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Monday, August 8, 2011

[6.25/10] Captain America: The First Avenger [3D] (2011)

Captain America:
The First Avenger
[3D] (2011)

Full review: We all know that Marvel-based superhero movies are money making machines, so when "Captain America: The First Avenger" was announced 'in production' no one was surprised by the news. Although it's a huge imrpovement over the 1990 disaster, the 2011 version of "Captain America" certainly doesn't rank amongst the best Marvel movies, nor is one of the worst. In other words, it's average at best, and a bit overrated by both the ctitics and audiences. "The First Avenger" is often inoherent and suffers from a weak script and lack of "WOW!" moments, however, it still remains satisfying, fun, and moderately entertaining. Joe Johnston's direction feels a bit all-over-the-place at times, but despite that, he manages to provide us with lots of deverse camera angles and dynamic camera movements, as well as some subtle that balance the pace and the energy of the movie. In terms of style and visuals, "Captain America: The First Avenger" suceeds vastly. The muted, 'smokey' cinematography suits the old-fashioned vibe of the movie amazingly well, and the authentic and incredibly atmospheric settings add to the already stunning look of the movie, however, the visuals hardly compensate for the lack of strong script and jaw-droppoing action. The action scenes themeselves are well-staged and fairly exciting, yet somewhat unimpressive. They start from the middle, jumping from one scene to another so fast, it's like watching them in fast forward. The 3D effects are passable, and yet sometimes unnoticeable, and... rather unnecessary. The performances range from mediocre to great. In the first half of the movie, Chris Evans does a good job as the skinny, overly enthusiastic soldier rejected from the military, but later on when he transforms into Captain America, his strong screen presence suddenly disappears, and he becomes very unconvincing, even goofy playing the title character. Usually, I don't mind heavy British accent, but Hayley Atwell's is maybe a bit too pretentious, and her performance - rather forgettable. Hugo Weaving, on te other hand, turns in a great villain, delivering the show-stealing performance as the nutty, intimidatin Nazi officer, Johann Schmidt / Red Skull. The rest of he cast deliver decent performances overall, but without any real standouts.

Overall summary: For better or worse, "The First Avenger" feels like an entrée before the main meal ("The Avengers" 2012) - thanks to its outstanding retro production design and atmospheric visuals, it's a real feast for the eyes, yet sadly, it somewhat fails to deliver a compelling story, memorable protagonist and stupendous action scenes.


HorrO said...

I guess you summed it up well when you said it was "a light entree before the more serious main meal." I didn't have any major problems with it, but I see where you are coming from. I thought it was good for the first C. America movie. I am so looking forward to the Avengers. So my question is, how do you rank this summer's super hero movies (X-Men, Thor, C. A)? Great review!

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

HorrO, glad you liked the summation, pal. I didn't have any problems with it either, I just didn't think it was exceptional. If it wasn't for the great visuals, I would have rated it lower. My first rating was a 6.50 out of 10, so I'll stick with it. I'm looking forward to The Avengers as well. It will be HUGE! :)

My top list of summer superhero movies would look like that:

1. X-Men: First Class [9.25/10]
2. Thor [7.25/10]
3. Captain America: The First Avenger [6.50/10]

I have yet to see The Green Lantern though.

I absolutely loved the X-Men prequel - I thought it was hugely engrossing, stylish and superbly-crafted. Best movie of the summer so far for me. How about you HorrO?

Thank you so much! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like it a lot more than that. Action scenes were fine to me. The strength does lie in the WWII feel of the film. I liked the pure spirit of the character as well - far more convincing than Superman.

Unknown said...

Much agreed with your opinion of this film and I also thought that X-Men: First Class was the best Summer offering so far!

But I was recently impressed by Rise of the Planet of the Apes, so these two remains at the top of my Summer favourites for now!

Thanks for the share! :D

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Alex, I know you did. The action scenes were without beginning and end - they were just thrown randomly and it was a bit confusing.
The main focus of the film wasn't on WWII. Like at all. The time period was just an excuse. Chris didn't deliver for me. He was a bit dull and not very into his character.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

J-Son, thanks for the support, buddy. We share the same opinion about CA, because we saw it without sentiments, in other words - we appreciated for what it was, but didn't love it, simply because it was nothing special. ;)

I'm dying to see The Rise of the Apes and I do hop I'll be able to catch it this weekend. Thanks again, pal.

Unknown said...

Thank you! Chris Evans is awful when it comes to playing superheroes. He sucked out loud as Johnny Storm, playing him like a goofy kindergartner who gets super powers for a day.

All the characters in this movie were schlocky and one-dimensional. My grandfather paid ten cents to see this bull shit back in the day and I had to fork over ten dollars. I really resent that. :)I expected much more for my money. If they can update Batman and Super Man, then they should have done something with Captain America.

I guess it was supposed to be some kind of nod to WWII, but you're right, there was really nothing of the war in it. Just bad German accents and a uniform or two.

Captain America is now the Great Golden Dunderhead to me. :) My God, could he have been any more pure? And really, here's a guy who's supposed to be a hero, but he doesn't have to rise to the occasion. He gets his fondest wish with no consequences. Quite the opposite of the other Marvel heroes. Hopefully Joss can do something with him in The Avengers. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Mel, you're welcome. I thought he was goofy in The Fantastic Four, and he was even goofier playing CA. He has a smoking hot body, but his facial expressions annoy me to death.

