Review: Captain America – The First Avenger

31Jul11

It was a nostalgic day all round… It started with a viewing of the new Thundercats cartoon (which I’ll mention next time) and continued with a trip to the movie theatre to see Captain America (in 2D).

I am not too cool to say that the critically-panned direct-to-video 1990 Captain America movie starring Matty Salinger was one of my favourite movies in my very early teens. And I have proof… as often as I adventured around the house and garden wrapped in fantasy as James Bond, Indiana Jones or Batman (er… and Colossus) time was spent in the sunshine as Captain Steve Rogers.

In those days – my father worked from home in a mechanical workshop and through the years he made many different toys for me depending on the phase. One of the very few things to survive all these years – the one thing I refused to throw out, lose or even damage further is my Captain America Shield:

While it has seen better days – the edges are dented (from the necessary “throwing”) and the blue (felt-tip) has faded. It is still in pretty good condition for a 20 year old hardboard weapon-shield! It even came with blue handles riveted to the body:

So it was only fitting that I took Dad with me to see the new updated version. We hit the theater in an early-bird showing and both thoroughly enjoyed it!

Chris Evans embodied the role – he did an amazing job of a nuanced performance that was nothing like his previous high-profile roles. He quite simply is Captain America. And I got say that was what pleased me the most about the experience… while Tucci, Atwell and Weaving all gave great performances all eyes were on Evans to play it balanced against his own well-known humor, the difficult history and standing of the character. (If you think about it Captain America decked out in a red, white and blue suit with an A on his forehead and wings on the side is pretty silly in the real world… even compared to “cooler” comic book characters).

The script was (slightly) above average but there were choices that I wouldn’t have made – I think they chickened out a little with starting in the present day, the WWII front line seemed empty or just too unreal (compared with the likes of Saving Private Ryan),  Bucky was a bit old and experienced, the tech was all a bit overwelming… that sort of thing. Anyway despite those minor flaws it played well with good pace and is very watchable. The acting is high quality across the board – I just think the movie didn’t live up to the grit portrayed by the one sheet or some of the concept art floating around the internet.

However it goes without saying that Whedon’s Avengers movie is going to be awesome.

I rated it on imdb.com as 7/10.



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