Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Yikes, another comic book movie? Why yes, of course, we have to fill in all the backstories before we release The Avengers. Ok, I guess that makes sense, but I’m feeling a bit burned out on all of these. That’s too bad, you’re going to get more. Don’t we get to vote or something? No, you lost all your voting privileges because you didn’t like the remake of Clash of the Titans. Now wait a minute, that movie stinks… See, you don’t deserve to vote with that attitude.

Wait a sec, who the hell am I talking to?

World War II rages on and all Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do is join the military and serve his country. Alas, he is weak, scrawny, and sickly. Luckily that is just what Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci) is looking for. He wishes to create a super soldier that can serve as a prototype for future army of heroes. The experiment works and Steve becomes Captain America! Dr. Erskine is killed by an enemy agent sent by the diabolical Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving). After some convincing Colonel Phillips puts Captain America to work, hunting down Schmidt and his army of super-soldiers. But Steve has to juggle his new found powers, his feelings for the lovely Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and his devotion to his country to become The First Avenger.

Good Points:
  • The 40s look to the bulk of the film is impressive
  • Throws in some light hearted fun into the super hero mix
  • Tommy Lee Jones steals nearly every scene he’s in

Bad Points:
  • The story is not very engaging
  • The visual effects to make Evans look feeble look bizarre
  • Really feels like a long set up for little pay off

This should almost work, and if they weren’t so concerned about making a movie that leads into The Avengers it could have been a real blast of fun. Instead the movie feels muddled in some places and redundant in others. It ends up being an uneven viewing experience. It’s not bad, but of all the Avenger superhero prologues this is the weakest.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 4
Sound: 4
Acting: 3
Script: 3
Music: 3
Direction: 3
Entertainment: 2
Total:  3

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review. 


  1. That was my take, too, though the movie did surprisingly well at the box office, giving Harry Potter, with which it competed, a tough round of quidditch.

    Captain America is so very 1940s. He knows what is right and what is wrong and what to do about it; so long as he is set in the 1940s, audiences seem willing to accept him. I’m not sure how well this moral clarity will translate to the 21st century. Our heroes these days have dark sides – sometimes their dark sides dominate (Batman is a case in point), and “crimefighting” or whatever is little more than an excuse for the violence they clearly enjoy.

    1. I think that 40s aspect was my favorite part of the movie. If it hadn't been burdened by setting up for "The Avengers" I think this could have been a fine stand alone film. The same director did "The Rocketeer" which had a lot of similarities with this film, but overall was more enjoyable.

  2. I thought that Captain America was good, but at the same time, I had mixed feelings on how the story played out. Either way, it was really a good movie. A Dish coworker suggested that we run a marathon of Marvel movies just before the release of The Avengers. It’s nice to know that I’ll be able to watch them on my Hopper using Blockbuster @Home before the Avengers movie comes out later this month. I wonder what they’re going to do for Captain America 2…

    1. I know a lot of folks really liked this movie. I think that may be have been part of my issue. My expectations could have been too high. Like you, I'm curious to see where the proposed sequel will go. I'm guessing Red Skull has to come back in some way.