Hal Jordan Revisits: Captain America: The First Avenger
The last revisit in the Avengers' lineup, I look back at the movie version of America's favorite Star Spangled Man: Captain America.
In 2011, along with Thor, the Star Spangled man himself received movie love and hit the big screen in Captain America: The First Avenger. This was one of the most anticipated films of the year and was also the last in the Avenger’s lineup. So, it was unsurprising when this movie also became a box-office success, while also receiving critical acclaim. I even went opening week and left feeling like I should have spent more than I paid. It was all around fantastic, but does it hold up today? Well, lets look back for the last time in these revisits to find out.
Story: The plot revolves around Steve Rogers, an ordinary kid from Brooklyn whose mother died from illness and is constantly rejected from the army due to his plethora of health problems. His friend, Bucky Barnes, is to be shipped out to fight in World War 2, but not before spending his last night with Steve and a couple girls. After Steve tries to enlist again during this night, he meets Dr. Abraham Erskine who informs him that, even though he is aware of Steve’s past attempts, he will let him through for a secret project he is a part of called the Super Soldier Project. Over the course of training, Rogers overcomes many obstacles by using his will power and brains. After throwing himself on a grenade to save his comrades, who don’t even like him, he finds out it was a test grenade and is chosen by Erskine to be the test subject. After the transformation, a Nazi spy shoots Erskine and most of the serum is destroyed, but is caught by Steve Rogers who is now transformed into a true “Super Soldier”. After being rejected by Colonel Chester Phillips, Steve is forced to go into the life of showbiz and becomes an American icon. During a USO show in a military camp, he finds out the division Bucky was in was attacked and that no survivors have returned. He also finds out that there will be no rescue party due to the cost of lives that will most likely occur. Peggy Carter and Howard Stark then fly Rogers into enemy lines behind the Colonel’s back and rescues Bucky along with the rest of the survivors. After they overthrow the Hydra camp, Rogers is met by Johann Schmidt who reveals he tested the serum on himself, which deformed his face, but made him stronger. Rogers, now equipped with a new suit and shield, puts a team of survivors together, including Bucky, called the Howling Commandos. After Bucky is killed when falling off a moving train, while trying to capture Zola, Schmidt’s right hand man, Zola tells the Colonel that Schmidt looks at himself as a god and is using the energy of the Cosmic Cube to fuel his weapons and the bombs he plans to drop in America. HYDRA’s headquarters are attacked, Rogers sneaks aboard the bomber plane and makes his way to the cockpit. After Schmidt drops the cube, which burns through the ship and falls in the ocean, along with being sucked into a vortex the cube creates. Rogers then tells Peggy that he has to crash the plane or the bombs will drop and kill millions of people. Rogers than crashes the plane while saying his last goodbyes to Peggy over the radio. The cube is then found by Howard Stark who is searching for Steve. Rogers than wakes up in a room and is met by Black Widow who tells him he was saved from the crash. However, Rogers escapes from the facility to find out he is being held captive and runs out of the building. He is stopped in Downtown Square in New York City by Nick Fury who informs him that he has been asleep for almost 70 years.
The story really was one of the best I have ever seen acted out in a movie. This story of a scrawny little kid who came from nothing, proves himself worthy of great power and receives it, while also using keeping the values that make him a good man at heart and never giving them up. This, much like Thor, may seem a bit cheesy and redundant, but I don’t car because the way this movie used them worked out in a way that had me at the edge of my seat in excitement. It blended together a slue of characters, romance, responsibility lessons, courage, action, humor, and excitement all into a 2 hour CBM, which makes this plot the best one out of all the lineup films, next to Iron Man.
Director: In my opinion, Joe Johnston was an interesting choice for this movie. His past works in film included art directory for the Star Wars prequel, a role in the “Howard The Duck” movie, Jurassic Park III, and the Wolfman. However, even with some baggage that could be erased, he still managed to pull this off better than anyone else. It reminds me of what Jon Favreau did for Iron Man, which was awesome, but he also had his own directing style. In the end, all I have to say is, “Congratulations Mr. Johnston, you just blew my mind.”
Writing: The writer’s previous work had consisted of all 3 Narnia movies, which could have been better. So, this was definitely an example of their finest work. The dialogue between all characters was brilliant and the interaction between the character’s personalities on screen worked out in all the right aspects. This happened in many of the other films, but this one was had the best handling for the character’s personalities. Plus, I thought the USO show(s) were great.
Oh come on, you know you love it! Even with that in the movie, it still managed to keep the same tone and not get too cheesy. I could not find one time that I said, “That’s pretty cheesy.” or “Why would he say that!” It was perfect all around and I have no complaints.
Acting: As if the film could not get any better, you analyze the acting! Chris Evans was a great choice for Cap and handled this new type of persona very well, since his previous CBM character was the hotheaded Johnny Storm. Sebastian Shaw was also great as Bucky and I definitely want him back as Winter Soldier. The villain, once again, also deserves BIG credit in the movie. Hugo Weaving was exhilarating as the Red Skull and I hope that he also comes back for a sequel. Come to think of it, it’s safe to say that the entire cast should come back for sequels if their characters are used. The interactions between the characters felt natural in all scenes and the acting that the cast did made me feel for each character. Once again, great job guys!
Editing: When it comes to editing, there isn’t much to say unless it is bad. So, it is good that I can say I don’t have much to say except that the transitions between scenes, camera angles, and shots that were used in the film all worked out in the end.
Action: The action was a great aspect in terms of entertainment. The battles with HYDRA soldiers were explosive, there was plenty of balance between the fight scenes, and the explosions weren’t Michael Bay styled, which is a VERY good thing.
Oh yea, shield throw! The movie had so much action, it had to condense many scenes into a 2-minute montage of Cap, and his team, kicking ass! After all, it is somewhat of a war film. However, the cast and crew worked that aspect perfectly and it was incorporated into the film with just the right amounts at just the right times.
Overall, Captain America: The First Avenger brings forth an all star cast and crew that gives the audience a thrill ride like no other. With great acting, romance, action, and a story that will keep you interested all the way through, I give it 10/10.
On the lineup rank, CATFA takes first place.
1) Captain America: The First Avenger
2) Iron Man
3) The Incredible Hulk
5) Iron Man 2
Let me know what you thought of the film! If you would like to check out the other lineup revisits, visit my fansite HERE. Until next time, this is Hal Jordan signing off!
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