04 November, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

Having read a number of rave reviews, my expectation from Captain America were sky high. But, as the saying goes, "all things that go up must come down," my expectations came crashing down.

It's important to note that I have never read any of the Captain America comics and his origin was unknown to me, so I cannot compare how close the story is to the original comic-book. Although on the outset the entire set up is very good and comprises of a number of factors that are evident and essential in any superhero film, the story falls short coming across as shallow and one sided.

Injected with a serum that makes a puny, eager to fight Hitler, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) into Captain America, the story is simply predictable to say the least. At the other end we have Hugo Weaving as Red Skull who is on an agenda of his own with his organization Hydra which eventually defies Hitler. In fact Captain America (the film) to me seemed almost comical at times when the henchmen, after the rebellion, begin to shout Hail Hydra rather than Hail Hitler. I secretly wished that Mike Myer's Dr. Evil would pop out from the corner and do his iconic evil laugh.      

On the positive side, the film fits in beautifully with the entire Marvel universe. I like how Howard Stark, first introduced in Iron Man 2 with the Stark Convention video, is part of Captain America from the offset. I like how the movie ends with the now obligatory visit from Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury. I also liked the propaganda retro posters that were used to promote the film. I'm not sure if the film was available in 3D as well, but once again watching it in 2D I know I enjoyed it more than I would have in 3D. The action was good, the comic moments few, and the drama a tad childish.

I did wonder if Captain America was too American for my liking, but then I've never really had a problem with a movie before if it was too patriotic with regards to any country. Also, since it is Captain "America", I think to an extent it needs to be Americanized.

Captain America - The First Avenger is a part of the Marvel puzzle and fits into it perfectly. Unfortunately as an individual piece of cinema it leaves a lot to be desired. A mediocre action film that gets a 2.5/5 star rating from me.      


  1. Great write up Raghav.

    I think I liked this a little more than you. I enjoyed the campness of it and the fact that it completely knew its place in the Marvel Universe, not trying to get away from where it sits.

    What I didn't like was Weavings accent, he just seemed like a weak agent smith trying to be german.


  2. Hi Custard. I agree with you on the fact that it fits in the Marvel universe well, but treating it as a separate movie it didn't do much. Surprisingly accents don't "bother" me too much, but the problem with Hugo Weaving now is that most of his "evil" roles all have a Agent Smith feel to them. Thanks

  3. I had just seen this recently for the second time and still enjoyed it. It may not be the best Marvel movies out there but it's a worthy addition and actually makes me excited to see The Avengers. I actually thought the dramatic part was decent, I was surprised as I didn't think Evans could pull it off. I like the strong female role and Tommy Lee Jones was fun to watch. I agree w/ Weaving, upon 2nd viewing, he's definitely not as compelling here as he was in V for Vendetta or The Matrix.

  4. Thanks Ruth. I think once The Avengers comes outit would make a nice collection along with Iron Man, Thor, and CA. As a set it's quite deadly.

  5. Nice review, I enjoyed this film but not as much as I wanted to. That being said I liked it less after seeing Thor.

  6. Evans is unprecedentedly touching and engaging for a superhero – and the rest of the cast help this adventure seem something close to character-driven instead of just being a bundle of stunts. Good review.

  7. 3Guys - Yes, listening to people I do find it to be a tad overrated. I did watch it after Thor, so I can understand what you are talking about comparing them both.

    Dan - I think Evans does well in the role. I honestly did not think he could pull it off. But, I do think it's somewhat a "bundle of stunts". Although, it is also character driven as you suggested. Then again, most of the Marvel movies (Thor, Iron Man) have been character driven as well. Iron Man 2 was not though.