Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger Review

I can’t believe I waited this long to review Captain America: The First Avenger because it came out on Blu-ray a whole two weeks ago!  I still have to rush out to buy my copy but as you can see, I’m not rushing.  It’s not because it wasn’t a good movie, but there are so many coming out at the same time so I will have to rely on Christmas money to catch up.  (Thanks Family!) 

Sure this movie lacks some of the glamour of previous superhero movies like Green Lantern and Thor but it delivers on the superb acting and well written dialogue.  Great attention is paid to stay true to the era this movie takes place and it is very realistic (in the American front) with how technology is presented.  I remember the scene when Johann Schmidt enters the room in the Nordic village and discovers the Tesseract is a fake.  Hugo Weaving does such a great job of playing a controlled psychopath with rage underlying every gesture and facial expression.  I was less impressed with Chris Evans’ performance considering his 1940’s accent was not consistent and eventually disappeared.  The production value was fine and Haley Atwell was such a powerful presence that would have put any masculine hero to shame.  It is only a shame that her opportunity with Steve Rogers was wasted and a romantic subplot was not explored.  I would have liked to see more drama rather than action to propel this movie, however it would not work to propel us towards the Avengers movie and Captain Americas displacement in the 21st Century.

I don’t feel compelled to give scores for my reviews and I thought about breaking it down into a more technical aspect but that really isn’t the point of this blog.  I want to draw out the aspects that are the most inspiring to me and convey them to you.  I suppose that is one of the reasons I love superhero’s so much is because they inspire and their stories of how they suffered and overcame by either their own struggle (like Batman) or happened by chance to have an amazing second chance to change (like The Green Lantern) we can learn from their mistakes (like Spiderman) or change ourselves with their motto.  That takes me to Captain America: The First Avenger. 

Captain America is an iconic hero in that he is the first American symbol of justice and morality for kids other than the brave troops that lived in their home towns.  I see him as a typical old fashioned guy that doesn’t fit well in this day and age and he even stood out in the 40’s.  He’s the kind of guy that would court a girl and never be alone with her.  He would be a “Walton’s man” and sit on the porch swing of her parents with his arm around her sipping lemonade for a good time.  He hates bullies and loves justice any way it can come.  He is MORE than a great American guy, he is the truest form of a great American hero.  He is selfless like Superman, only he displayed the same courage before he was a hero.  This is the most important premise of this movie, and the message that should come through more brazenly than anything else.  Hero’s aren’t made; they’re home grown out of a will to do what is right.  That desire seems to be inherent more than learned, but imagine what we could do if every person followed them unwaveringly and taught these principles to their children? 

Here are some quotes from the movie that inspired me the most:

Dr. Abraham Erskine: …But, there were other effects. The serum was not ready but more important, the man; the serum amplifies everything that is inside. So, good becomes great; bad becomes worse. This is why you were chosen… because a strong man, who has known power all his life, will lose respect for that power but a weak man knows the value of strength; and knows compassion.  

Peggy Carter: You must have danced? 
Steve Rogers: Well, asking a woman to dance always seems so terrifying and the past few years just didn't seem to matter that much: figured I'd wait. 
Peggy Carter: For what? 
Steve Rogers: Right partner.

I think people shouldn’t appreciate this movie for its impressive special effects or flashy presentation of a superhero world but rather the message of bravery and most of all, compassion (a respect for power and the restraint to use it.)  I doubt that the Avengers movie will have so many important moral implications at the core of its message.


  1. I would have to say that it is the best comic book movie to date. I would like to know what you mean

    "I believe that there is good reason why his incarnation takes place in an earlier time than when it was penned by Stan Lee."?

    The original comic book was made during WWII.

    Great review I am looking forward to the nest one.

    P.S. Green Lantern is a DC comic not Marvel.

  2. Thanks James and Jacob for the feedback. I corrected the sentence that read wrong. What I meant was that the comic book takes place in a time earlier than when Stan Lee was living when he wrote it. I decided to look into that, and discovered in fact Stan Lee did not create it and it first appeared in 1941. It was written by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby before Marvel comics bought them out. I removed the statement though.

    Yes, Green Lantern is a D.C. comic and so I edited that sentence.

    I think the greatest Superhero movie ever made so far is Batman Begins. It's epic, extremely well cast and acted and although it is not as heavy on the special effects as Green Lantern has many more "real" props that are cutting edge. My next favorite is Spider Man II for it's script. Thor is my third favorite for its idea of humility (my favorite subject) and Capt. America for the theme of Justice.

  3. Thank you for anwsering my question. The main reason I didn't like Batman Begins that munch is that the odd camera angles and the really dark lighting. My favorites are: Captain America, Thor, X-Men: First Class, Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, X-Men 2, Spider-Man.