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.
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.
FILM REVIEW | ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ (2014) – The Captain Returns in High-Action Sequel
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.
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.
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CONTENT: the film is PG13but 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.