Thursday, 26 April 2012

The First Avenger: Captain America

Tonight I wanted to celebrate the release of The Avengers at the cinema by writing a review.  However we had a change of plans, stayed home and watched Captain America, which premiered on Sky Movies last week, instead.  It’s still quite fitting; Captain America is one of the Avengers.

Captain America is about a home grown all-American hero during the Second World War.  A small, weedy man who is bullied and beaten and rejected by the army is accepted into an experimental programme to create a super soldier; Captain America is born.  He then takes it upon himself to rid the world of the story’s villain, a crazy super strong German who wants to take over the world.

The first ‘Avenger’ film I saw was Ironman, a film that sent shivers of apprehension through me.  Next was Thor, a good romp through a comic book world of fantasy.  I wasn’t sure about Captain America when it was first released but I thought I should give it a chance.  A film of war with supernatural artefacts and Nazis?  Well, I enjoyed Indiana Jones so why not.

There are some good names in this film; Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving and, of course, Samuel J Jackson.  I also feel as if George Lucas may have had a hand in there somewhere; the film wreaks of Indiana Jones and R2-D2 is even in there (watch it closely!).

One of the highlights of the film, other than Stan Lee’s courtesy cameo, is the presence of Harold Stark.  Tony Stark’s (Ironman) father with possible hints at Ironman’s future.  Like Tony Stark, Harold Stark is charming, amusing and highly intelligent.  It isn’t the only film to have a crossover – Hawkeye features uncredited in Thor.
There are a number of good one-liners throughout the film which kept me laughing.

You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned Captain America himself yet.  What makes a good comic book hero?  What do Wolverine, Ironman and even Thor have in common?  The anti-hero element, the concept of rebellion, charm and intelligence.  Captain America may be intelligent but he is a stickler for the rules, he’s a clean cut American and he is all too willing to sacrifice himself.  In other words, he is boring.

So what about the villain?  Hugo Weaving is an excellent actor – he’s a Matrix agent and elf for crying out loud.  He is wasted in this film as a red faced skeletor, something that not only doesn’t fully make sense but also makes the film look a little tacky.

The plot line was weak was massive gaps.  Captain America is made into a super soldier and immediately knows how to fight without any training.  This is incredibly unbelievable; a person does not get new legs and immediately know how to walk.  If something is unbelievable, it is difficult for the viewer to stay interested.  I repeatedly zoned out in this film and often caught myself staring out of the window at the night sky.  I would like to say that this is why I didn’t understand some parts but honestly I think this is because the story was poorly told.

My favourite part?  The end.  Not because it was the end of the film, but because of where it left Captain America.  This is a predictable but bearable film with some very redeeming features but the end promises a new side of Captain America and left me still eager to The Avengers.


  1. Captain America is the clean cut American hero he doesn't have a dark passenger. Perhaps not likeing him says more about you than anything else? I'm not a fan either but I understand where he is coming from

    1. Of course it is, all subjective opinions like this really speak about the person making the opinion. I understand where Captain America is coming from, he's a nice bloke with a good heart who follows the rules, is loyal and honourable and is given a chance to prove himself. I get that. In the real world I am a goody two shoes who always follows the rules, is loyal, takes a pride in my work and worry overly when I think I've upset someone, which is how a lot of people live. I personally don't watch or read fiction to about people who are based in reality like that, no matter how inspirational they are. I watch and read fiction to indulge the side of me that I can't show to the world, whether it's the cutting remarks and ball of rage that is Wolverine or making a city burn Joker style.

    2. Basically you are a dc comics girl not a marvel comics girl :o)

  2. No, I'm definately a Marvel girl, the only DC character I like is the Joker compared to all the Marvel ones I love. Just saw the Avengers which is incredible and I was right, Captain America is much more likeable as an old man in a new world. Or maybe The Avengers just has better writers.