Sunday, July 31, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger (part 1 of 2)

 Captain America: The First Avenger (part 1 of 2)
Director Joe Johnston brings a sense of wonderment and adventure to Captain America.  After a couple of foolish live action Captain America attempts, Marvel finally captured the feel and look of “the First Avenger”.  Hiring Joe Johnston was a brush of genius.  The movie also does a good job carrying over some of the plot threads from Thor and Iron Man 2
Just like his comic book origins, Captain America started out as hero in World War II.  He fights against the Nazi army.  Within the Nazi army, there is another group of soldiers that only follow Johann Schmidt (Red Skull), and they go by the name HYDRA.  Red Skull discovers a new power source that could very well turn the tide in WWII. 
The movie falls squarely on Chris Evans’ shoulders in the leading role of Captain America.  Evans is extremely well suited as the brave, but small Steve Rogers, and then as the heroic Captain America.  The story strongly conveys that the young Steve Rogers is courageous at heart, but doesn’t have the physical ability to fight in the war he so desires to be in.  “I hate bullies, sir.”
While the movie takes its time to build up Red Skull and Rogers, it might seem a bit slow for the younger crowds.  It certainly has the building pacing from the first act of Iron Man than Iron Man 2.  The movie starts to really pick up when Rogers receives the super-soldier serum.  And, what follows after that is amazing to watch. 
There is an extended chase scene that is a treat to watch and works on all levels.  We see Captain America test out his new body in this wonderful scene.  And, there is a funny moment with a young kid too that makes me chuckle.  It is a twist on a cliché. 
The movie also has a strong female lead that totally kicks ass in the movie.   Peggy Carter is a character that doesn’t fall into the same cliché moments that other superhero lover interest seem to fall under.  I am looking at you Marry Jane.  Hayley Atwell does a good job holding her own against Tommy Lee Jones, who is great.  And, she has some nice moments with Captain America.  Stanley Tucci does a fair take as the father figure scientist. 
Dominic Cooper plays Howard Stark, Tony Stark’s father, and he’s great in the role.  Howard Stark is very much modeled after Howard Hughes.  Here, we see an idealist engineer, but we later see that Howard becomes a drunk in Iron Man 2.  Tony Stark is very similar to the young version of his father in this movie. 
End of Part 1

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