Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #11 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Now we’re gonna change things up a bit with a fairly recent superhero film in the form of Captain America: The First Avenger.
Wow, didn’t expect to be talking about this film so soon but I thought why not? It’s my blog! Anyway, Captain America: The First Avenger is one of those films I have seen only 2 or 3 times, I’m always curious to watch it again but then get reminded of how much disappointment I’ll face so I avoid it. So now I’ve checked it out again its time to pass judgement yet again!
In terms of the plot the film tells the story of Steve Rogers, a sickly man from Brooklyn who is transformed into super-soldier Captain America to aid in the war effort. Rogers must stop the Red Skull – Adolf Hitler’s ruthless head of weaponry and the leader of an organization that intends to use an artifact called the “Tesseract” as an energy-source for world domination.
The story is unique, interesting and good for the most part, though the execution is a bit off. For the first half its pretty much about us getting to know Steve Rogers, who he is, how he’s selected for the super soldier programme and how he’s transformed into the hero that he becomes. The next half is about Rogers’ effort to take out the Red Skull. The first half of the film is nice and there’s a good amount of character development, though it is a little long-winded and then when the pace picks up in the second half there’s not really as much detailed material as there was in the first half. And speaking the action none it is really all that good because it’s over too quickly or worse it happens in BLOODY MONTAGES! Caps donning of his costume, his action scenes, the work together with the hollowing commandos, all of that happens in montage which means none it can be fully appreciated or taken in. Actually that actually applies to a lot of aspects in this film, a lot of stuff happens and the film doesn’t take enough time for things to be processed, so then when other major stuff happens that ties into things that’s happened before you don’t really care about it because it wasn’t there long enough to matter.
Now let’s talk about the cast. Firstly Chris Evans as does well as Steve Rogers/Captain America, he embodies all the right traits of the character and it is a massive turn around after seeing him as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films. Evans was cool, assertive and was truthful as the character and he has nice screen presence. Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter was great. Besides being totally beautiful and being arguably the hottest out of the love interests in Marvel’s Phase One films, Atwell was nice, kind and knew how to kick ass as Peggy, you could see why Cap would fall for her.
Then there’s Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt/Red Skull. I thought before this film came out that this was the perfect casting for this role, Weaving is awesome at playing villains and this was one of the best from the comics. It should have been perfect. The problem is that his interpretation of the character is so dull and one-dimensional. I mean a lot of villains are but Red Skull from the comics is this brilliant supervillian with a smart mind and very evil personality, Weaving’s version of the character was just your common “I want to rule the world with power” kind of guy with no charisma or unique charms and that hurt me.
Sebastian Stan as Sergeant James “Bucky” Barnes was alright but not nearly as good as I was hoping for. Obviously they heavily changed and updated his character for this film, and Stan does what he can with his material but it isn’t enough for me to care about him. The problem is that Steve and Bucky’s relationship doesn’t feel that strong and there’s only a few points where their long friendship seemed real. Then there’s Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips, he was amazing. I didn’t expect his role to be so big in the film but every time Jones was on-screen he had such great dialogue that made me laugh and kept me smiling throughout. Also Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark was very good as the younger version of the father of Tony Stark. Cooper’s version of Howard was very reminiscent of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in terms of his love of the ladies, level of intellect and his love of the ladies. And lastly there’s Stanley Tucci as Dr. Abraham Erskine, the scientist who created the Super Soldier Serum. Tucci was sweet, funny and wonderful in his role, my only issue was that he wasn’t on-screen longer.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is nice, the way the film creates its old-school 1940’s looks is nice if somewhat questionable at times, also the CGI used in the film for the advanced weaponry and moments when Steve Rogers or Cap is doing something superhuman is decent but is never consistently realistic. But let’s talk about the special effects used to make Chris Evans look skinny, I know that character’s meant to look feeble but that was super extreme Chris’ head looked absurd on that little body double. The action is also nice when it’s on but the problem is none of it is there long enough to appreciate because a lot of it is in FRIGGING MONTAGE! As for the soundtrack by Alan Silvestri it is nice and has a heroic sound to it when the action’s going down but other than that it’s just there and isn’t overly memorable.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well for the most part the film follows the source material with Steve Rogers’ history, how he became Captain America, the stuff with Dr. Erskine and the Red Skull. But there were a lot of changes like Bucky being an adult rather than a teenager and the nature of some of the character deaths was changed a lot too.
So to conclude.Captain America: The First Avenger is a decent effort and has a good cast to help carry the story along. The problem is that it is something special or amazing, it doesn’t have that wow factor about it. It isn’t a terrible film but any means but because of the source material I know that this film could have been so much more and that’s why it is more disappointing that it is good.
Rating: 7/10 (It’s good but it could have been SO much better)
So there’s my review people, only 19 more to go. So have you seen Captain America: The First Avenger and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!