Captain America: The First Avenger: 4 stars out of 5
Finally, the roster is complete. And darned if the final guy to report to the team ain’t wearing the “C.”
See, despite being subtitled The First Avenger, Marvel’s Captain America is actually the last big screen solo dance before next summer’s main event, The Avengers, which will bring together heroes like Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor and the star-spangled shield carrier himself.
Given the blueprint, you’d think films like this, serving as a set-up for something bigger, would seem like a formality…just an exercise to build the hype.
Nope. Not even close.
Captain America: The First Avenger is darn close to as perfect a comic book film as you’re gonna get. Perhaps it isn’t as smart and epic as Batman. Maybe it doesn’t unfold as beautifully as portions of the Spider-Man series – but this is good, clean, “biff-pow-kablam” stuff. It’s exciting, it’s funny, and it’s a pretty decent story. Unlike other comic book fare released this summer (and yes, unfortunately Green Lantern, I’m lookin’ at you), you don’t have to be a raging fan to enjoy this movie.
Chris Evans, already a veteran of the Marvel Comics universe having appeared as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films, plays the titular hero, a stick figure (thanks to some wild visual tricks) who becomes a strapping, almost superhuman, soldier. Instead of ignoring the Cap’s Second World War roots, director Joe Johnston and team embrace them, kicking off the movie in 2011 with a team discovering the frozen body of you-know-who in the arctic, preserved after a battle with the Nazis. The bulk of the movie is a flashback to his origin and how he wound up as a popsicle.
Captain America: The First Avenger works because it’s very simple, almost a throwback to simpler times. Good versus evil. Kind hearts versus bullies. Of course, any good hero needs a delicious villain to play off of, and Evans has a beauty in Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull.
Everyone can connect with this game plan, and it doesn’t hurt that Captain America is a doozie in the adrenaline department. Suddenly, it feels like summer.
The feature is currently playing at Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.