Captain America: The First Avenger

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Captain America is a very good film. I firmly believe that this character is the very toughest to bring to life in the Marvel stable simply because of his complexity. They did a fairly nice job keeping it simple but remembering to do so with heart. The film features a nice pace, the perfect cast and wonderful throwback action sequences.

Intelligent comic-book popcorn epics are rare and this one is definately a cut above the usual fare. Besides being a tremendously smart and even emotional film, itís also refreshing to see a lead hero be just thatÖ a hero. Steve is no morbid vigalante or narcissitic self absorbed anti-hero. Heís the real deal. His tough life hasn't made him bitter or jaded. In fact, itís done just the opposite. Heís needed to develop character because his body didnít develop. This is the key to Cap both in the books and in the film. Heart and character trump the physical elements and are what truly makes the character itself special. Even after he's given the great gift of being a ďsuper soldier,Ē he still continues to do the right thing. Itís not to prove anything to anyone other than himself because he has a high moral code. I love the fact that they choose his character for the experiment because he wouldnít take advantage of the gift. Thatís smart writing. Cap's first assignment from the U.S. government is to be the centerpiece in a traveling USO show, building morale and raising money for the war effort. Eventually, he finds heís wasting his new abilities and NEEDS to break away on his own to fight the Nazi menace. This brings him to conflict with the awesomely diabolical Red Skull. The Skull is one of Marvelís best crazed villains and they captured that perfectly. Here, the Red Skull was a guinea pig for a similar Nazi super soldier experiment that went very wrong. These clashes and confrontations are everything they should be and more. Shades of gray are great in film (and there are those tones present here) but sometimes itís good to have character of pure heart, pure integrity and true morality take it to what history and everyone knows was pure evil. Itís refreshing to sit back and root for the ultimate good to take it to the ultimate bad guys. Itís why I loved Raiders of the Lost Ark and itís why I now love this film.


The only thing I agree with in your review is the fact that Captain has a heart of gold. Yes, he's morally driven to do good, but everything else you said about this film didn't work at all for me.

First, I thought the film was poorly written and constructed. Despite the (cliche) things that Rogers does to show his "heart", I never saw him as anything more than a 2-D chracter. He has no clear motivation, other than "I hate bullies". Really? That's good enough to lay down your 90 lb. body on the battlefield? The supporting cast is even more thin on substance, especially Bucky who's supposed to be important to the character of Rogers but fails to evoke any emotion at his most critical scene.

Red Skull is bad "just because". What's his motivation? World domination, like a cheesy Bond villain. Lame.

There are about fifty montage sequences in the film because the plot is so rushed. The origin of Captain America is hurried along because, honestly, there's just too much to cover. Because there's so much going on, there's abslutely no explanation devoted to the magical glowing cube. The entire bad guy plot is a Deus Ex Machina. It's rediculous.

If I wanted to nit-pick I'd point out that there's several akward editing moments in the film. It's intelligence-insultingly rediculous that the bombs at the end of the film are labeled (in English!) for the cities they are intended to destroy! There's no reason for Captain America to get frozen in ice (SPOILERS) because he could easily point the plane at the ground and parachute out. I find it hard to believe that there was no way he could escape the plane at the end. Him being frozen should have been a direct result of Red Skull plot, instead it's almost treated as an after thought.

I'd give Captain America a 4 out of 10. It gets a few bonus points for having a couple of fun action sequences and for having cast Chris Evans.

^Yep. The movie is not that good. Typical Hollywood cliched film.. 6/10
And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

Well heres another superhero film I won't be seeing. This relentless comicbook summer and Avengers thingy has just left a bad taste in my mouth. Seems like I made the smart choice by only watching X-Men: First Class

If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission
I was disappointed with "Captain America." It was OK, but based on the high rating it received in its opening week, I was expecting a much better movie. The first half of the movie was great - the second half wasn't. The action sequences weren't all that impressive, they were messy and badly edited. Chris Evans was a lot more likeable before he became Captain America. Redskull was kind of a lame villain, and the whole mystery surrounding that stupid glowing cube was never fully explained. There were a lot of PG jokes sprinkled throughout the movie, as if it was intended to be a family film; but then there were scenes of gruesome violence also. Gave the movie a disjointed feeling that I just couldn't shake off once the credits rolled.

In all honesty, I was more entertained during "Cowboys & Aliens."

"If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion."
- Christopher Nolan

Glad to see 80% of the critics and 90% of the people agree with me. Cap delivered what is probably the best film of the summer. It's right there neck and neck with X-Men First Class. It's a perfect mix of old school dazzle and good old-fashioned charisma.

