I watched Captain America, the First Avenger movie at the midnight showing. This is the first time I’ve ever caught a movie I’ve wanted to watch this way; normally I wait until the second week so I am not watching it with a crowd and I can really settle down and enjoy it. Some how this time, that didn’t feel right to do with a movie I’ve been waiting to see for over a year now. Before I get into the meat of this review I want to mention I saw the normal movie version of Captain America, not the 3D IMAX version, I figured if the story cannot hold together then fancy gimmicks would not save it.
Okay, I feel with all movie adaptations as long as it stays true to the spirit of the source material it will work. And I am very happy Captain America does that job very well. This is a Captain America comic book movie, it does everything is says on the tin, does not pretend to be any more than what it is.
Captain America fans will not be disappointed in this movie, while a couple of things are moved around it makes sense in terms of presenting Cap to the movie going audience. He is still created from the scrawny kid with the big heart and stays relatively true to his comic book origins during the war. It is after all an origin story and a war movie.
You will have no fear with Chris Evans playing Cap, he isn’t the cocky Johnny Storm, he plays the role fairly straight with a slight nod and wink at the audience when he is doing the cheesy USO Bond drive shows. He manages to convey Cap’s deep seated convictions, he was Cap a very believable Steve Rogers.
Hugo Weaving is a pitch perfect villain with his portrayal of the Red Skull, and he just chews up the scenery. Tommy Lee Jones puts in a typical Tommy Lee Jones performance as Colonel Chester bringing much needed dry humor in a movie that is largely humorless. Sebastian Stan is a good Bucky and while I hear the cry he isn’t the teenage Bucky in the book you can see some of the grimness that becomes the Winter Solider in the later stories, and that works.
Hayley Atwell as Agent 13 or Peggy Carter was a good choice and the interaction between her and Steve was maturely done, no simpering love, just moments that could of dived into cheesy Hollywood love interest, and instead gives us an almost melancholy longing, a regret that their jobs do not allow them to get closer. This I really liked because that could of so easily gone the other way, and I feel added a level of realism.
At the core this is a war movie, and you can see shades of Bands of Brothers direction in it, it is grim, it isn’t choppy or set to a rock sound track like Ironman. This movie has a different pacing, a washed palette of colors like we are looking at the past. In terms of movie quality it is much better than Thor, it isn’t the classic comic book movie that Ironman is, but I don’t think it could of been. My only moan is I wish I saw more of Cap in action before we got the finale, it felt like that was hurriedly done and there was more movie here than they could show.
If you are a Captain America fan this movie will not disappoint you, every base it is supposed to hit it hits well and does it in the spirit of his books. If you are a casual movie goer then this is a good solid movie, not outstanding, but a nice popcorn fest that doesn’t insult your intelligence while watching it. For me, I enjoyed it, the movie felt right and I saw Captain America on screen, doing all the things that Captain America should do, and doing it right.
Because I am a Cap fan it is hard for me to score this movie so my final rating is a little biased. I highly recommend sticking around to the end of the credits because you will pop big time at what you see.
Four thumbs up out of five