Saturday, August 27, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Stars - Chris Evans
          Hugo Weaving
          Hayley Atwell
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Summary: After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals.(via imdb). 
As a comic lover, Captain America was always a bit of an anomaly. As a hero, he's almost too good to be true. He represents everything the red, white, and blue should stand for. Maybe that's why his origin has to be told in the past. Maybe we're just not that society anymore. I look forward to seeing how he struggles to maintain relevance and adjust to the modern world in the sequels and The Avengers movie. 
Cap is ably played by Chris Evans, who manages to embody what Cap stands for without coming off like an elitist Boy Scout douchebag. Not such an easy feat to accomplish. The beginning of the movie, when we see a scrawny, weak Steve Rogers is nothing short of amazing. The CGI was seamless and believable. 
As Kenneth Branagh was a smart choice for Thor, so too is Joe Johnston a brilliant choice for this film. As the man who helmed The Rocketeer into existence, he has a great feel for the era and the way the world of that time should look and feel. He is as capable of handling the subtle love story as he is the awesome action sequences later in the film. Additionally, there are no weak spots in the acting either. True, Tommy Lee Jones is consigned to playing, well... Tommy Lee Jones, but he does it well. 
But, the true standout, other than Evans, is Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull. Proving himself once again to be a subtly menacing bad guy. He plays it perfectly in a role that would be easy to overact and swing for the fences, he hits solid drives that score runs. This is an origin story, so there is a lot of explanation and introductions that has to happen, but, for me, the story never lags or suffers for it.

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