Sunday, August 7, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

Year of Release: 2011
Director: Joe Johnston
Stars: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Haley Atwell, Hugo Weaving, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Neal McDonough, Derek Luke, Michael Brandon, Natalie Dormer, William Hope, Samuel L. Jackson
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5

After the failure of "The Wolfman", director Joe Johnston is back with the adaptation of another Marvel comics character, this time the iconic "Captain America", created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon in 1941. The character is intricately associated with the war effort of the Second World War, but the character managed to surpass the test of time and was later on added to the super group "The Avengers". This film follows the same concept, it introduces the character and establishes the context for the upcoming "Avengers" film, currently being shot.
The film follows the story of Steve Rogers, a young man desperately trying to join the Army in order to fight with his friend Bucky against the Nazi forces in Europe. Steve is however physically inept, dues to his multiple ailments and height, which always prevents him from joining. With the help of a scientist, Steve is the subject of an experiment that turns him into a super soldier. It's up to Steve and his friends to stop Hydra and it's main leader, Red Skull from destroying the world.
Joe Johnston has tried with this film to build an old style adventure, filled with over the top action sequences, but also filled with a sense of nostalgia for a time that has gone by. As usual in his films, the results feel under-developed and underwhelming. Though Chris Evans tries his best to play Steve Rogers as the iconic and simultaneously tender hearted Captain America, most of the remaining cast is just on auto-pilot, mostly due to a screenplay that hits all the cliches and has not a single spark of irreverence. The film lacks a true sense of adventure and discovery, and all the action scenes end up being used as filler, ultimately adding nothing to the film itself. Joe Johnston has never been a particularly gifted director, but this film needed a bit more of the charm he brought to one of his first efforts, "The Rocketeer". As is, the film is just an average action film with a convincing lead.