Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday Movie Night: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America seems like he would be a tough comic character to pull off. You don't want him to be too perfect, especially with a name like Captain America, but you know he has to represent certain attributes perhaps placed with that name. Chris Evans brings to life the character perfectly though making him human and likable, but also what seems to be a nicely intended guy at heart. It's much different from other heroes like Thor or Iron Man in the series. Plus, they made the outfit a lot cooler. The movie does a lot more character development in the first hour than you would think, and then slips into an action fest for the last hour or so.

Summary: Set during World War II in 1942, Steve Rogers is looking to sign up for the military, but he is told he is not fit enough to join. He volunteers instead for research, and after proving to be worthy for that he is transformed into a human that can utilize his body to the maximize human strength. His first task will be a huge one though, and that is to stop Schmidt and Nazi's top secret department, HYDRA.

Acting: Chris Evans is the lead as Captain America, and it appears that Evans has finally found a comic book character that he is perfectly suited for. While he was great in the Losers, which is based on a comic, and maybe not bad in the Fantastic Four (I actually haven't seen it), and he was also in Push, which I believe was based on a comic, Evans seems to finally have landed in one suiting for him that is one worth continuing on in the future, especially since audiences received it well too. Evans balances the all-American boy vibe well though with a human who also sees the flaws of his surrounding. Haley Atwell is intriguing as the love interest as Peggy Carter, and it leaves us wondering because we do feel the chemistry between them. Sebastian Stan is the friend of Steve Rogers in the movie, but isn't quite as stand out as the rest, but he's good, and makes for a good way to develop the character of Rogers. Tommy Lee Jones plays a suiting Colonel in the movie, and Stanley Tucci is Dr. Erskine, and Tucci showcases his ability to still play many roles. You can't forget that Samuel L. Jackson is in this as well with an appearance as Fury. Hugo Weaving might be most recognizable as the elf from Lord of the Rings, or perhaps if you're me you just confuse him with Sam Neill the entire time, but he makes a good villain as Schmidt or Red Skull, and yeah, I know Neill is a good bit older!

Filming: Perhaps most spectacular at all is the CGI. It could be any scene and they have perfected the surroundings that Rogers is put in during the 40's. It captures the charm of the era, but also the scary moments as well of what he is put in. I also like the American ideal idea woven into the movie, and how it contrasts with how people during the time, particularly soldiers, might have felt who were fighting there. Anyways, the CGI doesn't really lack, it has a few weak moments, but it's overall very strong, and they perfected the outfit he wears to not look tacky.

Plot: I do love the first hour of the movie. The development of Steve Rogers was well done to do something that feels impossible for someone who's hero name is Captain America, and that is make him feel human. You can feel a lot of the pain and the more happier moments he might feel in the movie. While Thor might be more comparable to Superman as far as The Avengers vs Justice League, my complaint about Superman is that he always felt too much like the good boy. Even with the new revamp, which was great, he still lacked the quality that makes him easy to access. I would have thought Captain America might have that same quality. He's a good guy, and he's just looking to do all he can to save the world, even if that means sacrificing himself, but they bring out a lot more about him personality wise, but that could just be Evans himself. Anyways, the last hour turns into an action fest, which is great, but I do sort of lose my own grounding in watching as it grows more technical, and over drawn to carry toward a very intense ending, which is what you were wanting to see quicker than anything else.

With the Captain America: The First Avenger being a strong start to the series, it will be interesting to see how the following movie, which arrives April 4th, carries on the movie. Sometimes the 2nd movie will  do better even if it's just a smidge, as in Thor's case, or it will fail slightly in some eyes' as Iron Man did when they came out with the sequels.

Rating 8 of 10.

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