Fans of Marvel have been waiting for this one. The final piece to the jigsaw that is the hugely anticipated The Avengers, heading our way next summer. In the meantime, Captain America: The First Avenger is here and while maybe not as good as previous Marvel movies, this is still a pretty good affair, if you like something a little old fashioned in style.
Weakling Steve Rogers is desperate to get into the army and deal with ‘bullies’ but being painfully thin and with every ailment known to man, he has been refused time and time again. While at a fair for the future he attempts once more, only this time he is accepted due to German scientist Dr Abraham Erskine. He has created a serum that can make a super soldier. A previous attempt was foiled when he tried it on a top member of Hitler’s team, Johann Schmidt. It failed, turning the officer into Red Skull, an egomaniac who has broken away from Hitler and is out to find historical relics that will make him more powerful. Meanwhile, Rogers is given the new serum and it turns him into a muscle-bound superman who can run fast, fight harder and leap incredible heights.
Used to promote bonds for the American Army, Rogers travels the country being all patriotic and surrounded by dancing girls but its a long way from what he wants to do and that is fight, until his best friend is captured, presumed dead by Red Skull evil empire and thus the advertising boy enters into enemy territory and Captain America is truly born.
Unlike Thor or Iron Man or any of the other previous Marvel characters, Captain America is a true Blue USA trophy boy created in the 1940s to build morals among the fighting US army. Director Joe Johnson has made the right decision to keep the film in its original time setting and make Captain America a super solider but not a super hero. More human than sub-human. while means that where the other films have relied heavily on special effects, this doesn’t and it has a feeling that you are watching an old boy’s own war film like The Dirty Dozen or Where Eagles Dare, with a touch of Indiana Jones thrown in for good measure.
Chris Evans, already a seasoned superhero veteran (he was The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films) is perfect as Rogers. Although looking slightly odd as the weedy start, he certainly fits the bill as the masked fighter and along with it, Evans brings a quiet charm and likeability to the role. Tommy Lee Jones gets to do what Tommy Lee Jones does best: shouts, looks grumpy and is still incredibly watchable, while Hayley Atwell as the love interest is fine but lacks a certain sex appeal needed for the role. The only real disappointment is the usually reliable Stanley Tucci as the German scientist. He has some good lines what he delivers fine but his accent is, well, pretty dire.
Hugo Weaving, who seems to have carved out a career of playing baddies, does it again with relish as Red Skull, a sort of blood-red version of Voldermont.
Yes, the film is a little too straight when you compare it to Thor but it’s a decent, rip-roaring adventure that harks back to a more simpler time in movie making history and while not brilliant,it has plenty to enjoy and is loads of fun.
However, it’s back on the soap box about 3D. This time round it just makes the film look drained of colour and there seems to be no reason for it even to be in the now boring format. Think it’s time to start a campaign to stop making films in a technology that is now just tiresome and consistently disappointing.
A word of warning: do not leave the cinema till the very end. You get an extra scene plus, and this is the exciting bit, the first teaser trailer for The Avengers. If it’s as much fun as Captain America, I cannot wait.
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