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Review – Captain America: The First Avenger

Posted April 30, 2012 by in Action







Musical Score

Total Score

73/ 100

What We Thought

Actors: , , ,

What We Liked :

Strong beginning, Ties wonderfully into the Avengers Universe

What We Disliked:

Red Skull is a poor choice of villain, Stale Superhero story
Bottom Line

Captain America: The First Avenger is an average summer superhero movie. It squanders most of its momentum that it earned earlier in the film. The downer ending fails to add much to the film, only a promise of what is to come.

by Max
Full Article

Captain America: The First Avenger is an adequate attempt to bring the great American hero to the big screen. This is the last film in The Avengers line of superheroes before the big feature next summer. Luckily most of the movie it stands on its own and the references to greater universe (The Avengers) is fun. Others just seem to exist to remind the viewers which takes away some of the charm.

Captain America takes place in the early 1940 during World War II and follows the brave and meager Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). After countless failures to get into the Army due to his physical conditioning, scientist Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) has the tools to help Rogers overcome his deficiencies.

Of course while this is happening Rogers begins a banter with the obvious love interest Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) who is also unique because she is a woman in the military in the 40’s. Of course it feels contrived, but where Thor’s romantic intrigue felt lifeless, this has a little more shall we say chemistry involved.

During the prerequisite chemistry lab sequence that eerily seems identical to the sequence in Hulk, Rogers becomes a super solider with abilities that far surpass that of a normal man.

Well good thing for the film Captain America, that it features a villain who had the same procedure done to him. Yes, Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) is featured as the villain. Red Skull was an earlier experiment gone wrong and just so happens to be a Nazi lunatic bent on world domination. Luckily, he isn’t completely dismissive because there is some genuine planning to his terror.

Toby Jones plays Red Skull’s number two and trusted scientist. A part that would’ve been easily tossed aside has a lot of depth from a genius conflicted in his loyalties. Also, of note is Dominic Cooper who plays a young Howard Stark in one of the Avenges side story lines that enhances Captain America.

Aside from that Captain America: The First Avenger plays pretty much by the numbers. Hard life, Transformation, Super Strength. It’s not Captain America’s fault that his story seems a little stale at this point, as an audience this is the fifth superhero movie in 2011.

At this point I remain conflicted about the ending. It’s a terrible plot device to set up the events in The Avengers because it’s never explained properly. On the other hand, it leaves on a downer that I only felt when I saw the original Spider-Man so many years ago which adds a little more interest to the typical superhero ending.

Captain America: The First Avenger is an average summer superhero movie. It squanders most of its momentum that it earned earlier in the film. The downer ending fails to add much to the film, only a promise of what is to come. Hopefully the superhero fatigue wears off before the big encore with The Avengers film next year.

Captain America: The First Avenger
Directed by Joe Johnston
Starring Chris Evans, Stanley Tucci, Hugo Weaving, and Hayley Atwell

About the Author


Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.



    Bugger, why did you have to review it. I promise I will come back and read this on Friday and post a better comment then!!

    (I am seeing this tomorrow night and am trying to go in fresh)


    Jack Deth

    Hi, Max and company:

    Good work!

    I caught 'Captain America' last night on Epix and didn't see or feel much more than a disinterested shrug. With way too much beating to fit (Bucky Barnes being an NCO instead of Roger's company's teenage mascot) and painting to match (Schmidt/Red Skull being introduced way too early). Creating twists that weren't necessary to move the story along.

    What would have been so hard or costly about sticking to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's original concept and running with it?!!!

    Hydra's cool toys and Captain Nemo's six wheeled convertible from 'LXG', aside. Don't get me started about The Howling Commandos minus Izzy Cohen. Or Rogers wearing Master Blaster Parachute Wings above the ribbons on his Class-A uniform.

    Joss Whedon is going to have to bring more to the table with 'The Avengers' because of this over reaching, thinned out misfire.


    I liked the actors in this one, especially Atwell and Evans, but I agree about Red Skull being a poor villain. The movie had gorgeous visuals, but I didn't like it as much as other films with Marvel superheroes.


      I think this is the bottom tier of Marvel movies. Of course the old Hulk movie is way below this one, but the Edward Norton movie might be above it.


    This was probably my least favourite of recent Marvel films. I didn't enjoy it very much when I saw it at the cinema, but re-watching it pre-Avengers I enjoyed it a lot more. I love Rogers' character; he was pretty let down by the script and producers at times.

    I agree with your comment that the Hulk is at the bottom of the Marvel universe (pre-Avengers Hulk, at least). I didn't enjoy Bana's rendition, nor Norton's version (although it was better than the first one).


      I'd like to re-watch this one again as well, seeing how I've only seen it once in the theaters. The script was a little bit of a mess wasn't it. Maybe Hulk will have a third outing if the buzz about his character from The Avengers is strong enough.


    I really liked this movie and I loved Iron Man. That's why I'm so excited to see the new Avengers movie. This is a great review on the Captain America movie. Are you going to do one on the Avengers movie also?


      I think Iron Man matches the successful Superhero movies like Spider-man 2, Dark Knight, and Superman. It was a spectacularly well done origin story.

      I plan on catching the midnight opening of The Avengers tonight and there will hopefully be a fresh review of it on the site tomorrow!

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