3 ago. 2011

My Review: Captain America: The First Avenger (6/10)

¨General Patton has said that wars are fought with weapons but are won by men. Our goal is to create the greatest army in history, but every army begins with one man. He will be the first in a new breed of super-soldier.¨

Summer is synonym of superhero action movies. It seems as if every week we get bombarded with new superhero films, whether it be from the Marvel universe or the DC comics (I know, I`ve said this before). This summer started off with Thor, then it followed with the X-Men Origins franchise, next came The Green Lantern, and now finally we approach the end of the season with Captain America. I don’t have a problem with this at all since they usually end up being pretty good and some of my most anticipated movies for 2012 are actually superhero films (The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises). The question is how long can the producers keep on making these films entertaining and fresh for audiences. Captain America seemed to suffer from some of this overexposure these comic heroes have been having on the big screen. It`s still a good movie, but it didn’t feel all that fresh and we`ve grown used to seeing these heroes do great stuff and fight some terrible villains. The visuals are great as usual, the characters are interesting (comic book characters usually are very well developed since they`ve been in circulation for years), the stories are well developed, and the performances are great (especially from the supporting cast). So the question still remains: why wasn’t I that excited about Captain America? I found it an average and forgettable film despite all these great factors contributing to the movie. I guess I`ve already answered this: it just didn`t feel fresh enough, and it didn`t bring anything new to the genre. I did however still have a good time with the movie although I don’t think I will be seeing it again, and it won`t even come close in comparison to some of the other great superhero films like The Dark Knight or Iron Man.

The story takes place during the Second World War in 1942. The United States is in the middle of recruiting new, young and strong men to fight with the military overseas. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is one of those guys who is desperate to serve his country. He has a great heart, but unfortunately his small size doesn’t help. He keeps on getting rejected, but he is persistent and doesn’t let anyone bully him around. His best friend, Bucky (Sebastian Stan), has been called to serve with the 107 infantry and Steve wishes he could go along. Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci) overhears a conversation the two of them are having and decides to give Steve a chance- due to his great passion- to serve the country on a special mission. Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) are in charge of this secret mission which consists of finding the perfect soldier and injecting him with a special serum that Dr. Erskine has created that will enable him to have greater powers. Steve is the chosen one and the project is successful, but somehow a Nazi spy has managed to sneak in on the experiment and destroys the entire facility. This spy works for Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) who is in charge of the Hydra division, which is sponsored by Hitler and is designed to build special weapons for the War. But Schmidt has something more in mind considering he wants to rule the world and uses science to build these special weapons. Steve Rogers, who becomes known as Captain America after undergoing the experiment, will now have to stop Schmidt before it`s too late.

One of the problems I had with this film was that Chris Evans played a very serious Captain America. He is a much better actor when he is allowed to be loose and funny. I know his character didn’t allow for that, but I guess the producers should have decided for another actor in that role considering Evans is a more charismatic and playboy kind of fellow. Hugo Weaving is usually great in his roles as villains, but in this case Red Skull wasn’t a very fearful one considering all he did was run away each time he had to face off with Captain America. This film could have used a much more intimidating villain. The best performances actually come from the supporting actors such as Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci who share some of the best scenes. In my opinion Evans didn’t have what it takes to be the lead character, but I expect he will be great in The Avengers as one of the supporting actors. He will probably be outshined by Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jeremy Renner (or at least his Captain America film was by Iron Man and Thor), but that is ok because he always does well in those films where he just lays back in the supporting role. The best part of this film was by far the scene after the end credits where we get to see the trailer for The Avengers. The film looks so great and it will be interesting to see how all these actors work together. Hopefully audiences won’t be tired by then from all the overexposure and producers can maintain the freshness and originality alive.

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