Friday, July 29, 2011


CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER was the summer movie that I was looking forward to seeing the most.  You see, I love the character which is strange because I've honestly never read a Captain America comic book.  But Cap is different.  What makes Cap different is that he didn't need some terrible or unfortunate life-altering event (like Batman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, etc) to be a hero.  He is and was always a good man.  That's how I like my heroes: good.  No gray area.  No anti-heroes.  Big, moral and clad in primary colors.  I know I'm the minority, but I'm frequently the minority.  I should prolly warn yall that this "review" is prolly gonna be the closest you'll see me nerd out and be a fan boy... (more after the jump)

Quick recap of the story: Steve Rogers (a great showing by Chris Evans) is a sickly, scrawny kid from Brooklyn that wants to join the war effort during WWII.  He tries to enlist five times but is denied because of his diminutive stature and health problems.  His heart, though, catches the eye of Dr. Abraham Erskine (A German Stanley Tucci) who recommends him for the super-soldier program (though I don't think they ever called it that in the movie).  Bada-bing, he's Captain America.  With the help of the gorgeous Agent Peggy Carter (played by the gorgeous Hayley Atwell), he tries to take down HYDRA, the malevolent, scientific division of the Nazi party (or something).  HYDRA is led by the Red Skull (an underutilized Hugo Weaving).

I thought that CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER was a terrific movie, and that starts and ends with Chris Evans.  Evans did a superb job as Steve Rogers/Captain America.  I was among those that doubted he could pull it off since most of his work had been that of the wise-cracking supporting actor.  But he seized leading man status and turned in a great performance.  Chris Evans as skinny Steve Rogers was even more compelling than his bulked up Captain America.  You root for the courageous runt who gets the shit kicked out of him and has people telling him he's not good enough.  Evans plays the role with a deep seeded conviction in himself that shone in each iteration of the Steve Rogers character, but it pays off brilliantly when he's 90-something pounds.  I was afraid the CGI would look a little too unrealistic, and that problem would be mighty distracting.  But the CGI of skinny Steve Rogers is pretty perfect.  You forget pretty early on that Chris Evans is actually a big dude.  After he becomes Captain America, though, the story becomes a generic, comic-book movie... which isn't necessarily terrible.

One thing that was missing was a good, rousing Captain America speech.  Cap is supposed to be this natural leader who commands respect not only for his superhuman abilities but for his charisma.  The online/dork community was begging for this speech to be somewhere.

Evans and Hayley Atwell had excellent chemistry.  If you know about the character and how he ends up in the 21st century, you know the answer to the "will they or won't they?" question.  But for me, the question became, "Okay, but what about just once?"  It made the last line of the movie very heartbreaking.

The casting and action were great.  The story was tight.  The dialogue was fun... and there is something endlessly romantic about the World War II setting.

What I didn't like...The music seemed off.  The score was a vanilla-flavored epic.  I would liked a more definitive Captain America theme.  Something heroic...

There should have been more Nazis.  Instead of Nazis, Captain America fought the Nazi science division, Hydra (or something) who saluted Hydra (instead of Hitler) with a terrible double armed salute.  There was something very un-intimidating about them.  The foot soldiers looked... very non-menacing... almost like an army of gimps from Pulp Fiction.  The all leather costumes and masks didn't help. 
 I think Red Skull could have been meaner... nastier.  The makeup worked, but the shade should have been darker.  He never struck me as particularly menacing... I mean, he killed Nazis that tried to get in his way.  HE KILLED NAZIS.  Thanks?  I didn't quite understand the Red Skull's intentions.  He wanted to destroy cities... and then what?  Just rule the world?  Did he know that we had a nuke?  Cause those vaporizing guns don't look that great against a nuke.

I think they rushed the end.  It was very Twilight Zone-y.  I thought that there should be a bigger shock to waking up 70 years into the future and seeing Times Square.

Overall, I thought it was the best superhero movie of the summer... but I'm pretty damned biased.  I give CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER: 7.5 Icky Thumps

After speaking with Lomo, she had this to say... "I was mildy bored throughout"  and gave it a 6.5.


  1. I read the comic of Captain America but after watching the movie. I like the movie a lot because it is flawless and full of sci-fi effects which is a thing I like most about this movie. Evan done a fabulous job as the main lead. I really like him as a actor now.

  2. Wow, I think your review was actually glowing as I read it. I can see all your points in the movie, but I don’t think the nuke really mattered in the movie, but it is a good thought. Chris Evans did do a much better job playing Cap then I think he did playing the Human Torch, even if it does show some growth on his part. The movie itself, disappointed me when I saw it in theatres, coming off the heels of Thor I think I expected more out of Cap, but what we got was the actual back story to him, which at first I didn’t like. When I saw it on the Epix page of Dish Online I decided it was time to give it a shot with no expectations, and I did find the movie enjoyable, but rushed at the end like you stated. Although I think I work with a lot of pro Marvel at Dish because they got scowls on their face if I don’t talk highly of the Marvel movies, and I think they all could have been better, especially Iron Man 2.