‘Captain America: The First Avenger’: The Beginning of Marvel’s ‘Avengers’


As is true of every other blockbuster from this past 2011 season (and what a season it was!), I am getting in on seeing Captain America late – very late. I giggled my way through two of the other popular superhero flicks, but I think self-consciously, this was always the one that I most looked forward to. The only question to answer now was – is the movie worth the wait… and the hype?

Captain America: the First Avenger (2011) Film Review

Although a sickly young man with asthmatic tendencies, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is nothing if not determined. The beginning of WWII embroils America, and Steve is ready and willing to fight for his country; for all that he believes in. Recruiters give him no opportunity because of his physical limits. His peers poke fun at him, but Steve continues to fight his way to the front of the line.

Captain America First Avenger

Steve’s one friend is about to ship out but then, something happens. His patriotism is noticed by famed scientist Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci) who approves him for a special unit of soldiers with a new kind of skill. Erskine’s superior, Army Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) sees little or no promise in Steve but the doctor is persistent.

When the opportunity to be a part of the risky operation arises, Steve agrees. It’s a project the young inventor, Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) heads up. The experiment turns out to be a success and Steve is transformed into a super solider with abilities not previously available to him – or any one human body. Following the procedure, the scientific doctor dies at the hands of a Nazi secret agent pitting Steve against enemies greater than he could have ever imagine.

Review after review of this movie glows – and I’m glad to say I agree. Captain America is not only a great film on its own two feet but also a really well set-up platform to bridge the gap into next summer’s Avengers movie. I had really high hopes for this movie, and I think there is somedisappointment by certain aspects. The movie gets a little caught up in assembling its premise and as a result, the opening twenty to forty minutes is less engaging, and lasts longer than necessary before the excitement catches.

If I think Thor moves quickly, Captain America is the opposite. Nevertheless this is one movie I think I’ll appreciate the pacing a second time through. Fortunately, the high points of the script are really well-written. Like I said, the production just doesn’t “grab” viewers in the beginning (something that should be a writing goal since the opening of a story can decide its fate) and in fact, could be thought sappy but the humor is clever without being goofy (thank goodness!) and then, there is the characters.

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‘Captain American: The First Avenger’: The Beginning of Marvel's 'Avengers.' Still my favorite #Avenger. Who's yours? #America #MCU #Movies #WhattoWatch Click To Tweet
Captain America First Avenger Peggy and Steve Kiss

Captain America is a heroic “symbol” for the American people, a person who brings hope. However Steve detests the titles. His hero is one that, as a viewer we 100% support. He feels deeply for anyone who might need saving, and mourns loss unlike any hero I’ve met. Sure we come to love the masculine heroes in countless movies. But then how many of them do we end up yelling at because they have a lapse in judgment or treat their female counterpart with disrespect? I’d wager there are a good many. Steve is no such hero. He is compassionate, and wants to protect  fellow Americans – all without thought to his safety, and he is always willing to accept the consequences of his actions. Chris portrays this character well; the fantastic talent that joins him includes Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, J.J. Field and in a brief appearance, Natalie Dormer.

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Now that I’ve sufficiently gushed about this titular character, let’s look at the rest of the film. Apart from one or two mishaps, Captain America is the best superhero flick I’ve seen. It isn’t just a silly movie that has some cool effects, instead it actually has heart. Believe it or not, the movie actually has some realistic parallels with principles that mirror real life. I will admit to being annoyed about the end. Not so much for its unpredictability, but more for its silliness (the whole 70-year sleep bit was kind of “out there”), but… I do recognize filmmakers challenge in getting Steve to the place he needed to be in at his triumphant return next summer – and their idea is clever.

There’s also a sequel with the titular character in-the-works, which will be interesting to read developments of. If you like this genre or enjoy stories that praise heroes with character, you cannot go wrong with Captain America. If it doesn’t make you think about patriotism and courage than the message won’t resonate with you.

