Before it was even released, “Captain America: The First Avenger” faced a bit of frankly overblown controversy regarding its unapologetically pro-American attitude. In three countries, the title was changed to simply, “The First Avenger,” but, as the old line from Shakespeare goes, “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Such is the case here.
As an up-front disclaimer, I am not familiar with the original comic books, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. There is no moral ambiguity or shades of grey here: the good guys are clearly good, the bad guys are eeeeevil. While some critics consider this an overly simplistic perspective, I found it remarkably refreshing from the doom and gloom depression from previous superhero films (“The Dark Knight,” I’m looking at you.). This is enforced by a strong script and sterling performances by the cast.
Steve Rogers, played with great earnestness by Chris Evans, clearly embodies many prime American qualities, including courage, honesty, tenacity, intelligence, and selflessness. Hugo Weaving imbues Johann Schmidt/Red Skull with a characteristic arrogance and flair with just the right amount of over-the-top insanity. Then there’s Tommy Lee Jones, who gives a surprisingly humorous turn as Colonel Chester Phillips. The ubiquitous British actor Toby Jones also turns out a fine performance as Arnim Zola, chief scientist and toady to Red Skull.
“Captain America: The First Avenger” is, of course, a lead-up to the upcoming, long-awaited movie “The Avengers,” scheduled for 2012. Whether “The Avengers” lives up to all the hype remains to be seen, but it has a good start in this movie. I highly recommend “Captain America” for both teenagers and adults as a fun romp and stomp war movie that actually presents the ol’ US of A in a positive light.
- Captain America The First Avenger Reviewed (films.ie)
- The Nouveau Retro of The First Avenger (Feature) (popmatters.com)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (lifeasacynic.blogspot.com)
- Captain America: The First Avenger review (bobomovies.wordpress.com)
- Marvel releases Captain America’s final scene and Avengers teaser (digitaltrends.com)
- Final Poster for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (geektyrant.com)