Sunday, July 24, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger: The Last and Admirable Piece of the Puzzle on the Way to the Avengers

Captain America: The First Avenger (3 out of 5 stars)
Directed by: Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jumanji, and October Sky)
Written by: Christopher Markus, Steven McFeely
Starring: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, and Hugo Weaving

In the most recent comic book adaptation we have "America's most patriotic hero" Captain America.  The story starts with the discovery of Captain America's shield in the ice and then a flashback America during World War II.  While hoping to join the military a scrawny Steve Rogers is constantly rejected because of he is not "fit" to be a soldier like his best friend whom he calls 'Bucky.'  Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) sees how much pluck Rogers has and offers him an opportunity to enlist with the help what is known as the "super soldier serum"  The serum helps Rogers to become the famous Captain America, who becomes almost super human.  The main villain is Johann Schmidt (Red Skull) played by the amazing Hugo Weaving who is attempting to manipulate the power of Odin in order to create a powerful object to take over the world with Nazi based organization of Hydra.

Captain America is not the best comic book film, but Johnston does a great job turning this into action packed adventure with a lot of good laughs mixed in.  I was not convinced Evan was going to be capable of handling the role, but they played to his strengths and he handled the role aptly.  The real stand out of this film, was Tommy Lee Jones.  Jones is a terrific actor and his mix of wit and cantankerousness make this film more entertaining.  The visuals and the art direction were well crafted and made it feel like an old comic book come to life.

At moments Captain America is often too invincible, and his invulnerability can be off putting.  Yet the one thing that remains is that his heart is true and he remains faithful to his character.  The film aims to build up to create the new Avengers film which will be released in summer 2012, and this film helps to build the arsenal.  I think this film is more fun popcorn fair than serious social commentary like Iron Man was, but I think fun popcorn fair was the best way for this film to become successful.

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