Comic Film Review- Captain America: The First Avenger
By otakuman5000 On 28 Jul, 2011 At 02:32 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Movie News, Reviews | With 2 Comments

No GravatarRed, White, and Blue or Red, White, and Blew?

Captain America is a pitch perfect movie that ties together the entire Marvel Cinema Universe, establishes Cap’s place in it, and provides a launch pad for next year’s Avengers.

I was initially a bit hesitant when I heard that Joe Johnston had been chosen to helm the production of Cap, as he did not seem like a particularly inspired choice.  John Favreau was a perfect fit for the tone of Iron Man and all the witty banter that made the characters work so well, and Kennethn Branagh really brought the family dynamic of the Thor characters to the forefront.  Looking at Joe Johnston’s previous work (Jurassic Park 3, Hidalgo, Jumanji) I knew that he would make a good film, but I wasn’t sure Cap could match the heights of Iron Man or even Thor.  Then I remembered that he also directed one of my favorite childhood super hero movies, The Rocketeer.   I’m relieved to report that Johnston creates another fun ride that hits all the right notes and delivers an amazingly fun summer blockbuster.

The movie is shot with wide angles and very few quick cuts.  Though not as kinetic as many current film styles, it’s a classic approach that perfectly frames Cap’s WWII era America.  The sets look authentic and all of the period attire helps create a believable world that is easy to get drawn in to.  The cast also does a wonderful job helping the comic characters jump from page to screen.  Chris Evans combines just the right amount of charm, bravery, and modesty to create the definitive Steve Rogers/Captain America.  His character arc is all the more believable, thanks to the movie’s first act utilizing some incredible digital effects to create the small and frail pre-super soldier Steve Rogers.  Haley Atwell (who plays Peggy Carter) also sparks some genuine chemistry with Chris Evans making their love story seem organic and unforced.  Everyone from Sebastian Stan (Buckey Barnes) and Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark) to Tommy Lee Jones (Colonel Phillips) play their characters perfectly and provide a  solid supporting cast for Johnston and Evans to play with.  However, no one relishes their screen time like Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull.  He seems to be having a blast chewing out lines in what I can only describe as a diabolically evil Arnold Schwarzenegger impression.  Hugo Weaving in the full-on Red Skull make-up sneering, insulting his troops, and taunting Cap is worth the price of admission alone.

Hector Hammond vs Cap?

The movie has a few scenes where the effects can’t quite keep up with everyone’s imagination, but for the most part it works.  One place where they really nailed it was in the costume design.  Cap’s costume looks fine on paper (especially when he’s battling a giant head in a floating chair) but would look cheesy if translated directly to film.  Cap has several costumes in the movie, all of which pay homage to the source material but make natural and necessary changes to make sense in the film world.  And then there’s his iconic shield.   Comic book ink made solid and real through effects alchemy, the shield looks great and is worthy of a fanboy’s eyes (and ears).  I loved the sound effects attached to the shield (I could imagine SWOOSH’s and K-TANG’s in bright letters accompanying the shield throws a la TV’s Batman).

So how does it rank with the rest of Marvel’s Cinema Universe?  I can’t say that it tops Iron Man, but it stands toe-to-toe in vying for leadership of the Avengers.  I highly recommend seeing it to complete the set-up arc to the Avengers, as there are a ton of Easter eggs sprinkled throughout every other frame of Cap.  There are nods to Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor.  Knowledge of the Marvel Movie Universe is not a prerequisite, however.  The film works just as well as a stand-alone underdog story and epic action film.  I was entertained and the movie reminded me of some of the best action adventure films from my childhood.  The cast, costumes, and sets hit all the right marks.  Joe Johnston, Chris Evans and co.  deliver a fun-filled summer blockbuster and superhero film worthy of hero worship.

Recommendati0n:  It’s 0n.  Go see it now or the terrorists win.

The More You Know:  The Avengers movies have grossed almost a billion dollars domestically and close to 2 Billion worldwide.  (This only reflects totals from Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor)

–  Stay after the credits for a secret scene that leads into an Avengers trailer!!!

-In Russia, Korea, and Ukraine the movie is simply called The First Avenger.

-Director Joe Johnston worked on the visual effects for Raiders of the Lost Ark and the original Star Wars trilogy.  He helped design Yoda and Boba Fett.

"America Still Needs Your Help!!!"

About - I am a 44 year old Gamer/Geek/Otaku who has been gaming and watching anime since the late 1970's. I am a passionate otaku who loves all types of games, anime and comics. I have been writing about games since I was a young man. I am an entertainment retail expert and an avid game collector. You can always find me playing or watching something geek related.

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  1. Don NguyenNo Gravatar says:

    I’m an Obama voting socialist, but I want to head out to see Kaptian Amerika

  2. LaywanNo Gravatar says:

    thanks for the review! i’m excited to go see it now!

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