"Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Running time: 124 minutes

Since during this last week I have had a record low of pageviews on my reviews, I have discerned that none of you are interested in my reviews of films that are not current and/or not ver well known. Whilst my reviews of The Notebook and The Prestige have had very high views, The Reef and Two Lane Blacktop have hardly any at all in comparision. So I’ve decided that that is probably the reason; that or that I have somehow lost all my fans in a short space of time. Please prove me wrong by “liking” the facebook page at the top of this post, I’d very much appreciate it. But now I shall provide you with the kind of reviews you desire by reviewing Marvel Studios’ latest production: Captain America: The First Avenger!

Now Showing this week is Captain America: The First Avenger, directed by Joe Johnston. Captain Ameria tells the story of a feeble man named Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans), a man who has been denied by the US military five times during World War II, and how he came to be the man chosen to be part of an experiment to create an army of American super-soldiers. The result: Captain America, an incredibly muscular, clean cut super hero who is ready to kick some Nazi ass in the name of the US of A. Meanwhile, a Nazi extremist scientist codenamed “the Red Skull” (played by Hugo Weaving) is experimenting with an artifact called the Cosmic Cube, which those of you paying attention in the previous film Thor will recognise as an object from Thor’s father Odin’s vault. Red Skull is trying to harness it’s power so as to, you guessed it, destory the entire world.

Now I must say that I rather enjoyed this film. It wasn’t perfect, not by a long shot, but I thoroughly enjoyed it despite it’s faults. It’s chief fault for me was the corniness of the whole thing, as the entire film was coated with a “God bless America! *tear*” sensibility. But I suppose that was unavoidable given that (from what I’ve learned from the living comic book encyclopedia MovieBob) the Captain America comics were created during World War II as a means to give Americans hope with a super strong man, bearing the ol’ patriotic red-white-n-blue, could give Hitler a punch in the face and that there was still hope that the Allies could conquer the Nazi forces. It just would not be based on it’s original source material if it wasn’t this corny, and to be honest, it didn’t really detract from the film. It was actually kind of entertaining and uplifting, and I’m Australian! However, it was very hard not to laugh nor take anything seriously whenever anyone said: “let’s hear it for Captain America! YEAH!”

Storyline wise, I find it hard to fault the film. It definitely isn’t the cerebral mind bending thriller of the year, but each sequence of events and character decision made logical sense to me. Okay, so the whole Captain America being a propaganda/entertainment symbol was a bit unnessecary and wasn’t a logical choice by the characters (I mean, you just made the world’s strongest man so why not, you know, make him go punch Hitler in the face?), but other then that it worked well enough. Which in this day and age of stupid illogical plot progressions (I’m looking at you Transformers 2 & 3), it’s a refreshing turn around.

One complaint I heard in regards to this film was the fact that there was so much futuristic technology in the 1940s, and I have to say that I disagree for several reasons. The first being that without these technologies, there would be no film! You can’t have Captain America without there being the technology to create him, can you? Secondly, the film’s villain is harnessing the power of technology created by the freakin’ Norse gods! I don’t think a failure of a hover car is too much of a leap. And lastly, in films such as Iron Man, which are clearly in the same timeline given all these films are linking up to next year’s The Avengers, there are giant fusion reactors and the kind of technology to create a self powered super suit that can fly, go into space and carry lots of missles that can destory tanks! All that tech had to start somewhere, so why not with Howard Stark’s (Iron Man’s father) experiments back in the 40s? Seems to work for me, or at least within the logic the films have presented us.

Lastly, the special effects in this film were quite impressive. For one, the entire Harry Potter film series could learn from Captain America because it managed to achieve something that Harry Potter did not. And that is to have a villain who is bald, with no nose and still be intimidating, creepy and not look like a weak, chemotherapy retard! Red Skull looks fantastic, and Hugo Weaving is barely recognisable once he is in true form. Further on the special effects side, however they made Chris Evans look like a skinny, short weakling was very impressive but failed to be believable because he still had Chris Evans’ voice. They made him look amazing, you could honestly believe there was an actor that looked like him only tiny on set, but the fact that he still had a deep, tough manly voice just seemed plain wrong.

Captain America: The First Avenger (dunno why they needed that subtitle, it’s a bit pointless) is not as good as Iron Man or Thor were; but it was still enjoyable and fulfilled it’s purpose of introducing us to the character of Steve Rogers before he appears alongside Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Nick Fury, Black Widow and Hawkeye in the upcoming The Avengers. Now to me, The Avengers seems like something that is so ambitious and so huge that without some epic talent behind the writing and directing it will flat on its face. I’ve been afraid of this being the outcome in the past, but ever since I heard that Joss Whedon is handling both tasks of writing and directing, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. The man is amazing, and with the possible exception of Christopher Nolan being in charge, I couldn’t think of a better man to put my faith in. So yeah, I’m keen for May 2012 to come around. Very keen indeed.

See you next time!


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