Captain America: The First Avenger
Starring: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Neal McDonough, Derek Luke, and Stanley Tucci
Written by: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely based on the characters by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Directed by: Joe Johnston
The Marvel Comics slate continues with the pulpy Captain America. Let me get one major negative out of the way. It’s tough to get over the feeling that the film is a giant set up for the Avengers – much more so than Iron Man 2 and Thor was and that hurts it. The story is so simplistic that it seems as if they just wanted to get the film over with and the character introduced for the Avengers film.
With that being said, those on the film work their ass off to create a fun, pulpy, retro-hero film that benefits from the earlier timeframe than other heroes as well as those ultimate of baddies – the Nazis.
The costumes are eye catching, while the story is fun and adventurous. I have to admit that I was never a huge fan of Chris Evans but he does an admirable job with a difficult task…making a boy scout interesting for two hours.
What helps though is good turns by Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull, Tommy Lee Jones as Col. Chester Philips, Hayley Atwell as Captain America love interest Peggy Carter and Sebastian Stan as best friend James “Bucky” Barnes. All have their moments and help drive the story forward.
Now the story is definitely vague. Bad guy gets device to destroy/take over the world, kills someone close to hero, hero saves the day. But they do a good job making it seem not too cliched. In fact tying the Red Skull’s villainy into Asgardian lore will help serve the Avengers film well.
The pre-epilogue epiloge where Steve Rogers wakes today in a SHIELD headquarters does seem a bit out of place but it does force Rogers into today’s world. For the first time though the film directly forces the character into the shared universe and into the Avengers when previously it was only the bonus after credits scenes which did so.
Of course there is an additional bonus after credits scene present but it’s really redundant.
What’s interesting to me is the eventual sequel. It will no longer be the 40s and World War II, but in present time. That will change the whole look and feel of the film. And honestly I think it loses something. The timeframe and look of the film is kind of what set it apart from the generic superhero films we’ve been given.
All in all it is a strong film and worth a view.