Studio: Paramount Pictures (125 min)
Plot: A man rejected for military service volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into a superhero.
Cast: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Sebastian Stan, Hayley Atwell, Hugo Weaving, Derek Luke.
Bottom Line: ****
By Samantha Ofole-Prince
“Captain America: The First Avenger” is unlike most modern-day movies with comic-book origins.
Director/executive producer Joe Johnston has managed to bring to the big screen, a delightful adaption of an unlikely hero and does a great job of balancing the brutal action with dark humor, while still providing enough defining character moments.
Based on the Marvel comic book, the movie focuses on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America.
It’s 1941, and the world is being torn apart by war. After repeatedly trying to enlist in the military and fight alongside his brothers and sisters in the Allied Forces, the young and scrappy 98 pound Rogers (Evans) is accepted to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super-Soldier known as Captain America.
As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).
“You only really get one chance to do an origin story,” says Johnston, “The 1940s were such an energetic era, fueled by the optimistic belief that ‘right’ triumphs. Cinematically, it is such a toy box of vehicles, fashion and architecture—and we fill it with the Marvel gadgets and weaponry—it just seemed like a great opportunity to do this story first, then move on.”
What makes “Captain” such a delight is that it doesn’t get carried away with CGI and incessant quick cutting. There are lots of memorable moments, snappy one liners and plenty of character development.
“We get to know Steve Rogers as a character first—and I think that’s what’s made him such a phenomenon for 70 years. He doesn’t have any super powers per se—his powers are basically what the human body can do, but taken to a level of physical perfection,” continues Johnston. “It’s about a guy who, in a matter of minutes, goes from a 98-pound weakling to the perfect human specimen. As such, Steve has all kinds of issues, both physical and psychological, and it’s very interesting for me to take those issues and explore them in a really good, really fast-paced action story.”
Action-packed with an equally great story, script and aptly cast, “Captain America: The First Avenger” focuses on the early days of the Marvel Universe—later populated with such super heroes as “Iron Man,” “The “Hulk” and “Thor,” and stands out in Marvel’s movie gallery.
It’s one comic book adaptation that doesn’t disappoint.
This was printed in the July 31, 2011 - August 13, 2011 Edition