42. Captain America: The First Avenger

In the final setup for next years’ Marvel powerhouse The Avengers, we wind down the summer of 2011 with Captain America: The First Avenger.  Kicking back to World War 2 era 1940’s where the race for power and dominance runs rampant, Brooklyn pipsqueak Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) dreams of serving his country but due to his tiny stature and rampant ailments like asthma he is repeatedly denied entry into the military, even as the Allies begin their involvement.

During one of Steve’s attempts to pass a physical, a doctor (Stanley Tucci) recognizes Steve’s spirit and determination and offers him a chance to join the army that sure enough leads to a procedure giving Steve superhuman strength.  Immediately, an Axis spy tries to steal the technology and Steve chases him across New York in a highly publicized collision course.  Steve then becomes more or less a propaganda tool in a ridiculous old school Captain America outfit where he beats up Hitler and leads a chorus line in a national tour.

As Steve visits overseas he is booed and heckled by the armed forces.   Upon learning his childhood friend’s battalion has been captured by the Red Skull, a rogue Nazi scientist who is building tons of nuclear weapons to unleash on the United States – Captain America journeys to the Red Skull’s lair to rescue the troops.  The Red Skull escapes and plans to carry out an evil plan to drop nuclear weapons on the United States.  Captain America must then stop the Red Skull and somehow get back to the present day so he can participate in next years’ Avengers film.  Phew, I’m out of breath.

I was a little underwhelmed with Chris Evans as the title hero, but I suppose he will have to do.  Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull was sufficiently dastardly, but I almost feel like Stanley Tucci could have been put to better use as a main villain.  Tommy Lee Jones as Col. Phillips chimes in with all the right quotes at the opportune times, but Haley Atwell as Captain America’s object of desire is a total sideshow.

While Captain America isn’t great, it still ranks above most of the recent so-so comic book fare such as Thor and The Green Hornet.  With the film set in the 1940’s, it barely avoids being branded completely “campy” in my book with Captain America’s straight edged morals and nationalistic pride.  If you enjoy comic book movies, definitely give Captain America a chance.  It’s better than most.

The survey says…3 stars out of 5.


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Categories: 100 Films

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One Comment on “42. Captain America: The First Avenger”

  1. July 31, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    this movie surprised me, it was a lot better than i thought it would be. loved this review.

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