Movies for Breakfast CAPTAIN AMERICA THE FIRST AVENGER Review

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Finally the movie introducing the leader of the Avengers, just in time, Captain America.

Synopsis

Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a “Super-Soldier serum”. But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization.

Review

Captain America the First Avenger was the final movie release into the Marvel Cinematic universe before the long-awaited Avengers movie. Released in 2011 and directed by Joe Johnston Captain America the First Avenger introduced us to Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, played by Chris Evans. Taking place in the 40’s during World War II, the movie is one of the most disconnected from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in its current form, but it is still very important. While I wasn’t a fan of the movie the first time I watched it, I found it much more enjoyable on this second viewing.

Steve Rogers is an average person, no real skills, isn’t particularly strong, but he does not run away from a fight and has a pure heart with intent to protect everyone he can. He tries to enlist in the Army, but fails multiple times, having falsified his information to continue trying, and becomes even more determined when his best from Bucky Barnes played by Sebastian Stan gets enlisted himself. Steve’s persistence pays off though when he gets the attention of a scientist named Stanley Tucci who has created a what he calls a super soldier serum which amplifies all aspects of a person. Steve is chosen by Stanley to be the first candidate for the new serum, and it is a suggest, but Stanley dies and with him does the future of the serum. Steve finally in the army becomes the face of the Army, sent from city to city to get people to help the cause. This is sadly where the film takes a turn, while the beginning is obviously set for exposition and setting up the characters, after Steve gets the super soldier serum the movie gets boring for a bit. It isn’t a strong start, but once Steve goes against direct orders and goes to save a group of captured soldiers the movie takes off.

On my first viewing of the movie the very slow opening to the film is what ruined it for me, its expected to be slow until he gets the serum. When he gets the serum though, there is a period where the movie somehow gets even slower as Captain America is paraded around as an icon. It isn’t until he goes to a Hydra camp and saves his best friend Bucky Barnes who was captured, along with a slew of other characters that the movie starts to take off and it gets good. The movie does pump on the breaks every couple of minutes though, but they are welcome as a break between the fast-paced action scenes and moments throughout the film where Steve and the Howling Commandos are going up again Hydra. Since the movie takes place in the 1940’s where we are introduced to a lot of the people who would come to form shield prior to the organization being formed. Due to the time we are introduced to a lot of characters that would sadly not be seen again in the Marvel Cinematic Universe including a young Howard Stark played by Dominic Cooper, Peggy Carter played by Hayley Atwell, Chester Phillips played by Tommy Lee Jones, as well as multiple members of the Howling Commandos corp. Though Peggy Carter would get a short series of her own, sadly the rest of these characters are left behind in this movie once Steve wakes up in the present time to become a part of the avengers.

There is one character that is the most upsetting to have been pushed aside from this movie, and that is Red Skull. We are introduced to Red Skull as the leader of Hydra who is the perfect power-hungry foil to Captain America. Every scene he is involved in, he steals the spotlight, and his intentions are never boiled down at all. He stays true to his character, and even yearns to control the war his way and steal it from Hitler himself. Red Skull is played by Hugo Weaving who brings the character to life. Even the make up and effects for Red Skulls face look amazing, its almost sad we go through almost half the film with him looking normal before he pulls off his mask and shows his true face. Having taken an imperfect serum, himself he also has extraordinary strength and abilities rivaling Steve Rogers. He is one of Captain Americas most well-known villains, and for good reason, and given his performance and use in this movie it is sad he would not make a real return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in any of Captain America’s other films.


Closing Thoughts

Captain America the First Avenger is a fun film to watch, but there is still a looming feeling of pointlessness behind it. The film seems to rush through some plot points as if knowing that it has to introduce Steve Rogers, give him the serum, introduce the tesseract, and then freeze Steve so he can wake up in modern day New York City for The Avengers movie. The times watching the Howling Commandos, Steve, and the rest of the characters interact are some of the most fun, and its sad to know we won’t see them again in the future. There are a lot of fun scenes throughout the film, and some scenes that could be cut or trimmed down. The second viewing of this movie I definetly appreciated it a lot more than the first time I watched it, and it makes me want to see more from the side characters featured in it. If doing an overall rewatch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe this is one that can probably be skipped, but I do suggest checking it out for a good sci-fi action world war II comic book movie.


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