Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I've never been a much of a comic book reader, but with all the superhero movie adaptations coming to the screen, I did ask myself why no one was bothering to bring Captain America to the big screen. Of course a week after, they announced the release date and casting for Captain America: The First Avenger. I was stoked to see the final result, and a few weeks ago managed to get my ass to the theater and enjoy the movie in all it's big screen glory. High hopes were had while entering the theater, and I'm glad to report the movie doesn't disappoint.
The recession affects all of us. Even the Captain.
The year is 1942. Nazi Germany's rampage through Europe has been hugely successful and most of Europe is under its total control. A Nazi officer by the name of Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) finds an ancient mysterious object which promises ungodly amounts of energy, and begins to develop weapons based off it.

Back in America, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a scrawny dweeb, who suffers the indignity of being rejected by the Army multiple times while watching all his cool friends join up to fight Hitler. Dejected, he is approached by Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci), a brilliant scientists who offers him a chance to serve his country. Rogers accepts, and goes through selection training with Colonel Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), a British spy sent to help the Americans. Rogers makes the final cut, and is transformed into a super soldier by Erskine's serum. Unfortunately for Rogers, the lab is attacked by Nazi agents right after his transformation, and he is left as a one of a kind freak show.

All that P90X finally paid off.

Unconvinced by Rogers' potential, the Army has Captain America go on tour to sell war bonds, which Rogers soon grows to hate, since he longs for the real action. While visiting troops in the European battlefield, he hears that his best friend's unit was captured, and he gets Peggy and Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) to help him infiltrate a huge German base and manages to save the prisoners.

After his first reckless, improvised mission, Rogers finally manages to convince the Colonel that he can contribute to the war, gets his iconic shield, and suits up to kick ass. He and his new team of Howling Commandos are sent out to destroy Red Skull's secret weapons factories throughout occupied Europe. As they take the fight to the Nazis, they soon discover that Red Skull's plans go far beyond the scope of Hitler's Reich: he's building a series of super weapons for his HYDRA unit with which he plans to take over most of the world, including a giant flying wing bomber plane to attack New York City. In true comic book fashion, only the Captain and his buddies can take on Red Skull and stop his Nazi shenanigans once and for all.

Superhero movies of late have mostly tried to emulate the grittier, more realistic tone of Batman Begins, which worked wonders for the latest X-Men movie and Iron Man, but also gave us the god awful emo Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3. Thankfully, Captain America has brought back a bit of camp into the mix. The Art Deco buildings, giant flying wings and propaganda posters everywhere add up to a cool '40s vibe that helps the sets and action stand out. Chris Evans nails his role, the Captain being a better fit for him than the Human Torch, and Hugo Weaving has a surprisingly good turn as the snarling, red-faced Nazi bastard. Hayley Atwell is a feast for the eyes of course, but the best role has got to be Tommy Lee Jones as the smartass, gruff Colonel who has most of the best lines and steals every scene he's in. The production value is great as you'd expect from the big Marvel blockbusters, with great CGI used to good effect in the final battle, but a lot of praise goes towards the use of gorgeous 40s sets that look convincing and add to the movie's charm. Yes, Captain America is all about cockpunching Nazis, but damn if it isn't a good looking movie.

An actual picture of Hugo Weaving without make up.
Captain America is an example getting a comic book movie right (*cough cough* Green Lanturd, I'm looking at you...). Joe Johnston has put plenty of pulpy, serial-inspired action on the screen, kept the cheese factor reasonably low, and has a good cast to fill the roles. It seems like making a good superhero movie should be a no-brainer, but I'm grateful that this one turned out as well as it did. Of course, they also did a nice job of getting the audience ready for next year's Avengers, with the obligatory and rather long post-credits teaser. I won't spoil it, but it's worth watching. Recommended.

Best scene: Every scene with Hayley Atwell in it. YUM.

Best line: (a POW asks Rogers if he knows what he's doing as they escape a Nazi camp) - "Yeah, I've knocked out Adolf Hitler over 200 times."

TL;DR - The Cap kicks Nazi ass & gets the babe in the best superhero movie of the summer - 8/10


  1. How much romantic crap is in it? Thats my deciding factor.

  2. I agree with your review. I liked it1 I just hated Hugo Weaving's face!

  3. @ Kid Shuffle: surprisingly, not that much! They mostly use those bits to get a few laughs.

  4. I wonder how this film will do in overseas markets.

  5. i keep hearing very differing opinions on this movie. i guess i'll have to see it for myself to decide what's up

  6. Still haven't seen this, good review sir.

  7. Movie was enjoyable, nothing special but could have been worse.

  8. yes. Solid movie and was surprisingly touching at the end. Also, that Hayley is FOX!

  9. America fuck yeah! Haha great movie!

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