Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Directed By: Joe Johnston

125 Minutes

Captain America is the final film of the Five film build up to the Avengers film next May.  The film stars Chris Evans in his sixth comic book adaptation including Fantastic Four and Scott Pilgrim.  The film is roughly broken down into three acts. The first which features the CGI transformation of Chris Evans to the scrawny 90 pound Steve Rogers aspiring to become a hero. The second act of him transforming into the huge Captain America and settling into hero territory And then the conclusion of him taking down the enemy played enthusiastically by Hugo Weaving. Haley Atwell, Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Sebastian Stan, and Tommy Lee Jones costar.

First, I want to say this is the best Marvel Superhero movie since the stellar Iron Man. After seeing Iron Man I was excited for the other Avenger build up movies, but Captain America seemed the least interesting to me. Boy, was I surprised. First Chris Evans is fantastic here. Too many superhero movies we feel we are watching the actor. Here, we are really watching Captain America. The puny 90 pound Chris Evans is one of the best uses of CGI I’ve seen in a long time. They made a huge man look like Jason Schwartzman and it looks believable. The first act is my favourite. Steve Rogers is too small to be in the army, but by god he’s trying. He gets bullied a lot and his reasoning for wanting to join the army is not kill or for glory; but that he dislikes bullies. He’s such an underdog and its great. I love wimps becoming heroes, and it gave me the same feel that Spider-Man did back in 2002. Sebastian Stan plays Bucky who is great as the big brother type buddy of Steve Rogers.

He meets a great cast of supporting characters starting with Stanley Tucci as a German scientist. Stanley Tucci picks him because he shows the most heart. Yes, this movie is campy but it’s campy in a way that works unlike Batman and Robin. Tommy Lee Jones plays a Colonel who disapproves of Steve as Captain America. Tommy Lee Jones is amazing here. Dear God, Tommy Lee Jones steals every scene. I really loved him he’s a hardass and he’s really fun. He’s the tough man and he has a lot of the best lines. He’s comic relief but with a lot of dignity.

Haley Atwell plays the love interest, but saying she’s the love interest is an understatement. Haley is stunningly gorgeous for starters. And she plays quite possibly the best female character I’ve seen in a superhero movie. She is tough and smart. I would love to see her in more films. She’d be great a Wonder Woman. She is a strong feminist character that also feels very warm and comforting.

Dominic Cooper also plays Howard Stark father of Tony Stark’s. He of course is plays the Howard Hughes type. I’m surprised how much he was in this. I thought it’d be a throwaway cameo to tie in with Iron Man, but he’s great in it. He gets involved with a love triangle and builds stuff. He’s basically Robert Downey Jr., a little tamer but hey it’s the 40’s.

Hugo Weaving is great as Red Skull. The costume is silly, but it’s probably the best you could do with the character. Hugo Weaving is also probably creepier without his mask on. He’s the weakest part of the movie and if it wasn’t someone as great as Hugo Weaving I would have minded more.

Yeah I kind of rattled on about the supporting cast, but for a movie with a guy in spandex as a star I’m amazed how good the supporting cast was. Each one of them is a fully developed character.

As far as the rest of the film. There’s a great part in the middle where Captain America is doing these “buy war bonds” acts which leads to a good enough excuse to wear his suit. This part is a lot of fun. Alan Menken (Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast) does the music for this segment and it is great. It has has him saying cheesey things punching out a fake Hitler.

The final act is the weakest, but it’s still really good. If anything it seems weak only because the previous two acts are some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. The movie is so much fun. This is the best of the summer movies thus far. If a blockbuster is an oscar contender it’s this. The 3D is pretty forgettable. I’d recommend seeing it in 2D. Also, stay after the credits for the trailer for the Avengers.

I’d Also Recommend:

-Iron Man

-Inglorious Basterds

-Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade