Captain America: The First Avenger - 5 out of 5
Frisbee with the Capt. is serious business.
Here's my three word review of Captain America: The First Avenger...America: FUCK YEAH!!!
Captain America is the final film in the build up to The Avengers--Marvel's ultimate show of bad-assery in terms of their film adaptations. It tells the story of the first Avenger (who is ironically the final film in the build up to the greatness!), a small, weak young man named Steve Rogers who, despite his lack of muscles and overall height and size, wants to serve his country and fight Nazis in World War II in order to preserve freedom and stop evil from taking over the planet. His determination and heart proves he is the best candidate for the Super Soldier program, created by Dr. Abraham Erskine (played awesomely by Stanley Tucci) and Iron Man's daddy; Howard Stark. This program takes wee widdle Wogers and turns him into the ultimate symbol of Hope and Peace and remakes him as the Star Spangled Superhero; Captain America!!! With shield in hand, Rogers goes to war and tries to stop a man even more dangerous than Adolf Hitler: The evil Red Skull.
It's amazing how they made Chris Evans look small and skinny.
Being a big comic nerd, Captain America was the comic adaptation I was the most excited for in the summer of 2011--even more excited than Thor and Green Lantern (and I'm a bigger fan of GL than the Capt.). Not only did the trailer sell the film as an orgy of patriotic action, the story of Steve Rogers is something that anyone--even those who hate comic books (jocks, thanks for the wedgies guys)--can get behind. Rogers is the underdog who becomes the hero who saves the day, putting those who need help before himself. Yes, the Capt. is a symbol of patriotism with the red, white and blue but he's more about doing what's right, than doing what's important for the nation. Capt. didn't go and fight Nazis to make sure America is Number 1, he did it to protect the world from evil (if you read the comics, Rogers takes a very large stand against the government and pays the ultimate price for doing what's right). That being said, I'm going to say it: Captain America would NOT be a member of the Tea Party.
Toby Keith has probably already written three songs about this picture alone.
Not only is the character of Captain America a genuine hero in the Superman-sense and not the anti-hero or vigilante sense like Batman, his character just makes for great story telling. We see his heart and drive deliver him to something great and, if you already know the story of Capt. (both in the comics and movie) you know he sacrifices himself to save others and ends up frozen in the arctic--only to be awaken over 60 years later. So, you get the whole fish-out-of-water element that is more of a fish-out-of-his-era. It was always this aspect to Capt.'s story that I've found to be the most interesting and one of the many things this film did exceptionally well.
"Hey dudes, check this out."
Story-telling and special effects are just epic and it is backed up by an amazing cast that felt not like a group of actors pretending to be their comic-counterparts but rather the actual comic personas coming to life from the pages. Chris Evans (the same guy who played the douche Human Torch in the two Fantastic Four movies) takes up the shield and gives a performance that made me say, "Johnny Storm who?"
"Remember when I was the flaming dork? I'm a bad-ass now!"
When you have a great actor giving life to a great hero, you need an equally impressive villain delivered by an equally amazing actor. The Red Skull is not only a great villain and Capt.'s antithesis but having the incredibly talented Hugo Weaving as the man with the red...well, skull, is just plain, medical-grade awesome. And something I really enjoyed is the fact that Weaving based his accent on one of my favorite directors; Werner Herzog. He was so good at his impersonation that I wanted more lines for Weaving for him to read as Skull.
"Okay, everybody get your look at my red skull. Can we move on now?"
But having a great villain and hero played well wasn't enough for this film. They kept going. I mentioned Stanley Tucci as Dr. Erskine and he was amazing but the small (but important) role of Col. Chester Phillips was brought on screen, like a boss, by Tommy Lee Jones! He was so good, I completely forgot he was in Man of the House--that is till I wrote this and now I remember that horrible film again.
"Hive five. Come on, don't leave me hanging."
Captain America: The First Avenger is one of those comic adaptations that very closely resembles the source material and brings the iconic character to life with gusto and style. The story flows with no hint of drag and the action is on such a scale that it makes keeping your ass in the seat nearly impossible. Having this film be the final one in the set up to The Avengers was a stroke of pure genius. Not only does it get my geek boner raging to see Captain America take up arms with Nick Fury, Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye, it just gets my blood pumping in general. It is an entertainment high.
The Avengers sneak peek after the credits is enough to get me sexually excited.
Also, be sure to check out the special features to see a Marvel One-Shot short film about Agent Coulson called A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Thor's Hammer. Seriously, you won't regret it.
Definitely check out Agent Coulson's short. It's funny and just shows how awesome Coulson is.