July 22 finally brought us Captain America: The First Avenger. I must confess that while I was excited for the film, I had a terrifying relization when the lights finally went low…What if this movie SUCKS?????
I mean think about it. The premise of the comic is a guy dressed in the American Flag running around fighting Nazis. Looks great in comics, but will it translate on screen? Will it be like Chris Evans’s other comic movie efforts like Fantastic Four? What if Joe Johnston makes another Jurassic Park 3?? Oh God, I could feel Star Spangled Dunkin’ Donuts stirring in my stomach.
Then, something wonderful happened. The film started and I forgot where I was. I had been transported to the Antarctic where it looks like a research team as found some colossal phantom ship underneath the frozen wasteland. The beginning actually felt like the start of an X-Files episode, I kept looking for Moulder and Scully to survey the the mysterious wreckage. When the researcher finally enter the ship, they discover underneath the ice a red, white and blue shield.
We’re thrown back into the 1940’s as Johann Schmidt as his Hydra Solders discover an Asgardian weapon know as the cosmic cube. And yes, Johann Schmidt has a bigger role to play in the film as…
Now I have to say that for years I’ve thought Hugo Weaving could be an incredible Red Skull. And I was right, as Weaving is able to portray the evil domineering presence, but he brings a certain finesse and arrogance that the character needs to survive outside the comic book.
Next we meet skinny, scrawny, frail, Paul Davis L…I mean Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) eager to serve his country but is denied due to the adjectives listed. Sadly Rogers has get his face beaten to a pulp as his best bud Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) goes off to collect glory and women. Meanwhile, Dr. Abraham Erskine (played by Stanly Tucci) overhears Rogers’ plight and allows him the chance to take part in a government program to create a super solider.
What I enjoyed about this film is that were given a break from dark heroes who witness their parents gunned down, fight alcohol addition, or almost start a war like an asshole and get exiled by the one-eyed Oscar winning All Father. None of that is here. Instead we meet a young man who wants to do the right thing because–and I want you to pay attention–because it’s the right thing!!!!
What’s wrong with having a hero who represents the best of humanity with out there being a catalyst? People say this can be boring, but do I need my parents to be killed to be an honest and good person? No. We see that here in Steve Rogers, and this film is far from boring! Its refreshing! This is why Rogers was chosen for the program. He was weak yet he could value strength and still hold compassion. Even the beautiful Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) was attracted to Rogers well before he transformed into Captain America. It’s the genuine purity that shines brighter than his shield.
This film’s success, I believe, did rest on the shoulders of Chris Evans. He was able to balance the character well, presenting an honest to goodness character who wanted to serve his fellow man. There are no traces of Johnny Storm or that kid from Not Another Teen Movie.Chris Evans can act. He was able to play frail yet present a real character of strength underneath and present a vulnerability when he was big and buff.
This film was blessed with such a great supporting cast such the acting veteran Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips, Toby Jones as Dr. Arnim Zola, Neal McDough as “Dum Dum” Dugan, and Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark.
Which brings me to the buildup to the Avengers movie. Marvel has done an excellent job interconnecting the worlds of Iron Man, Thor and Captain America together. We have Tony’s father developing weapons as they said he did in the first Iron Man. We have Loki’s lust for the cosmic cube from Thor and the cube’s origins in Captain America. Also, if you haven’t heard yet, you gotta see what’s waiting for you after the credits!
I don’t wanna say anything else about the movie, you gotta go see it for yourself, but trust me, Captain America: The First Avenger is the hero we’ve been waiting for!