As we move through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, our next film is Captain America: The First Avenger. As I sat down to watch this movie, I was going to try to be as unbiased as possible, but it’s hard because Cap is my favorite of the Avengers, and there is a lot I like about this movie, even if there is a lot that I don’t. The hard part is that the stuff I like I really like, and it can out weigh the stuff I don’t like and maybe I don’t notice it as much.
I really like Chris Evans as Captain America. I wasn’t sure at first, because I couldn’t get past him as the Human Torch in Fantastic Four, and Johnny Storm and Steve Rogers are two totally different personalities. Once I saw the movie, though, it’s hard for me to remember him as the Human Torch at all. He does a great job pulling off the clean-cut, always do the right character of Steve Rogers, and equally as Captain America.
I also like how they built up the character of Steve Rogers as he is becoming Captain America. The scenes during his boot camp are some of my favorites in the movie. Particularly when he brings down the flag pole to give the flag to his drill sergeant so he doesn’t have to keep running, and when they throw in the dummy grenade and he throws himself on it. Those are moments that define who Captain America is before he is Captain America. It shows that there is more to him than his powers that come from the super serum. I also chuckle when he is trying to enlist and he meets Dr. Erskine for the first time, and he thinks he has been caught lying to enlist. And of course, another defining statement is when he is asked by Dr. Erskine if he wants to go over to Germany to kill some Nazis. He responds by saying he doesn’t want to kill anyone, but he doesn’t like a bully. That’s Captain America in a nutshell.
Overall, I always enjoy this movie, it is fun, it is exciting in parts, and I love Captain America, so mostly it’s a win. However, there are a few plot details that drive me nuts. The US government, and especially a US government that later has an organization like SHIELD, would never spend that much money and time and resources to create a super soldier, have it be successful and then not use him for combat. It’s just kind of silly. I struggle with that every time. When Tommy Lee Jones says he was promised an army, and all he got was Rogers, and he wasn’t enough, it’s almost laughable. So, basically, you didn’t get your army, so your still going to go and try to win the fight against Hydra without the one weapon you did get. Seems reasonable. No, the reality is that Rogers would have been on the first boat to Germany and sent to the front lines. Of course he only gets there after spending time as a glorified dancing Uncle Sam, and then going awol to find his missing friend. That’s when the army realizes, “Hey, you know this super powered guy we have that can do almost anything? Maybe we should use him to do stuff.”
Other than that, the film is pretty watchable. It runs a little cheesy and over the top at times, but Captain America was originally cheesy and over the top. This isn’t really our introduction to the modern Cap, it’s our introduction to who Cap was during World War II, and it gets him to our time with the whole freezing thing. Really, it’s a 2 hour set up for later jokes, like in the Avengers when he gets excited because he got a reference to Wizard of Oz. We laugh because we know he just barely got thawed and was stepping out go 1945. It is a film to establish frame of mind, so we understand who Cap was and who he is. In Winter Soldier, we get the modern Cap, and he is awesome, but that is a review for another day.
What did you think of First Avenger? How does it stack up tot he preceding Marvel films like Iron Man and Thor? Let me know in the comments. Always love hearing from you.