Monday, July 25, 2011

Capitan America: The First Avenger (First Impressions) (Movie Review)

        From “X-Men” to “Spider-Man” to “The Fantastic Four” to “Iron man”, every great Marvel superhero has gotten a modern movie adaption and at long last it’s Capitan America’s turn to get a modern superhero blockbuster. Personally, I couldn’t wait to see a modern Capitan America movie because he’s always been one of my favorites. So how was this film compared to the other two summer, marvel blockbusters, well it wasn’t as good as “Thor” or as masterful as “X-Men First Class”, but never the less it was a very, VERY satisfying superhero movie. It’s basically a traditional and fun superhero flick that’s not meant to be taken seriously and it’s only purpose is to entertain and it succeeds on all of those. It also works as a good underdog story of a man rising up to the challenge and a hero gaining acceptance to those who disapprove of him. The action is really fun, with lots of good explosions, hand to hand combat and a fun aroma of cool weapons (including these awesome new tank vehicles). Chris Evans is good in the role of Captain America but he isn’t quiet on the same level of Robert Downy Jr. as Iron Man or Hugo Jackman as Wolverine. Plus, it’s just a little strange to see him as Captain America because he’s still very familiar to me as “The Human Torch” from the recent “Fantastic Four” movies (there’s a fun bit of trivia). The costume looks great, keeping the iconic, propaganda image alive while still modernizing it to keep him from looking silly. The rest of the characters are a lot of fun. The female lead (played very well by Hayley Atwell) named Peggy Charter is just awesome, she’s one of those rare female characters that’s never in need of rescuing, has an awesome accent, looks great, can kick ass and her relation with Captain America was genuinely sweet. Tommy Lee Jones is just awesome as always and manages to steel every scene he’s in. But the best casting decision by far was Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull.
      When I heard Hugo weaving was going to play him I was like, oh yea, that’s The Red Skull, perfect actor, can’t go wrong and he didn’t disappoint. The esthetics for his face were also terrific, I honestly couldn’t tell at first if it was CG or make up, it just looked really cool. Overall, it was another one of Marvels most popular villains brought to life perfectly on the big screen. Hydra also made for very threatening villains and are on par with the storm troopers from “Star Wars”, as cool looking solders. The visuals were good and simple, they never felt over the top and they never over shadowed the characters (like in “G.I. Go: Rise of Cobra”). The visuals for making Captain America look small and scrawny were outstanding, he never looked CG, it all looked genuine, so that was very impressive. Now there are some small things to nitpick at, like this one painfully long montage of Captain America being shown off as a celebrity (slash) propaganda symbol (slash) children’s action figure. Now, I like that he didn’t become a superhero immediately after getting his powers and instead starts as a TV, comic book, celebrity. This was a great explanation as to why he’s called Captain America and how he got the costume, but this silly little montage, was just too long for its own good. Now there’s one other little complaint that I know I’ve mentioned many times before in several other reviews but I feel I must bring it up once again because it ticks me off every time, once again the movie begins without showing the title in the opening! Why has it become so common for films to begin without showing us the title, at least this movie has a fun and colorful end credit sequence but I wish they would still fit the title in the opining.
       One thing I really liked about this film was that so many hints and references to other Marvel comic characters were actually primary parts of the story. For example, one of Captain Americas aids is named Howard Stark, an ancestor to Tony Stark (Iron Man). Also, the Red Skull uses an ancient object of devastating power that he refers to as something from Odin’s treasury (Thor) and it also bears a striking resemblance to the object seen at the end of “Thor”. Stan Lee has another fun little cameo and Samuel L. Jackson makes another appearance at the end of the film as Nick Fury. The highlight of the whole movie is a trailer at the end of the credits for “The Avengers” movie that’s coming out next summer. It was so cool to finally see live action footage of Captain America, Thor and Iron Man all in one film, it’s what every comic book geek has been waiting for and I can’t wait to see it next summer! We also got a first look at the new Spider-Man movie titled “The Amazing Spider-Man” but it wasn’t part of the movie and the trailer honestly didn’t show that much, but it was still cool. Overall, this was a fun superhero flick that’s worthy to be placed amongst all the other classic superhero blockbusters. I give “Captain America: The First Avenger” 4 stars.         

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