Thursday, August 11, 2011

Captain America - The First Avenger

I finally got around to seeing the latest Marvel film last night and, yeah, they did a good job. It's a very enjoyable film with a definite Marvel comic-book feel whilst being set (for the most part) during WW2.

Captain America himself was pretty much spot on. Chris Evans did a fantastic job of selling the honourable little guy who just wants to do the right thing and stop bullies. Although, perhaps at times, he was a little too understated and needed a little more presence. The skinny Steve Rogers effects were generally good although there were a couple of times when Evans' head looked a little too big for his body (plus his voice sounded too deep for such a small chest).

The other actors in the film were also excellent. I particularly liked Stanley Tucci's Dr Erskine and Tommy Lee Jones as the gruff general.

As well as being a great pulpy, action film it was also quite amusing, with a number of pithy one-liners from the supporting cast (especially Jones' general).

It was also good to see the Howling Commandos (here led by Captain America, not Fury), sniper Bucky, Cap's original costume and shield, Cap 'punching' Hitler, and even a brief shot of the original Human Torch. A pity we didn't see anything more of the Invaders - perhaps that'll come in a future film.

Regarding Cap's Shield I thought it worked extremely well and didn't seem clunky. I loved seeing Cap throwing it around. I also thought it's introduction was refreshing - no big reveal, no convoluted explanation of its abilities, just "it's made of Vibranium that can absorb vibrations. And that's all the material we've got so we can't make any more". Simple.

My only complaint would be that they tried to fit too much into the movie. As well as introducing Steve Rogers, his super soldier transformation in Cap, his initial time as the war bond poster guy, a montage of his various fights against Hydra and then taking on the Red Skull, they also had to fit in the modern day stuff showing SHIELD finding Cap's shield in the frozen north and then Cap waking up in Times Square (why the heck was he kept in a facility just off of Times Square of all places?!?). The beginning and end bits felt a little tacked on - although I would say these were the only parts that made this film feel like an extended prequel to next year's Avengers film.

So, a very entertaining film though not as great as Iron Man and perhaps not quite as good as X-Men: First class. But better than Green Lantern. I hope future Captain America movies expand on the WW2 setting, leaving Cap's modern day adventures to the Avengers film(s) - which, based on what I've seen of the preceding individual movies, is bound to be amazing.

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