons but are won by men. Our goal is to create the greatest army in history. But every army begins with one man. He will be the first in a new breed of super-soldier. We are going to win this war because we have the best men. And they, personally, will escort Adolf Hitler to the gates of Hell.

Captain America - The First Avenger - 7 Timothy 'Dum Dum' Dugan: Are you sure you know what you're doing?
Steve Rogers: Yeah. I punched out Adolf Hitler 200 times.

Howard Stark: Once you think you have figured out a dame, you sir are... boned.

Peggy Carter: Wait!
[she kisses Steve]
Peggy Carter: Go get him.
[surprised by the kiss, Steve looks at Colonel Phillips]
Col. Chester Phillips: I'm not kissing you.

Captain America - The First Avenger - 5 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://captainamerica.marvel.com/
Trailer:

1 comment:

Hunter said...

Thanks for the great review SteelMonster, it was very thorough. One of my Dish coworkers and I just finished streaming Captain America from the Epix section of DishOnline.com. My friend is a big Captain America fan, which kind of prevented him from enjoying the movie; he was searching for flaws throughout the movie. I know how he feels because I do the same thing for every Spider-Man movie that is released. Not knowing as much about Captain America was a good thing for me, I was able to suspend my skepticism and actually enjoy the movie for what it was. I think it was a solid action flick. I do find it kind of interesting that you found the emphasis on America in the Captain America movie off-putting; one would expect such an emphasis in a film with said title.