Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) Dir. by Joe Johnston
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. - IMDB.com
Joe Johnston is either a guy I extremely like, or someone I want to punch. He has been behind such amazing films like The Pagemaster, Jumanji, and Honey I Shrunk The Kids. On the other hand, he has given us films that make me want to cry puddles of tears while screaming at the sky, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!", such as he did when he made Jurassic Park III, or perhaps the most recent atrocity, The Wolfman - sorry, but I was really let down. With these things in mind there was really only one other reason to deter me from watching Captain America, and that was Chris Evans. Don't get me wrong, Chris Evans is a great actor, but he has already had his chance to be a superhero. I really think it should have been given to someone new to do the job.
That being said, I went anyway. I know what you are thinking... this is a horror movie review site, why does he keep reviewing non-horror movies? Well... because it is my site and I can damn well do as I please, haha. That and I feel like the nerd within me needs to share that part, and I don't really want to start another blog to do non-horror movies. I have a hard enough time updating this one between work, school, family, writing, and film.
The back-story for Cap is done extremely well, and I was surprised at well Johnston did with the shrinking or Rogers to make him so small. It was perfectly done, and I could tell a lot of hard work went in to the process. It was very detailed, and made it very believable. The film had a really nice pace to it, and really hit a home run on the overall feel. It felt very patriotic, and uplifting for a tiny little man to become this big hero and still keep his head. It very much felt like the early Captain America comics.
The acting was also done very well, despite Evan's usually mild approach to every character he has ever played. Once he grew muscles his acting took a backseat. He is still a fun person to watch on film, but he has never shown me much in the way of versatile acting. Either way he did better in the first half than the second. Hayley Atwell did exceptionally well as the hard headed Peggy. There were a couple of cameo/comic characters within the film worth mentioning. An unfortunately small yet powerful performance was that of the amazingly talented Stanley Tucci as Dr. Erskine. Also worth mentioning is Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark (yes... Iron Man's dad), Neil McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan, Derek Luke as Gabe Jones (later a member of SHIELD) and the rest of the Howling Commando (look them up). The film did a really good job of staying close to the source material... of course it is one of the easier Marvel characters to adapt. Either way, they do a really great job of including a WHOLE BUNCH of Captain American characters that were seen in the comics, and other Marvel comics. Hugo Weaving as the diabolical Red Skull was a very good fit as well.
Moving along at a steady pace, the film was a blast to watch. There were a few moments where I felt like the movie was just "there". I don't know how to describe it, but that is the only thing I can say bad about it. Evan's was an acceptable Captain, and all of the crazy action made up for any misplaced acting ability. The cool hints toward the other films and The Avengers were well placed, and made me chuckle every time. I also enjoyed the little Teaser after the credits. Overall I give the film:
Entertainment Value: 8/10 canisters of super soldier serum
Cinematic Value: 8/10 canisters of super soldier serum