Greetings all! Mark here. This week we have a special guest blogger Erin G, who has done us a favor and reviewed the Chris Evans starring Captain America: The First Avenger for us! Her thoughts are below. Enjoy!
The last piece needed before we can get to The Avengers.
The superhero story many have been waiting for, begins with the hero to be, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), trying to enlist in the army for about the fifth time. Although his large array of medical problems has prevented him from being one of the chosen every time. Finally, Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) discovers Rogers and drafts him into the army to be the subject of his experiment. The experiment that will make him Captain America.
Cheesy to the max. A few of the lines were almost painful to sit through. When asked why he hasn’t danced with a woman, a puny Steve Rogers replies, “I’m just waiting for the right partner.” Which is later repeated by Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) after Captain America’s first rescue mission. One or two of these moments is to be expected. However they are frequent throughout the movie. Enough to make any writer grit their teeth against an outburst.
The cheese would also be more edible if the action promised by the previews hadn’t started an hour and ten minutes into the movie. When it finally did start it was amazing (more on that later) but there wasn’t enough. No giant battles that lasted for the appropriate amount of time, just snippets of Rogers throwing his shield and what not. Even the ending battle scene between, villain Johann Schmidt/Red Skull (Hugo Weaving and the hero was short lived.
The action was amazing! There wasn’t nearly enough and it started way too late, but it was very enjoyable. The shield throwing was seriously cool and the fight scenes though brief had everyone hoping it would last so we could actually enjoy some more of the movie. It was almost as though they wanted the film to be more character driven so they didn’t want to overdue do the action. If they had cut out some of the corny blah and put a little more action in its place they could have had a delightful blend of character/action at the wheel.
Character death! Woohoo! It was a rare moment of non cheese, but there is one heart wrenching moment when Captain America’s best friend, James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes (Sebastian Stan), falls to his death. You think Steve is going to reach out and grab hold of him just in time, but no.
It isn’t something one cheers for but it’s something one, in a morbid fashion, hopes for. An audience isn’t there to be cheery through an entire movie. They want to be moved. Character deaths tend to be just the ticket in moving an audience to feel. Perhaps the writers were trying to balance all of their corny lines with one good kick to the stomach. It didn’t work but it was still a good low for the Captain.
In most movies one can expect a character to change once they gain power. With the power comes the giant pride, and then after that comes the fall. In the fall they realize how they must use their power for good, and from this the hero is shaped. Not with Captain America. In a pleasant twist of the normal arc, Steve Rogers remains the same guy once he is powered up. He goes on a stint of putting on shows for children (where he earns his famous moniker), but it’s only because he’s following the orders of Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones).
In the end the character is a brave man who only worries about fighting for what he believes in rather than dwelling on his own abilities to actually do the fighting.
Acting negatives and postives:
The cast in general was alright. With the exception of Tommy Lee Jones who outshined everyone by far. The moments Tommy got the screen were definitely the best moments acting wise.
Evans’ performance as the title character was good enough. The only thing to be mentioned is the beginning with the CGI body. Really weird. I suppose the restrictions put on an actor through that process could have an effect on the role but since I’ve never experienced that I’m only guessing. He did much better once they put him back to his normal body type.
Red Skull was not hate-able. Dislikable but no one was gripping their seat in anticipation of his death. Hugo Weaving was believable he just didn’t deliver a performance worthy of audience hatred. That’s really all that can be said.
Dominic Cooper is another lukewarm actor. He was no Tony Stark, which is what the audience was expecting. While it was neat to see the founder of Stark Industries, it could be very difficult to bring someone to play Robert Downey Jr.’s father. He’s an amazing actor who plays a really fun role. One would need to at least match his energy in order to play his ‘elder’. Cooper fell just short.
Going on the T.E.F.S. rating I’d give this film E and a quarter. It droned on too long before getting to the action. While the action was sweet there just wasn’t enough of it to earn the film an F. Then there was the cast made up of actors who didn’t suck but didn’t make me want to see them again.
They should have had Joss Whedon write and direct all of the marvel movies. Captain America wouldn’t have gone this way, and Spiderman and The Hulk wouldn’t have needed reboots. At least there’s next summer to look forward to!