CONTENT: the film is PG13 but it just barely earns this. There is the token “violence” and some characters do not make it until films close. Many characters are die by a weapon that “evaporates” them into thin air, others are shot. There are a couple of “tense” scenes and explosions. Steve concludes that “fondue” refers to a sexual connotation and there is a smattering of profanity, including h*ll.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I REALLY want to see this! For some reason, I was so excited to see that you wrote a review of it. :D haha, maybe my subconscious mind that since you saw it, I was one step closer to seeing it….yeah….Go ahead, judge me :D

  2. I had heard it was good but I wasn't to excited about watching it. Then we got half way through and I couldn't wait to finish it :) It is a great movie and I just loved the sets…that time period was so pretty. Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause You Are!)

  3. Raquel – I never did get to this one in theaters, but I was anxiously awaiting the DVD release. I've actually not been to see anything at theaters since the summertime – so it's about time I review something "new." =)

    I believe I did see your review of this movie – glad to know so many people liked it because it is good.

    Trinka – enjoy! I don't think you'll "regret" seeing this one. ;D

    Sierra – glad you liked it! The length of the movie was a bit longer and with a slow start, the viewer notices that, but overall, the movie's message is really inspiring.

    The time period is gorgeous – all of the costumes and sets were great.

    Livia – I look forward to your thoughts on this movie. I will probably watch it again in the near future too. =)

    Glad to know so many of you liked "Captain America."

  4. this sounds so good! i was disappointed with thor, too, because it moved so quickly, but it sounds like this one moves slower {too slow?}, and i think the extra time to set up the story will be worth it. i'm excited to see it!

  5. Annie – I watched Thor and really did think it was "fun" but not a particularly intelligent movie. Still… I'll enjoy seeing it again.

    Captain America does move a bit too slow at times, but overall, I think it's much better than its predecessors. There is heart to Steve's story and that is what counts. =) Plus, The Avengers looks AWESOME! If you do happen to see this one, I'd love to know your thoughts…

    Hey, on an unrelated note – how do you use italics and bold fonts in the comment form? I have been playing around at trying to figure it out, and saw that you must know how – I am hoping it isn't TOO complicated. =D

    Ella – well, I am glad! ;D

    Sometimes after reading all the reviews and knowing that "everyone" else has seen it makes it seem like I am the last one yet to see the blockbusters. I only go to a few movies (compared to average America) at the theater, so I must relay on being patient and await the DVD release – I've really gotten quite good at it. =D

  6. I enjoyed this movie, too, but I admit to liking Thor better. . . I posted a few thoughts, albeit scattered, in my book blog.

    Anyways, the two have me totally hyped for The Avengers next year!
    Great review!

    ~Jess, from Random Moments

  7. Jess – I liked "Thor" quite a lot, but… I thought this movie was "stronger." Marvel's Avengers has me super excited for next summer. I am hoping I'll get to see it on the big screen, but who knows. =)

    I checked out your blog – it looks like one I'll enjoy following! Thanks bunches for stopping in here. I hope you'll visit again sometime. =)

  8. Me, too, Ruth! Marvel probably made a fortune this year – if "Avengers" doesn't do much the same, it will be shocking. ;D

    So glad you stopped in, Ruth – I've missed you here. =)

  9. Loved it — the hero is such a sweetie. My only problem with it is bringing him forward in time — who cares about the "Avengers"? I wanted more WWII comic book dramas!!

    It was so fun seeing Natalie Dormer (again) and Richard Armitage on screen!

  10. I know, isn't this hero just awesome!? (But, oh, dear! Did I kind of gush about him as I did Gary from "Early Edition"? LOL!) Steve truly had no thought about his well-being apart form his natural human instincts.

    Seeing Natalie and Richard was fun despite their limited roles. =)

    WHAT!? You aren't excited about "Avengers"?? Seriously! I think it looks awesome. Next year is shaping up to be a fantastic year movie-wise what with the fairy-tales and… "Avengers."

  11. Okay, so, I saw it!!!!!!!! And it was just as awesome as I was hoping! :) Well, except for the ending…they could have done MUCH better. Seriously, they could've at least let him have the dance!!!!
    But…it was great…and I think my first "action -like" movie :) Oh…wait…I saw Spider Man :P

  12. AWESOME, Trinka! I am so glad you enjoyed this movie – you make me want to see it again. =)

    The ending… yes, it could use a little "polishing," but apart from this summer's big-screen movie The Avengers which will unite Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk and Captain America, chances are great that a "Captain America 2" will be made which means… in all likelihood, Steve will get that dance. ;D

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