I paid about 8 bucks to see it and now I somehow regret it. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it and I thoroughly enjoyed Hugo's performance as Red Skull, but at the end of the day, the film fell a bit short.

No, there wasn't. WWII was supposed to be a backdrop, but it ended up being just a shade.

And I do hope that Captain America will get very little screen time in the Avengers. That would be a smart move. LOL.

Unknown said...

Sweetie, you are so right. Very little screen time in The Avengers would be perfect. :)

I don't think Chris had any facial expressions in this movie.:)

And did you notice how his pants grew with him? He had to take off his shirt, but I guess the Vita Rays work on pants. LOL Somebody goes from being that small, his pants are going to do more than just become a little shorter. They're going to rip and burst at the waist and thighs, too. Hello, the Hulk! But, this was PG so naked Chris would have been out of the question. They should have at least made him wear a loin cloth, given us male bod lovers a little more something, something. Mmm Hmmm. ;)

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Mel, fingers crossed then. ;)

I think he had, but those were awful and downright laughable. The case with Chris is this: he looks tough on the outside, but underneath those muscles, he's a pussy. LOL.

Yep, those pants must be very elastic. Hulk needs to borrow them. LOL. :)

HorrO said...

Some interesting conversations going on here. You only pay $8 for a movie. Man, I remember those days. I pay closer to $11 now. That is why I pass on some movies, and watch them on free sites.

As far as the actors for some of these superhero movies, I think it is hard to expect them to do it all. You can find a few but not many that are good looking, built like a superhero should be, and can act. I lowered my action expectations for them, and could careless how built they are.

As far as summer superhero movies, I think I agree with your list. When you see Green Lantern, my guess is you will make it #4 on that list with maybe a small chance at beating CA. As far as other summer movies, I know you like many people hate Transformers, but I can't help but like it. I know from a movie stand point there are a lot of problems with it, but I just love the robots transforming and all the action. Besides that, X-Men, and Rise of Apes were good. There were some funny movies too like Bridesmaids. A lot funnier than I thought it would be.

Maynard Morrissey said...

one of the very few comic adaptations I look forward to, not because I'm a fan of the Captain, but rather because I really really enjoyed the trailer!

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

HorrO, I pay only 8 bucks for a movie, because I don't live in the US. I'm actually from Eastern Europe, and neither English is our official language, nor $ is our currency. Surprised? :)

Of course I expect them to deliver. That's their job after all. Pure example for top-notch superher performances are Christian Bals as Batman, Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man and Ron Perlman as Hellyboy. The latter two didn't have the bodies, but they had the right attitude.

Chris Evans' performance was sub-par for me. He didn't give his all and it showed. I was disappointed. Period. :)

"I know you like many people hate Transformers" - ??? What the hell are you talking about? I love Transformers. I rated the firts on 8.25 out of 10, and the latest - 7.25 out of 10. I was amazed by the transformaions, the CGis and the action. The story didn't bother me.

I'm watching Apes this weekend hopefully. And I can't wait! :)

Looking forward to the Bridesmaids as well - it looks like my cup of tea. And just for the record, I watch 80% of the movies via internet and torrent trackers, so tell me about it! :)

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Maynard, I look forward to any comic adaptations. I'm a fan! However, for me, CA didn't deliver. It was beautiful to look at, but fell flat on its face.

Maynard Morrissey said...

I know that you're a HUGE comic adaptation fan.
I assume you know that I'm not really a comic adaptation fan. :)

Apart from the Batman movies and a few not-superhero-flicks, I haven't seen from much the comic genre (no Spiderman, no Iron Man, no Fantastic 4 etc.)

Yep, for whatever reason this looks really interesting to me.
I also look forward to Cowboys & Aliens which looks pretty fun

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Maynard, I am a huge superhero movie geek. I've seen them all, most of them twice. :)

You have to check out Iron Man, Spider-Man and Hellboy, if you still haven't, especially the latter.

Really? Wow, these were the two summer movies I was least looking forward to.

HorrO said...

My apologies! I guess I read more bad reviews than good ones and just assumed you didn't like Transformers. I shouldn't have assumed. Glad to hear you like them cause I do too.

As far as the superhero guys, for what even reason the guys you mentioned weren't what I was thinking. I think it all starts with their bodies, and that having to fit the character. Batman nor Ironman really have to be super buff. Maybe CA doesn't necessarily need to be, but Thor had to be somewhat buff. I don't know, I want them to have everything to fit the role, but if they don't it just doesn't surprise me.

I hope you enjoy Apes, Bridesmaids, and Final Destination. All movies worth seeing!

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

HorrO, no need to apology, buddy ;)
I really liked Transformers, I even thought the second film was okay.

I agree. Neither of them needs to be buff, because they have 'fit' costumes with all the muscles and everything. Thor has to be buff for sure, and I think Chris was a great choice for the role.

I still haven't seen any of these, but I hope I'll be able to check them out in the near future.

Maynard Morrissey said...

The 3D was completely unnecessary and IMO it was a bit too long - apart from that I really enjoyed it!

Loads of hilarious dialogue, a fabulous cast and some terrific-looking effects.
Great popcorn cinema - 7/10

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Harry, I agree about the 3D, but disagree about the rest. Cast was just okay and the dialogue - nothing special. In terms of CGIs it was wonderful though.