Sunday, July 24, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

While I have enjoyed watching the pre-Avengers movies, the only one that has impressed me so far is Iron Man, which would have sucked without Robert Downey Jr. Thor was ok but should have been much better. Iron Man 2 just purely sucked. I have not seen the Hulk movie yet, but it just can't be that good. With that being said, I didn't expect much with Captain America. I knew it wouldn't be aweful, but Chris Evans is no Robert Downey Jr. and World War II is no 2011. Once again I must admit to knowing nothing about comic books, making it impossible for me to have accuracy expectations heading in. I also didn't understand why the first Avenger was the last one made. The timing kind of made me think that Captain America was going to suck more than the other pre-Avengers movies, but everyone was going to be forced to watch in anticipation.

As most know, the movie is set during World War II, which gives the movie a bit of a classic film feel (except for the CGI). The beginning of the movie was a bit rocky. I personally think they should have waited a bit to bring Red Skull in, but the back story on Steve Rogers (Captain America) was fantastic. Rogers was small in stature but had a huge heart and of course was transformed into Captain America. Somethings went wrong in the process, and Rogers ends up with a role in the war that isn't that of a soldier. I really thought Rogers reacted strangely to this role, considering he is supposed to be a man with such a great heart. But he got back to normal rather quickly. Something that really impressed me with this movie was the final battle and eventually the final scenes. So many super hero movies have a final battle scene that lasts all of two seconds (cough cough THOR!). The film makers really embraced the end of the movie, rather than just focusing on the character build up. I thought the movie was very well arranged and had great balance between story, character, and action.

Chris Evans was great in his role as Captain America. His likability really transferred over to the character, which made Captain America what I believe he is supposed to be--a figure that people can look up to. His nemesis, Red Skull, was played by Hugo Weaving who, with the help of a computer generated face, really freaked the crap out of me. I didn't really feel like Red Skull was the enemy of Captain America, but, instead, I felt like he was the enemy of the entire world. Maybe this was reinforced by Captain America's politically correct team, including a black guy, an Asian guy, and even a French guy. It was a bit unusual but good. The inclusion of Howard Stark (Iron Man's dad) was fantastic. From the previews it looked as if he would just make a quick, helpful appearance, but he really had a pretty big role in the movie and fit in quite well. It was not as awkward as the cameos that we are used to seeing.

Best Character: Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell, was fantastic as Captain America's love interest. She had a very big connection to the storyline, which is the one thing that Marvel usually does well. She was very tough and really showed up the guys often.

Worst Character: Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan, was very useless as Rogers's best friend. It was easy to tell that we were supposed to be connected to him, but I just didn't feel it. He was one of the few unnecessary pieces of the movie.

Captain America was a great surprise. I can't decide whether I like it better than Iron Man, but it is definitely a close race. The ending was fantastic, as I sat there wondering "How will they get him to 2011?" Will I rush out to buy it, well... no, but I am more excited about The Avengers now. If you haven't heard, the first preview for The Avengers plays after the credits of Captain America, and the movie promises to be amazing. I am extremely hopeful that there will be more Captain America films in the future and cannot wait to see if Marvel can learn from past mistakes and make great movies. I give Captain America 3.001 out of 5 stars and am OFFICIALLY pumped about The Avengers!

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