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Review of Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The First Avenger one sheet
Captain America: The First Avenger one sheet
© Paramount

Captain America: The First Avenger


I'm of the opinion that if you have to qualify a movie in order to defend that you think it's good, then it isn't as good as you think it is. For example; if someone says to you, "Well, for a kid's movie, it was pretty good," then it's probably just a sugarcoated, reheated turd. A movie is supposed to be good without any sort of qualifier attached to it. Captain America: The First Avenger is one of those movies where I feel compelled to say, "For a comic book movie, it was pretty good."

In a weird way, though, this doesn't bother me. Playing the titular character is Chris Evans and he does a great job. Frankly, the movie rested on his shoulders. It's understandable why he had some initial trepidation about accepting the role; a big budget film that will only succeed if the audience believes you as the character is daunting to say the least. There's no trace of nervousness or holding back in Evans' portrayal of Steve Rodgers / Captain America, in fact, he looked like he relished the opportunity. This is especially a relief given that he'll be playing Captain America in many movies to come.

Playing the villain, Red Skull, is Hugo Weaving, who you've seen in The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings. Something tells me he'll be attending many comic book conventions for the rest of his days. Weaving is excellent as Red Skull, a Nazi running a division of the Third Reich hell-bent on developing a weapon that will allow them to take over the world (naturally). As the Red Skull, Weaving treads that fine line between a believable psycho and hamming it up just a little too much and he successfully walks it. Not to mention the make up for the Red Skull was seriously impressive.

The rest of the supporting cast in Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Hayley Atwell and others were solid. They were able to add some depth to a movie that is traditionally devoid of anything meaningful or heartfelt. Captain America: The First Avenger as a whole is nothing mind blowing or revelatory, in fact, it's very paint-by-numbers at times. But the performances and old school feel of the film added to its likability. In fact, if this film had featured more WWII action, it would have made it that much better. Director Joe Johnston clearly borrowed elements from one of his previous films, The Rocketeer for this one and that's perfectly fine as The Rocketeer is a very underrated film.

Captain America: The First Avenger is a cool take on a genre (comic book inspired films) that we've seen a lot of over the last ten years. It's definitely worth checking out at the Cinemagics in Hooksett or Merrimack.