Hawksblueyes Reviews Captain America:The First Avenger
If you're looking for a professional review that includes a breakdown of every little aspect of Captain America:The First Avenger, go somewhere else. If you want to see what I thought of the film and why, read my spoiler free review.
These days it seems Hollywood can bring almost any comic book superhero to visual life on film. In an age where vigilante detectives, Kryptonian powerhouses, radioactive infected nerds, billionaire playboys with armor, galactic policemen, Norse Gods of Thunder and mutants of every size and shape imaginable are visualised almost once a month at our local theaters, can a film about a man with a set of values and morals unobtainable by any other hero work on the big screen? I asked myself this question many times. I have thought for some time that Captain America may be one of the most difficult films to manage on film. Cap doesn't joke around. Cap is not a womanizer. He certainly isn't a braggart. How was Joe Johnston going to slip Chris Evans into the shoes of Captain America:The First Avenger and still make him interesting as a character?
I will not bore you with details or "spoilers" about the film. There's not much I could tell you that you haven't read by now without spoiling everything about the movie for you. The story is fantastic (especially if you concider the fact that everyone knows it) and there are just enough twists away from comic cannon to keep it fresh, without disregarding it's roots altogether. All the events we know and love about Cap still happen but just a little differently than the ways we're familiar with.
The pacing was exceptional in this film. There seemed to be just the right amount of time spent on each aspect of the story to keep you not only interested but involved. My one gripe with the entire film actually compliments the writers, stars and director. When the film starts and we are first introduced to "skinny Steve Rogers" you can't help but anticipate the coming of Captain America. However, the closer he gets to becoming the super strong, super fast, super agile, super soldier, you begin to realise you're going to miss "skinny Steve". Much to my satisfaction, after his transformation, he remains unchanged inside and you can't help but root for the man.
The acting was spot on. With the incredible list of actors involved, all I can say is...what did you expect from Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving or Stanley Tucci? In the process of portraying the "hard ass" Sergeant, Jones also manages to deliver most of the films humor and Tucci plays the only scientist in the world who may have been a better man than Steve Rogers. I have heard some say that both deserved more screen time but in order to accomplish that, the story would have been drastically changed. Weaving as The Red Skull was the absolute perfect choice. I have heard some people say his accent was a little off but I am not a linguist so I won't even begin to argue that point. He seemed exactly like The Red Skull should be if you ask me. He was chilling....evil....driven and out of his gourd.
Atwell and all the supporting cast pulled their weight. We don't see too much character development from any of the Howling Commando's but this is not their film. They play their part in the story, moving in and out of things nicely. Like I said, they play their part but I purchased a ticket to Captain America, not The Howling Commandos (although I would like to see more of them).
The only characters that I feel actually should have had more screen time to enhance the story is Sebastian Stan as Bucky and Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark. We all know how close Cap and Bucky are or "were" in the comics and although it is clear in the film, I don't think it is explored quite enough. Although we do actually see a bit more of Howard Stark in the film, I feel his character deserves exploration. It would be interesting to see just how different he and his son Tony really are.
I would like to say that one aspect of the film that absolutely shines to me is the setting. For two hours I felt like I was in the early 1940's. The scenery, the settings, the dialogue, the music, the clothing...it felt like I was there. And I absolutely loved the old fashioned "innocent" love story that developed between Atwell and Evans. In this day and age it's easy to forget that people didn't always fall into bed with each other (although I have never been against it). There is no "love scene." If I remember correctly, they only touch briefly one time before their one and only kiss but if you can't see the romance and affection developing between the two, you are close to blind.
And now to the heart of the movie. I never had any doubt that Chris Evans (who has just catapulted himself to stardom) was the man to portray Rogers on screen. My concern was in the material. It would be so easy to give Captain America a sense of humor. It would be so easy to give "the ultimate" man a swaggering "Eastwood," "John Wayne ish" demeanor. It would have been so easy to give Rogers any number of traits that he has never possessed in order to get the general movie going audience to associate with him quickly. After all, it's always more difficult to become acquainted with a quiet, unassuming, genuinely good person. That indeed takes time. They don't brag. Although they enjoy a good laugh, they refuse to draw attention to themselves with jokes. As I said, it would have been easy to do any of those things and more to Steve Rogers character. But they didn't.
All involved from the writers, to the director, to Chris Evans himself, let the Steve Rogers we all know and love, come to life. Judging by the way the theater reacted to the film, he took in everybody else watching the movie as well.
I won't give this film stars or a rating but I will tell you to go see it yourself. It's up there at the top of my list with two or three others that I will never be able place in any kind of order. It took me to another time when things were damn sure different. They may have been better or worse depending on your point of view but they were certainly different and I can promise you, this film is "different" from any of the other comic book movies I have seen. It also has what could arguably be the best ending of any comic book movie I have seen. I will definitely be seeing this again.
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