The latest addition from Marvel Studios and the last film before the hugely anticipated The Avengers is Captain America – the all American hero and, most importantly, The First Avenger.
Set in 1941 as World War II is in full swing, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is desperately trying to join the army and fight for his country. Sadly he is rejected from every state he applies in due to a few shortcomings. Despite not being a conventional soldier, Steve has heart, courage and more guts than others. It’s this that attracts the attention of Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) and a project he has been working on with none other than Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) – father of Iron Man. It involves a secret serum which can increase a man’s strength, essentially making him a super soldier produced to be America’s defence against the Nazis.
Steve is chosen for the experiment and soon becomes everything he hoped he would be; strong, manly and noticed. Initially used for inspirational propaganda he tours the country and its troops before finally getting to prove his stuff and show people that he could truly be Captain America. Throw in an evil villain in the shape of Hugo Weaving as Red Skull and you have yourself a film.
Despite being The First Avenger, Captain America is the last film in the lead-up to The Avengers and, despite being more than a worthy effort, you seem to feel like you’re wanting it to end so that the next big one will come, the one everyone is waiting for in super hero history.
The look of the film is great, director Joe Johnston has really captured the essence of the 1940’s by giving the cinematography a golden glow that harks back to that old Hollywood style of film. This works really well and is a great contrast to other moments within the film. The special effects are slick and smooth with nothing looking like a cheap or rushed effort. The effects used on Evans to create his look prior to becoming Captain America is truly intriguing.
A lot of pressure was on the shoulders of Evans for taking on such an iconic role, but this has stood him in good stead as he has raised his game in this film. In the scenes where he is small and visibly weak he really convinces the audience that it is him, as if no effects were used. His vulnerability, mixed with his will to succeed without any arrogance, is endearing and it’ll be great to see this character in the same room as Thor and Tony Stark.
Marvel has done a justifiable job of piecing together the various characters, having the clues in places that link to the other films and, while hard core fans of all the comics will naturally spot flaws, Captain America is another flag to the pole of the popular Marvel empire.
Best line: ‘I don’t want to kill anybody. I don’t like bullies; I don’t care where they’re from’.