iAre Reviews – Captain America: The First Avenger
Today, we review the recently the last of the 3 Marvel films of this summer, Captain America. Can Marvel Studios go 3 for 3 this summer, or will they have to settle for 2 out of 3?
Here’s my quick synopsis: Chris Evans stars as Steve Rogers a kid from New York who wants to enlist with the U.S. army during World War II, but keeps getting rejected due to his physical size and health conditions. He gets selected by a secret government program to create “super soldiers” and is given a serum that gives him size, strength, and enhanced abilities. While this is going on the villain the Red Skull is planning his take over of the entire world. Captain America would eventually have to take him on and that’s a gist of the movie without giving too much away. One thing you should note is that two key movies you should watch before this one are Thor and Iron Man 2 (especially parts about the Tesseract and Stark Expo), though seeing both of these aren’t really too critical to figuring out what’s going on. One thing I was worried about going into this film was the tone and it surprisingly turned out to be the right one. Since its a WWII setting you would maybe expect a gritter more serious tone to the movie. But the script worked around this and still kept the superhero feel to it with a sense of action and adventure. It was a little Spider-Manish with its underdog characterization of Captain America. Also be glad it didn’t get in the audience’s face with the whole “joining the army” thing. There’s a sense of Americana to it all, but not enough to make you groan. The film needs to better keep momentum since it starts strong, but then gets to a point where its basically a montage of army base destruction and ends with an underwhelming end.
Going into the summer two actors who in my mind were totally miscasted were Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern and Chris Evans as Cap, Reynolds as expected flopped, but surprisingly did well. He’s usually plays brash and arrogant characters, but pulled off the much more humble Steve Rogers in this film. Tommy Lee Jones and Hugo Weaving outright stole the show, Jones with all his one-liners nailed the army colonel training Rogers and Weaving is just too good at playing the villain. Hayley Atwell did an alright Peggy Carter, but felt pretty cold in more emotional scenes. Felt a little the same with Sebastian Stan as Bucky as well (really did not like the way his death was dealt with in this film however). Neal McDonough could have also stolen the show, but like the rest of the Howling Commandos, really underdeveloped secondary characters.
Scenery was another strong point for the film, they did well to give it a more old feel and capture the city of New York in the WWII era. Keeping the scenery streetside gave it a new perspective than usually seeing everything from above with other superhero films. The altered head thing they used in the early scenes still looks weird and off in some way, but you can tell the graphics department did their job well (it’s just a weird effect). Something you rarely give credit for is costume design, which was hit or miss. Red Skull’s face was dead on (though maybe too bright red), Cap’s put together suit actually looked really good, though his final costume looked too bulky. There was a little “take it as it is” with the dorky looking Hydra foot soldier costumes, but as comic relief it worked well.
Captain America was basically average for me in terms of superhero films. It really needed a stronger ending confrontation and maybe instead of the montage a fight with a secondary smaller villain. Also everything with transitioning Cap back to the present felt clunky and rushed. All in all, Captain America had a good feel to it and succeeded in making Marvel Studios go 3 for 3 this summer, now if DC can get anything besides the Batman franchise going. Also if you do see this remember to stay until the end and see the teaser for The Avengers which brings all these Marvel hero flicks together finally.
Acting: A- Visuals: B- Story: B- OVERALL: B