Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Directed By Joe Johnston

Written by Christopher Markus and Steven McFeely

Starring Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Dominic Cooper and Stanley Tucci

Rated PG-13


Out of the flood of superhero movies that have come to cinemas lately, there have been a select few that have really stood out. Since there have been so many of that have come out, the superhero movie formula has really worn out (for example: The Green Lantern). To make a superhero movie that really stands out, you have to do the same thing that you do with other movie genres, like rom coms or action movies; you have to be creative and add a few twists to the formula/story. Captain America has been apart of the select few superhero movies today to not only avoid common superhero movie formula, and also be incredibly entertaining and very well made.

Captain America: The First Avenger starts off by introducing the films villain, named ‘Red Skull’ (played by Hugo Weaving) finding what is called the cosmic cube, which is an unlimited source of power which powers his army (called HYDRA). It then introduces Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), who starts out as a scrawny, small, weak man who just wants to fight for his country, but his physical traits don’t allow him to. After applying for the army for the fifth time, a man named Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci, in a excellent performance) notices the human aspect in Rogers and drafts him. While in boot camp, you meet Colonel Philips (Tommy Lee Jones) and Officer Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). Since Steve lacks behind physically, Dr. Erskine uses him to test his serum, which enhances Rogers to maximum human potential. Immediately after Steve comes out of the experiment, an inside man from HYDRA kills Dr. Erskine and takes off with his serum. Steve, now Captain America, chases him through the streets of Brooklyn and catches him right before he gets away. After this instance, instead of using his newfound potential to fight in the war, he is for propaganda on tour around the U.S. to promote the U.S. army. After he hears that his best friend, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is a P.O.W to HYDRA, Captain America goes behind enemy lines to save his friend and other fellow prisoners, which begins his war on HYDRA and the Red Skull.

Captain America was an excellent movie for many reasons. First off, it is incredibly entertaining, its action sequences being very exciting, well shot, and very creative. Even if the stuff that was happening in the action sequences were crazy, they were filmed so you could actually tell what was going on, which made it more enjoyable. Next, one of my main concerns coming into this film was that Captain America wasn’t really that powerful of a superhero, and that all he had going for him was a shield and super strength. After seeing this movie, I was proved wrong as the action sequences made for an extremely effective use of his shield and super strength, making Captain America looking as cool as Iron Man or even Thor. Third, Joe Johnston, who has previously done other period flicks like ‘The Rocketeer’ and ‘Hidalgo’ did a fantastic job giving the movie the feel of the 1940’s in almost all aspects of the film, in the which I was particularly impressed by. Third, I thought the screenwriters did a great job diverting from superhero movie formula and going a different direction by having a character that knew what it was like to not have power, so when he was given the power, he didn’t waste it. I thought this was a very smart way to go about making a superhero movie, as it gave both the movie and the title character more depth than the average superhero movie.

One of the film’s top notch cast give off an array of excellent performances throughout the movie. My personal favorite performance is the performance given by Chris Evans as Captain America/Steve Rogers. Evans makes his character extremely likable, believable and relatable, giving off one of the best performances in a superhero film since Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man (Evans’s performance doesn’t beat Robert Downey Jr’s performance, but it comes pretty close). Tommy Lee Jones gives a great performance, and comes off as a gruff, tough, good guy, which is a role that he is familiar with. The last performance, which I particularly thought was excellent, was Stanley Tucci’s performance as Dr. Erskine. Even though he doesn’t have such a believable German accent, Gucci does a great job for the short amount of time he was on screen. The only performance that I only thought was above average was Hugo Weaving’s performance as Red Skull. He does a good job as Red Skull, but I expected Hugo Weaving to make him come off as much scarier and vicious of a bad guy then he really was in the movie. In the end, it didn’t really affect the movie that much at all, and I came out of the movie theater not really caring that much that Hugo Weaving could have given a better performance, as there were so many good performances in this film that it really didn’t matter.

In conclusion, Captain America is one of my favorite movies of the summer because it is an extremely entertaining movie filled which top notch performances, breathtaking action, a fast paced story, and great filmmaking.