Still, Iíve noticed this trend in the past. Anyone who would give this movie a negative review is either trying to get attention for themselves, someone from a competing movie at the box office, a scrooge or an idiot. Take your pick.

Still, Iíve noticed this trend in the past. Anyone who would give this movie a negative review is either trying to get attention for themselves, someone from a competing movie at the box office, a scrooge or an idiot. Take your pick.
Or someone who just didn't enjoy which is not that hard to expect from a summer blockbuster. I haven't seen it myself yet, but from what I've heard, it's very cheesy.

If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission
Anyone who would give this movie a negative review is either trying to get attention for themselves, someone from a competing movie at the box office, a scrooge or an idiot. Take your pick.
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

Glad to see 80% of the critics and 90% of the people agree with me. Cap delivered what is probably the best film of the summer. It's right there neck and neck with X-Men First Class. It's a perfect mix of old school dazzle and good old-fashioned charisma.

Still, Iíve noticed this trend in the past. Anyone who would give this movie a negative review is either trying to get attention for themselves, someone from a competing movie at the box office, a scrooge or an idiot. Take your pick.
I'm going to copy my blog post about the film. You can decide what an idiot I am if you read it. Note that in the star rating I actually bumbed it up a notch after reflecting on the film. Despite that, all of my criticism stands. Maybe, you could step down from your high horse long enough to listen to someone's opinion who doesn't agree with you:

I did not have high hopes for Captain America. Despite it being a part of the Marvel Comics line of films, which have so far been pretty decent, it's directed by Joe Johnston. The reason that got me down is he is the man behind Jurassic Park III and The Wolfman, among other mediocre to bad films. However, they made a great first step with this film by hiring the always fantastic, super charismatic Chris Evans to play the lead role.

That said, this film wasn't a complete disappointment. But it wasn't a home run, either, in my opinion. Captain America opens in the present, a team of explorers is digging around in the Arctic Circle where they find a giant craft with a familiar shield (or is it a S.H.I.E.L.D.?) frozen in the ice. Then we rewind to 1942 where a scrawny kid from Brooklyn named Steve Rogers is determined to join the US Army to go fight the Nazi threat in Europe. Unfortunately he's a ninety pound asthmatic, so the Army doesn't want him (the special effects turning Chris Evan into a tiny, sickly looking version of himself are incredible). After a few scenes where we're shown his heart of gold and determination to never give up, he and his friend, James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes (Sebastian Stan), find themselves at the Stark Expo. Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), future father of "Iron Man" Tony Stark, is having his technology expo (seen in Iron Man 2), where the Army also happens to have a recruiting station. Rogers tries, yet again, to get into the military and Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) overhears his heartfelt speech to Bucky about why he needs to fight. Dr. Erskine happens to be working with Howard Stark on the super soldier serum and he believes that Rogers is the perfect candidate for the job.

After one of the first of many montage sequences, this one showing us what a hero Rogers is on the inside, they strap him into a machine and shoot him full of super soldier serum and Rogers emerges from the machine taller, stronger, and more attractive than normal men! But, the evil Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), head of the Nazi's science and research department, HYDRA (I don't know why it's all caps, that just the way it is in the comics!), has a secret agent in the lab. The nameless thug kills Dr. Eskine ensuring that Rogers is the only US soldier to receive the treatment. I don't know why he waits until the procedure is done to do this, wouldn't it be better for the baddies if he killed them before a super soldier is produced?

To be honest, I'm as bored explaining this story as I got while watching it. It's not that the film is boring, there's enough action in Captain America to keep the viewer entertained, but the story isn't very engaging. Schmidt wants to use HYDRA to take the power from Hitler and rule the world himself. He has a ridiculous plot device that is literally never explained, some powerful cube made by the Gods (maybe this is something from the film Thor, but if I have to watch another film to have this explained to me it's just stupid), that he plans to use to blow up a bunch of world capitals, blah, blah. Captain America, along with his team of Army heroes, use their super montage sequence powers to fight HYDRA and keep the threat at bay, and eventually stop evil (spoiler?).

Captain America feels less like an actual story and more like a very long set-up for The Avengers, a film that will bring together Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk. There's no real arc for any of the characters. Rogers starts out as a skinny guy with a heart of gold and ends as a strong, thawed out guy with a heart of gold. There's a lot of the set-up of a classic heroes journey, but the end sort of kills it. I just never connected with anything or anyone in the film, other than brief moments with Rogers. Also, Steve Rogers is just such a cliche hero. His only motivation for wanting to go off to war and lay down his life is explained in the single line "I don't like bullies". Really? That's why you want to take your ninety pound frame into battle and perhaps die?

