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TAC Reviews...Captain America: The First Avenger

 

As part of the build up to The Avengers which was due for release in 2012, another of the marvel superheroes gets a big screen outing. Chris Evans has the title role, and has support from Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, and Dominic Cooper with Hayley Atwell starring as Peggy Carter.

 

Captain America: The First Avenger Poster

 

Remember the Fantastic Four films??

 

Remember that Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans were the only decent parts of those films??

 

Well after the lukewarm reception received by Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Chris Evans has returned to the new Marvel Cinematic Universe, this time as the First Avenger, Captain America. Now critics did say that this film coming out has political leanings as Americans wanted a hero and who better than a man that is literally called Captain America. Personally I think that is crap and is just people adding politics to something that does not need to have anything to do with politics but maybe I am missing the point…anyway…as we don’t know…tell us movie, how did Steve Rogers become Captain America???

 

In the modern day an aircraft is discovered in the ice of the Arctic, and a strange circular object with a red, white and blue motif is discovered.

 

Flashing back to 1942 a Nazi solider named Schmidt (Weaving) is on the trail of a bright blue cube (that anyone who has seen Thor will immediately recognise). After finding it, he orders the village where it was discovered destroyed. Schmidt is the leader of HYDRA, an organisation which develops new sciences and technologies, supposedly to aid the Nazis but is in fact a group that follows Schmidt’s own plans for power.

 

Meanwhile in New York City, pipsqueak Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is yet again refused permission to join the army. After attending an exhibition of future technologies with his friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who has successfully enlisted Steve tries yet again to join the army. At the exhibit one of the people demonstrating technology is none other than Howard Stark (Cooper), Tony Stark’s father, and Rogers impresses Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci). Erskine allows Rogers to enlist and subsequently selects him to take a serum that will transform him into the first in a new breed of super soldier.

 

Infusing him with the experimental serum is successful but Erskine is killed and with him goes any hope of recreating the super solider serum. Rogers is put to work in a costume and named ‘Captain America’, instead of fighting he travels the country promoting war bonds. He ends up giving his usual speech to soldiers on the front line where he is given a frosty reception.

 

Longing to be more than he is Rogers disobeys orders after learning that his friend Bucky has been captured by the forces loyal to Schmidt, and sets off on a one man rescue mission. A mission which leads him into a confrontation with the vicious Red Skull and the formation of a new group fighting the Nazis.

 

Fans of either Chris Evans, and/or film adaptations of Marvel comics will instantly recognise him as the Human Torch from the Fantastic Four films, where he and Michael Chiklis were easily the highlights. This time he abandons the flaming tights of the Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm and takes on the straighter role of Steve Roger/Captain America. One of the most impressive features of the film is making Chris Evans appear weak and weedy with creative use of CGI. Whilst Evans doesn’t have the freedom to play around with the character as much as he did with the Human Torch this is a good thing because such antics would have been out of place in the grittier Captain America but he still makes the role his own.

 

The supporting cast are also on fine form with Hugo Weaving doing a superb job of being Captain America’s opposite in almost every way. I am a big fan of Weaving and it was great to see him take on the role of the Red Skull. Schmidt does not value human life, views others as being inferior, etcetera, and the makeup/CGI that transforms him into the Red Skull is also flawless. Tommy Lee Jones plays a character that has been done a thousand times before, the gruff military man who also has a soft spot for his men, so there is nothing really new on display for him but he is still entertaining to watch.

 

The film is steeped in Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins, most of which are geared towards the Avengers. Plus Howard Stark is obviously none other than Tony Stark (Iron Man)’s father. With the suggestion of how Thor is going to return also included. As usual there is a bit after the credits and this time there is also a teaser trailer for The Avengers.

 

Thankfully Marvel Adaptations are drawing A-List casts and the time is being taken to work on their special effects and story lines. Unlike the instantly forgettable Daredevil or the truly awful Elektra, filmmakers have finally realised that audiences are demanding a lot from their comic book heroes. Captain America delivers the goods and like any truly good film it is next to impossible to find anything negative to say about it.

 

Great film, with a fine cast and an obvious teaser for The Avengers movie, take one guess which way my Thumb is going…yep…I am giving Captain America a solid Thumbs Up…er…that may have come out wrong…so did that…I think I’ll just stop talking…writing

 

 

7.5/10 - Excellent film that adds another great character and gives a tantalising glimpse into the Avengers movie.

 

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© Chris Sharman