Disappointed with the recent Thor movie, I thought that Captain America: The First Avenger would fall in the same line. I was wrong.
I own a Captain America comic book, but I haven’t even read a single page of it. I own a Captain American T-shirt, but I never wear it. Captain America has always been one of those comic book characters that fascinated me but I have, unfortunately, never had the opportunity to learn more about. Sure I know the basics – he has super strength, he wears a blue outfit with stars and he runs around with a giant red, blue and white shield. But that pretty much summed up my knowledge about the hero in blue. Knowing the little I knew about Captain America, it was with great difficulty that I convinced myself that Marvel would be able to make a decent movie about his origins, given the difficult source material.
Just about all of Captain America: The First Avenger is spent in 1942 during World War II. We follow Steve Rogers as he persistently tries to join the army and fails repeatedly due to his small size and asthma. Something most of us would and could probably relate to in some part of our lives. We’ve all been told we are too little, too weak or too ugly (not me, of course) at some point in our lives. And that’s exactly how blue boy relates to us. Unlike other comic book superheroes, Captain America isn’t completely unrealistic. For the most part, he is just a regular guy – he is bad with women and he is even unsure of himself at times. For lack of a better illustration, we are all capable of becoming like Captain America – a really brave wimp who will never ever give up no matter how many people look down upon him.
Hugo Weaving (as the bad guy – Red Skull) and Tommy Lee Jones nearly steal the movie away from the lead Chris Evans. Hugo reminds us just how good he is at playing the bad guy again (think Agent Smith in The Matrix with a German accent) while Tommy Lee Jones provides comical one-liners throughout. Much like Inglorious Basterds before it, most of the story is reconstructed history, with a lot of references to actual events. It’s all put together so well nobody would second guess the actual events of the war.
The biggest highlight for me came with the special effects. They were great – the skinny Steve Rogers was completely convincing and the action sequences were amazing. I got to see all of this in 3D, which much to my disappointment was an average experience. Those watching the 2D version won’t be missing much.
With all that said, Captain America: The First Avenger is little better than the second Iron Man movie, much better than Thor, Green Lantern, and The Incredible Hulk, but still not in the same league as The Dark Knight.