The biggest problem I had with the plot was how overstuffed it felt, while still feeling completely empty. There's the origin story of Captain America, which takes a lot longer to explain than one would expect, thanks to a very strange series of events where he tours the country selling war bonds. There's the rushed origin of Red Skull. There's a band of merry men, soldiers that Captain America saves from capture who fight alongside our hero, who are never given anything more than single line introductions. In fact, I don't even know if any of them have names. There's Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), love interest for our hero, who is bland and one note. There's Howard Stark and the set up for The Avengers. All of these things blow by so fast that the unexplained magic cube, which serves as the catalyst for the entire story, just shows up and gets a one minute intro. Who made it? Why? What does it do? It's the whole power behind HYDRA and it doesn't make any sense. Maybe I fell asleep while they explained something!

Despite all of this, there's no emotional impact in most of the scenes, even a moment that's supposed to be sad just flies past with a single scene of brief reflection Is it so hard to do a decent funeral scene? Or make me care about the characters before we kill them off? I never care about Rogers relationship to Peggy. I never felt there was any danger or threat to any of the characters, and I never cared if any of them would survive the film.

I do want to say that there's an interesting dynamic to this film. I always thought Captain America was the type of character that the United States had moved beyond. He's patriotic to a fault, a product of the time that he was created. He first appeared in comic books in 1941. His role in comics was very much like his characters role in the first half of the film. He inspired patriotism in the US, often fighting the Axis powers in the comic books of the time. He was a very black and white, good vs. evil type of character. Since that time, the country has been through some trying events, the Vietnam war, Watergate, political scandals among so many others. The country is arguably a less overtly patriotic place. The flag waving, ticker-tape parade days are behind us (or maybe ahead of us again, who knows) and we've accepted fictional heroes that are more morally grey. And yet, the film never feels as silly as it should. The character works, serving as a role model for any era. Rogers is selfless to a fault. Always the hero, wearing the colors of his country with pride and always striving to do what's right. In fact, despite his paper thin motivation, this is the films biggest strength. When Rogers throws himself upon what he believes is a live grenade to save his fellow soldiers, I felt a genuine sense of his selflessness. It's perhaps the strongest scene in the film.

Captain America is not a bad movie, there's a few fun action scenes. Chris Evans is fun to watch and is the best thing about the film. Hugo Weaving is the perfect bad guy, despite being a bit cartoonish. It's enjoyable enough.; it just isn't particularly memorable. It's the perfect summer movie fun film.

SPOILERS AHEAD. I'm talking the end of the film after this point!

A few nit-picks. In the end, Captain America is on HYDRA's giant bomber trying to keep the baddies from blowing up the world. The bombs are small planes that need to be piloted to their destination. Each one is individually labeled in big English test where they will blow up. Are the HYDRA soldiers so stupid that they need their planes labeled for them? Do the writers think the audience watching this film is so stupid that they don't know the purpose of these bombs?

Also, Captain America flies the plane into the ice in the Arctic Circle. The plane seems to be damaged and all he has to do is push the stick forward toward the ground. Why doesn't he try to find a parachute and just jump out instead of crashing the plane?

Also, when did he learn to pilot a plane?

Plus, why doesn't the Army try to find him immediately after the crash? Why does it take until present time to find him? Did they just shrug their shoulders and let him sit there in the ice? They had radar monitors showing where he crashed. Just weird stuff in this movie.

3 out of 5 stars.

I'm not old, you're just 12.
This movie was great! It got the character just right, the action sequences were well done and easy to follow, plus it had a ton of Easter eggs to past Marvel movies and comic books. I personally can't wait to see what's next in The Avengers. I'm happy that they've created a coherent, interlocking Marvel movie-verse. It isn't necessary to have seen the preceding films (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor) but if you do, you get a larger picture that will be paid off in the next year. I also want to see a second Captain America film, dealing with what it must be like to be a man out of time as well as more crazy action.
"You, me, everyone...we are all made of star stuff." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

And what exactly is wrong with that?
Just ignore him, he's from L. A.

so people from l.a. hate America?
I was trying to make the joke that he hates patriotism because he's from a "hip" and/or progressive town...


I got it, I was joking...
Internet sarcasm gets me every time!

It had a tinge of Asylum Films about it, took the cheesy bits from Indy movies and had some pretty simplistic characterisations but it's harmless fun. Not a lot of depth or style to it, despite the occasional nice bit