Title: Captain America: The First Avenger
Language: English, Norwegian, French
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure
Director: Joe Johnston
Cinematography: Shelly Johnson
Music: Alan Silvestri
Tommy Lee Jones
Samuel L. Jackson
Incited by its super polished CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014), I feel impulsive to watch its prequel, which eluded me when it came out in 2011 chiefly thanks to the irreparable damage caused by Evan’s lame Human Torch act in the awful FANTASTIC 4 duds, and his breakthrough role in the murderously awful comedy NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE (2001), I just thought he was not bright enough to be interesting as a national hero, however, both the second Captain American venture and SNOWPIERCER (2013) have regained my faith in him, and finally I watched the film.
Being mostly skeptic about Marvel’s comic exploitation, I find this film makes a smart decision to get away from the ultra-modern havoc-wrecked cityscape, and locates the story in the WWII with an enticing retro flair around it, it instantly emanates a more reality-approaching understanding of the milieu, and the magical CGI achievement of a puny 90 pounds Steve Rogers also lights up one’s intrigue, smoothly propels the plot unwind in the anticipated direction where he is transformed into a super soldier. Stanley Tucci leaves a strong impression as Dr. Abraham Erskine, whose keen attention makes cherry-picking Steve as the guinea pig much more plausible than we could guess.
Hayley Atwell, as Agent Carter, not a red-lip pin-up girl for soldiers fantasy only, proves that in Marvel’s realm, real girls are never guy-shy, the romance between Steve and her plays out disarmingly with a crescendo in the near-end, a date he is destined to miss; Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips, as grumpy as usual, but the banter amid the crucial chasing sequences means he is not a stiff militant officer as he appears, and his a sterling driver too; The seed of the bromance between Captain and his best-buddy Bucky Barnes (Stan) is sown pretty palpably as well, and their all-race-included squad could not be more politically safe for the alliance. Hugo Weaving is the Nazi officer Johann Schmidt aka. Red Skull, the head of HYDRA, who blatantly discards his human skin for the second half of the movie, falls short as a qualified super-villain, basically the only countermeasure of Captain America’s front-door attack is to retreat with his treasured tesseract, his ruthlessness and preternatural toughness never take off too far.
Most of the time, the film looks like a vintage war movie than a Superhero production, and Captain American is a down-to-earth paragon with all the virtues needed for an orthodox representation, Evans steadily sheds his frivolousness and shoulders on the most legitimate American hero to be a prominent part in The Avengers assembly.
Finally, the time-jumping finale, it is a bit rushed, no details of the 70-years cryogenic nap is materialized on the screen, how he survived the crush, and how he was discovered and reserved, all omitted; the bug of the radio is also very amateur. By comparison, the action part is not as thrilling as its sequel, and director Joe Johnston (THE WOLFMAN 2010, JURASSIC PARK III 2001) may never be an innovative creator, but certainly he is a hard worker who is able to streamline the patchwork and as far as this movie is concerned, it is not bad at all.