Comedian Reviews: Captain America: The First Avenger *Spoiler Free*
So does Captain America: The First Avenger live up to it's expectations, or does it fail miserably while giving a decent attempt at a good comic-book movie? Click here to check out my spoiler free review of the film...
As per the usual with my reviews, I like to start by talking about the bad aspects of the film, and I think this is going to be a very short section because with Captain America: The First Avenger I couldn't find many faults, I tried to be as open minded as I could, accepting the good with the bad, but in this case there really isn't many bad things that can be said about the film.
One of the main gripes I had with the film is that all the CGI scenes of Steve Rogers running extremely fast looked, for lack of a better word ridiculous, I found myself sitting in my seat trying not to laugh out loud. Remember the scene in the original Superman, with Clark running along side the train, take that, add better CGI and that's exactly what it reminded me of. I'll admit it's pretty minor, and luckily it's not used an awful lot in the film, but when it is, it's pretty distracting.
Another is Hugo Weavings German accent. To me it sounded 20% German, and 80% French. Now I've lived my entire life just minutes away from one of the largest Air Force bases in Canada so I've spent an awful lot of time around French people so maybe that influenced what I heard. When we hear Stanley Tucci speak in a German accent, THAT is what sounds German to me, Red Skull sounded more like someone who came from Quebec or Paris but spent a lot of time in Germany. Now maybe the director wanted a bit of a different accent for Weaving, or maybe that's how German people sound. Again, a pretty minor problem overall.
Lastly just a few small things. I would've liked to have seen some more on-screen time and interaction between Steve and Peggy. Joe Johnston did an extremely good job of developing the relationship between these two characters and showing the audience from the very start until the finish that there's obviously sparks flying between them, but I would've liked to have seen more of their relationship. Lastly some of the editing seemed a bit off or short cut during the fight sequences. Most notably during the Captain America & Howling Commandos battle montage, I would have liked it to be either a longer montage, or show more details of their battles. I also wish the Howling Commandos could have had more screen time so we could get to know them a little better, but hey, that's what sequels are for.
Now on to the good parts of the film, which basically consists of 96% of the entire film. I was never entirely sold on the idea of Chris Evans as Captain America, I knew he was a good actor, but I wasn't convinced he could be what Captain America could be and I know there's a lot of people out there who feel the same way, but I can assure you, as soon as you see Evans on screen for the first time, all of those doubts are going to be gone. He does the same thing for Steve Rogers that Robert Downey Jr. did for Tony Stark. It's the same character we've known from the comics, but he brings something else to the character, he brings a certain depth and believability that we've never seen before.
I don't think there was ever any doubt in anyone's mind about Hugo Weaving as Red Skull, he's played the villain time and time again but this time around he gives us something we'e never seen from him before. He shows us a villain that is everything a super villain NEEDS to be, he's brilliant, whitty, sinister, terrifying, elagant, and ruthless. He's the classic super-villain that we remember reading about when we were children but he's also something entirely new and different at the same time. Even though he's Captain America's main enemy, I never cared too much for him in the comics, but seeing Hug oWeaing bring him to life on screen changed all of that for me. Hugo has set the bar high for future comic-book movie villains.
The rest of the cast gets a big applause from me, I've seen (most) of these actors before in previous films, but it seems like when they stepped on set for Captain America: The First Avenger everyone brought their A game, and it shows on the screen. A big problem I have with movies that have so many main and supporting cast members is that after a half hour into the movie, they all start to blend together, Captain America doesn't do this, even though there's so much going on with the characters, I never found it hard to distinguish who's who and what their purpose is, even though some of them are never actually mentioned by their names. The character of Howard Stark is just awesome, Dominic Cooper does such a great job, he's everything you would imagine Tony Stark's father being like during the war, you can see so much of Tony in his character, but not so much that you feel like they just ripped him off completely. I noticed a lot of people saying that the surprise cameo that Josh posted the other day wasn't in the film, well it was, it was pretty much right in front of your face , but it's not what you would be expecting. I wont spoil it here for people who haven't seen it yet, but yes, it's there. Another interesting thing I noted, that I'm sure some of you recognized as well, was the sound of some of the HYDRA weapons, is the same sound made by Iron Man's hand repulsors. I'm not sure if this is some kind of hint that Howard Stark started developing weapons based on HYDRA technology, or if it's just a nod to the fans of Iron Man, either way it was pretty cool.
I love the way they handled the plot/storyline. Obviously we all know the outcome, we all know the ending, but they give us brief glimpses of Captain America's escapades throughout the film in the battle montage scene which really gives us the opportunity to think "Ok, what other cool stuff happened?", and as we all know it leaves open the option to return to the 1940's for a sequel. The pace was perfect, nothing felt too rushed with the exception of a few fight scenes I think should have been longer/more detailed. Captain America didn't spend the entire movie hunting down Red Skull, yes it develops to that point later on, but we actually get a good in-depth look at how Steve Rogers gets to that point in the film without having to rush through a bunch of stuff.
Everything else just flows so perfectly with the rest of the film, I'm sure it's been said hundreds of times already, but the 1940's setting is unbelievable, there's no way you can watch this movie and say "Oh that set looks fake". It looked like if you were in the 1940's making a movie, and had access to the technology of today, this is what you would get. Normally with movies, the last thing I ever notice, is the score, I know it's there, but it's rarely something that ever sticks out to me during a movie, the same cant be said this time however, most notably are the scenes of Steve Rogers after he is injected with the serum as he steps out for the first time, Captain America making his return to the camp after rescuing Bucky and the Howling Commandos, and the end sequence. The score in those scenes stood out to me just as much as what was happening during the film, it really helps amplify the scene and makes you feel in awe of what's going on.
The fight scenes were equally amazing as the rest of the movie, especially Captain America's fighting style, he doesn't know Karate, or Kung-Fu, he brawls, exactly how you would imagine he would. The serum doesn't give him the sudden knowledge of an ancient martial arts (This isn't The Matrix), Steve Rogers knows back alley fighting, brawling, and that's exactly what you see, this brutal punches, swinging back hands with his fists and the shield, kicks to the stomach, knees in the face. The actual throwing of the shield looks amazing as well, I was worried it would be something that would get over used, or made to ridiculous to be believable but there's a perfect balance of him throwing the shield, and him just using it to smash people in the face with it.
In the end, Captain America: The First Avenger in no way disappoints, it's everything a super-hero movie should be. It's obviously a film leading into The Avengers but it still feels like a standalone film. There has never been a CBM that I've gone to the theater a second time to see, but I'll be leaving my house in about 2 hours to go see this one again. To me, I was a little disappointed with Thor, and Captain America: TFA seems like the super-hero movie that Thor was trying to be. Lastly, and I cant believe I'm saying this, I like Marvel, but I'm a DC fanboy at heart, but DC, take notes, because THIS is how you make a super-hero movie without Christopher Nolan.
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