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Captain America – Review

clip_image002Captain America: The First Avenger (12a)

Reviewed by Rachel Geeson

Score:  5/5

Captain America: The First Avenger is the action/ adventure adaptation of the iconic comic book character, directed by Joe Johnston. The film is the fifth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just like the Thor movie, the film serves as a proper introduction to the super soldier in preparation for his return alongside Iron Man, Thor and The Hulk in the upcoming film “The Avengers” which will hit the big screens next year.

The film begins with scientists in the Arctic uncovering a mysterious object with a red, white and blue logo on it. In March 1942, Nazi officer Johann Schmidt (played by Hugo Weaving) and his men invade a castle that was being guarded by a man, who is played by the easily recognised character of Argus Filch the Hogwarts caretaker from the much loved Harry Potter films. Johann succeeds in his invasion of the castle and steals a mysterious item, which Schmidt calls “the jewel of Odin’s treasure room”. In Brooklyn, New York City a local Steve Rogers is a spirited but scrawny boy who wants nothing more than to join the war; however he has received five rejections so far to join the army for military duty for World War II. Chris Evans who plays Steve Rogers also played a comic hero, the Human Torch in another Marvel Comic adaption which was “Fantastic Four” in 2005. Unlike Steve his friend made it into the army and became Sergeant James Barnes also known as Bucky. That evening Rogers and Barnes on a double date attend the Modern Marvels of Tomorrow exhibition where the talented inventor Howard Stark clip_image004(played by the heartthrob from “Mamma Mia”, Dominic Cooper) demonstrates an experimental flying car. Rogers slips into a recruitment centre for yet another attempt at enlisting with Barnes trying to persuade him not to go through with it. When there a German scientist, Dr. Abraham Erskine (played by Stanley Tucci, who worked alongside Anne Hathaway in the chick flick “The Devil Wears Prada”) listens in on a conversation between Rogers and Barnes and becomes intrigued by Rogers determination and allows him to join the army.

At Camp Lehigh in the New York state, under the watchful eyes of Colonel Chester Phillips (played by the legendry actor Tommy Lee Jones) and SSR officer Peggy Carter, the enlisted men are put through a number of physical tests to make sure they are up to army standards. In this part of the film, one of my favourite scenes was when the men were challenged to attempt to get a flag down from a pole and when failing it gave Rogers the opportunity. With his witty knowledge he got the flag down, and managed to get a ride back to camp instead of jogging back along with the others, putting brains before brawn. When Rogers shows off a courageous act of bravery and self-sacrifice he convinces Erskine to use him in the first “super-soldier” experiment.

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And a super soldier is what Rogers turns out to be as he emerges after the procedure very muscular and tall. Now this scene is one good reason why the film is aimed at women, as you see the transformation of the young Brooklyn soldier. In this much better physical shape, Rogers becomes Captain America and from then on he gets his chance to be part of the war and help fight against the villainous Red Skull who has plans for world domination with the evil HYDRA organisation.

I believe Captain America: The First Avenger is among the greats for Marvel Comic film adaptations with the high quality graphics. This film is a definite must-see for both males and females with the attention grabbing storyline of watching a young man journey from becoming scrawny to super.

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Categories: Film Reviews
  1. August 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    5 stars is probably a bit too much, but as popcorn movies go,I thought Captain America was a lot better than you might expect.

    The film-makers are obviously very aware of the cynical eyes of today’s audience towards jingoism and that slight anti-American feeling that is slowly creeping in beyond their own country. A misstep too far in bringing this latest superhero to the screen might not only jeopardize their international box office, but also their long-awaited spin-off “The Avengers” of which “Captain America” was the last crucial missing link.

    So instead of falling into the traps of the obvious patriotic gush and just updating the story for the modern audience, into a modern setting, director Joe Johnston decided to stay true to the origins of his hero and kept the story rooted in 194os, during WW2 deciding to concentrate more on the old-fashion moral decency of the characters than their “let’s kick some ass” type of mentality.

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