Monday, August 1, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

Directed by Joe Johnston, Marvel Enterprises, 2011. Starring Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell, Stanley Tucci, and Hugo Weaving.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Question: Have you had your fill of superhero or comic book movies this summer? Between Thor, Green Lantern, X-Men: First Class and let's go ahead and throw in Transformers: Dark of the Moon all within the last three months, I think I have had my fill. However, since my son didn't say a peep - not one complaint - when I dragged him to Winnie the Pooh last week I had to take him to see Captain America: The First Avenger.

Alight, part of me didn't mind though. Two words: Chris Evans. I have enjoyed his performances over the last six or seven years - ever since Cellular. It was a movie I just happen to stumble upon one weekend and thought he was fantastic in that crime/thriller. Since that movie he has appeared in a dozen or so and I have caught quite a few of them. Yes, they were mainly the Fantastic Four movies. (Man, I really see a lot of comic book movies!)

The movie started with an interesting concept, I thought. A great superhero theme was really being developed: even if you are beaten down, abused by the world but you stand-up for what you believe in and you have a good heart - good things will come. I liked that and thought it was a good lesson for my kiddos.

Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers, a youth from Brooklyn who probably weighes 90 lbs. soaking wet but desperately wants to join the army during the early 1040's to defend America from the evils of Nazis. He just doesn't want to give up no matter how many tells him he can't. During this part of the movie I have to admit the special effects were phenomenal. How they made a 6'0" tall and probably 200 lbs. of pure muscle man look like a scrawny, 5'5" weakling for many scenes is beyond me.

After that he becomes Captain America and let's just say from there they lost me. Now I am not saying everyone will agree with me here. My family went and I was the only one who didn't enjoy it as a whole. For me I just got bored. It turned into more of a military war movie more than a superhero movie. So I was perplexed and started to question the strength of the entire story. Also, the main theme or moral seemed to disappear. Sure Captain America was a good guy, a hero, defending America but there really wasn't much dilemma for the character once he became the superhero.

As for as the acting goes everyone did a fine job. I did like Tommy Lee Jones, as Colonel Chester Phillips, but when has he really done a bad job in anything? His demeanor, his way of delivering a speech is always so captivating that I kind of wished he was in this movie more. Stanley Tucci also had a minor appearance in this movie. He was some of the only comic relief but it was short lived. There was a newcomer: Hayley Atwell, as Peggy Carter, and she did a fine job as well. One of the only female parts in Captain America: The First Avenger and she was quite a strong character and I enjoyed that.

One last actor to mention: Hugo Weaving. Now some of you may know him from The Adventures of Priscella Queen of the Desert - ok, well maybe not. How about The Matrix? Yes, he was Neo's nemesis. He plays the main villain in Captain America. As always, I enjoyed his performance - with what he had to go on. I think they could have made him a lot more viscous or maniacal but that's just my opinion.

There is a lot of action, lots of fighting, an extreme amount of cool gadgets or weaponry used that made my son beam with joy. Trust me, I kept looking over at him and he always gave me the biggest smile and said "I love this!" or "This is so cool!" The film makers know their audience, don't they?

The film ended and everyone but us left. I remember seeing Thor a couple months back and hearing about the little short or scene at the end of the credits. Well, I am here to tell you if you see Captain America: The First Avenger - stay in your seat! This was the last movie I believe that is the basis for the next Marvel Comics movie regarding The Avengers. Now that one I will look forward to seeing especially since it comes out in 2012.

My favorite thing: The villain's car.

My least favorite thing: The overall plot.

Rating: PG-13
Length: 124 Minutes

Review: 4 out of 10