“…actually pretty good for it being both a war film and a superhero film”
Captain America: The First Avenger has everything, including a title that is dizzyingly long. The movie (from here on out just referred to as ‘Captain America’) seems to think that it is necessary to shove it in the audiences face that Captain America was the first Avenger. So much so that it is in the title. Luckily, the movie doesn’t treat us like we’re fucking idiots, so let’s talk about that. The story of Captain America is essentially about a guy who is really scrawny and weak, but he wants to join the army. Then Stanley Tucci shows up and says “Hey, let’s make you a super soldier”. And then he gets turned into a superhero by way of injection.
Captain America is described as the first Avenger, because this story takes place in 1941, a whole 70 years before people cared about marvel movies. And because of this, it is technically a period piece. Luckily for the movie, I am a sucker for period piece films, especially about WWII, so this movie had kind of a head start in my mind. Overall, the movie does the ‘period piece’ thing very well, and only strays a few times with inconsistencies in technology (I mean, Hydra can make a bunch of space lasers but can’t make a digital clock?). The story is actually pretty good for it being both a war film and a superhero film. It is interesting to me how the military handled the creation of Captain America, and that added to the plot as well as the humour in the film. Another bonus, Captain America does not have Kat Dennings in it, so it had an even larger head start for me. Unfortunately, the beginning of the movie is kind of slow. We get to see a lot of Steve Rogers trying to volunteer for the army, and then even when he gets into the army it is a while before he becomes Captain America. I understand that it is difficult for superhero movies to have good pacing, with all of the origin stories involved, but it would have been nice to speed things up so we could get more of the “creation” of the character of Captain America. By that I mean, when Steve Rogers becomes Captain America, it just cuts to him doing his thing, but we didn’t really get any story about why they chose to have him do stupid things, or who came up with the terrible costume. Again, this is just my opinion, but it feels like Captain America glossed over a lot of the interesting stuff and instead focused on Steve Rogers before he was Captain America. I also wish the ending was expanded upon. SPOILERS FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER; The dude didn’t seemed phased by the fact that he was in the future. I know that it gets touched on in later movies, but it was weird to see a guy just totally okay with the fact that the entire world was different, and everyone he knew was most likely dead. And why the fuck didn’t S.H.E.I.L.D. pick a baseball game from after the dude had been “killed in action”. They are supposed to be smart, so what the fuck was that. I hope the guy who chose to do that got fucking fired.
A large part of Captain America is the special effects. For those who don’t know, during the beginning of the movie actor Chris Evans’ head was superimposed on to a body that was significantly smaller than his own. This is to achieve the effect that Steve Rogers was a small, weak man before he was turned into Captain America (who is the opposite of both of those things). Surprisingly, even though it seems like the hardest one to pull off, that was the best effect in the movie. This means that the rest of the CG was very shaky at best. Unfortunately, it was painfully obvious that a lot of the effects were ‘pandering’ to the people who saw it in 3D. It’s like if you watch and old 3D movie now, the filmmakers take every single opportunity to throw shit at the screen. I thought this fad was over with the rise of “new” 3D, but I was wrong because it was put front and centre with a lot of the action in Captain America. Apart from that, most of the other CG just looked wrong. For example, there were some scenes where Captain America runs really fast, and of course that had to be CG which made him look more like Mr. Fantastic if you know what I mean. Even easy (I say ‘easy’ but god knows I couldn’t do it) stuff like explosions looked really fake. But there were some instances that the CG was pretty good, so don’t think I’m completely bashing it. Apart from that I though the acting was pretty good, Chris Evans stealing the show (obviously because it is his movie). Tommy Lee Jones just kind of played angry Tommy Lee Jones, but it did fit his character of a disgruntled Colonel. The movie also let us see a young Howard Stark (played by Dominic Cooper) which allowed us to see the similarities between father and son. The Score was another thing in Captain America that was done well. Again, the movie is a period piece so the songs did a good job to capture that (being very orchestral and “big band”-y), and I absolutely loved the ‘Captain America’ song that was performed in the movie. The Last thing I want to talk about is the end credits scene, or should I say “the end credits advertisement”? By this point, it was commonplace for Marvel to have end credits sequences. Most of the time, they are just little nods for things to come. Unfortunately this time, it was just a fucking commercial for the Avengers. I didn’t even sit through the entire credits (thank god for fast-forwarding) and even I was pissed. I can’t imagine the people at the movie theatre sitting through the credits for that shit.
Overall, Captain America: The First Avenger is a pretty fun superhero movie, and it’s not a bad WWII film either. Sure the effects aren’t the best, but the story makes up for it.
I give Captain America: The First Avenger a B