Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Review of Captain America: The First Avenger

I could probably crank out a very long essay to review Captain America's latest interpretation for the big screen, so I'll try to be brief. So you know, I watched the film 3 times within 24 hours: 7 pm on Thursday, 12 am and 10 am on Friday, opening day!

Director Joe Johnston clearly had much respect and knowledge of the source material. For example, they included the old lady secret agent that guards the front of the Antique Shop that hides the secret lab that transforms 90lb Steve Rogers into the perfect human specimen, Captain America. He was transformed with an injection of super soldier serum and vita rays, just like back in the pages of the 1940s comic book. It was those little details and nods to the 70-year legacy of comic books that really made me smile.

The creative license they took with Bucky Barnes and Howard Stark were good changes that were made for the sake of better drama and plot links to next summer's The Avengers. The love story between Cap and Peggy Carter was believable, sweet and appropriate for the 1940s. The casting of Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull was positively perfect. Tommy Lee Jones as the cranky Colonel paid off too. It was great to see the inclusion of the military Howling Commandos instead of the cheesy, way-too-comic-booky WWII Invaders characters.

Best of all was Chris Evans as 90lb Steve Rogers, not a sickly nerd, but truly a spunky, smart guy with a lot of fight in him. By the time he becomes muscle-bound Captain America, he is believable as a strategic and courageous leader. He's still the same guy, skinny Steve inside the perfect body and uniform of red, white and blue. The costume rocked and the shield in action was a dream come true to watch.

My only critiques are minor: I could've done without a couple of the one-liners, it'd be nice to have seen some more Nazis instead of hoards of Hydra goons, and the last 3 seconds of the film needed more out-of-control emotion and drama. That's it. I score it 95 out of 100 - a solid A ... A for America!