Ever since the release of X-Men in 2000, superhero movies have been on the rise. Marvel has done their part to help the cause (X-Men, X2, Iron Man), and also destroy it (both Fantastic Four films, Elektra, Blade:Trinity). Thankfully Captain America is part of the former.
I went into the screening with a critical eye. I was expecting to find a few things throughout that would make me feel less than impressed with the film, but alas I was wholly impressed. Director Joe Johnston delivers a well crafted film that will endear itself to nerds and the general masses alike. Go see it.
I liked the fact that Steve Rogers and Bucky had a preexisting relationship. It facilitated their interactions later in the film and provided for witty quips where they would otherwise seem forced. Peggy Carter also got a great overhaul. Rather than an anonymous French freedom fighter, she is a bad ass British agent. Hayley Atwell plays the character with poise and delivers a memorable performance. She is a strong female lead akin to Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance in the Iron Man films. Her relationship with Steve is very well developed and never feels forced, clear to the very end.
The hero & villain both are entertaining every second they are on screen. Let’s start with Hugo Weaving. When I heard he was going to play Red Skull, my reaction was immediate excitement. I was completely justified in my excitement. Weaving gives Johann Schmidt a deliciously evil persona, which is only amplified by the fantastic Red Skull make-up. It entirely makes up for the 1990 mess. FYI, if you haven’t seen that film, find it, watch it and then watch the new Cap for a whole new sense of awe. Seriously, go see the new one.
Chris Evans is Steve Rogers. He was “on” for the entire film. I initially had some reservations with his casting, since Johnny Storm is nowhere near Steve Rogers, but lo and behold he hath flexed his acting muscle. Early on he captures the subtle frustrations of a young man struggling to fight for his country and stand up for his beliefs, but finding rejection at every turn. His interactions with Stanley Tucci (also a PERFECT casting choice) are great and drive the film forward throughout the first part. He has great chemistry with Hayley Atwell, and their relationship is so well developed that you’re left wanting more. The bottom line here is that Mr. Evans gives the people a Captain America they can stand behind.
All the characters present are well written and well casted (Neil McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan made me very happy). Overall, I would recommend this film to anyone on the street. The effects are great, the actors are… well great, and the script is one of the best for comic book films in years. There is so much I could talk about with this film, but I’m not going to gush anymore. Just go and see for yourself. I would pay the price of a 3D ticket to see this movie again, hell I probably will.