One of the most anticipated superhero films serves as just a prequel to an even bigger superhero film, The Avengers. It's really amazing what Marvel is doing with individual stand alone films like Iron Man, Thor and now Captain America: The First Avenger but yet links them all to this one huge dream come true film called The Avengers which will be released in 2012.
I know, the thought of it just drives your imagination wild but let's focus on the present or rather the 1940s where Captain America: The First Avenger will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe and when Captain America, the leader of The Avengers is born.
The film tells the story of Steve Rogers, a sickly man from Brooklyn who is transformed into super soldier Captain America to help the war effort. However, Captain America must stop the Red Skull, Adolf Hitler's ruthless head of weaponry and leader of a terrorist organization, HYDRA, who intends to use a mysterious tesseract energy-source for world domination.
Chris Evans stars as Steve Rogers who volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America. Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).
I think the biggest question on every ones mind when it was announced that Chris Evans would play Steve Rogers was if he could pull it off having made a name for himself as a more comedic / action sort of actor. Well the role is no easy task, he's one of the most respect Marvel Characters, not to mention important. The good news is that Chris Evans pulls off the role with ease, halfway through the film I sat that and thought to myself that he was the right choice.
Chris as well as the producers had set out to show audiences that it was the same skinny Steve on screen even when he became the super soldier and I think that's what i appreciated most about the film. Chris maintained that personality, he didn't become larger than life like how Tony Stark was even more full of himself as Iron Man. That's the essence of Captain Rogers that was captured very well by Chris.
I especially appreciated the scenes where he played an "on-screen" hero, the star spangled man with a plan, Captain America. Remember, Captain America was first created for children whose fathers were out fighting World War 2, he was a symbol of hope, a role model and a companion for children through comic books so this scene was crucial in personifying not just the origins of this hero but comic book superheroes as well.
He wasn't the only star performer, the gorgeous Haylay Atwell definitely caught the eyes of audiences with her glowing on screen personality and beauty. Tommy Lee Jones was ever present as well play Col Chester, a man who didn't believe in Steve only to become a mentor figure of sorts. But the show was ultimately stolen by Hugo Weaving who plays the Red Skull. As Col. Chester describes him as a man who believes he's a god and is willing to blow up half the world to prove it. Well the intense look on Weaving's eyes scene to scene did it for me. This is an actor who just brings the villain character to a whole to menacing level of cool!
Overall comic book fans are likely to appreciate Captain America, which does a good job of consolidating the different origin aspects of the character into something easily digestible and relatable. The added sprinkles of humor throughout the film makes for a fun and snappy introduction to one of the biggest heroes of the Marvel Universe and a nice last note before next year's Avengers film.
Did you know?
In this film Peggy Carter is constantly refered to as Agent Carter. In the original comic book, Peggy was a freedom fighter and not an MI:6 agent as depicted in the film. Ironically her niece, Sharon would later also become an Agent Carter working under Director Nick Fury at S.H.I.E.L.D. and develops a relationship with present day Steve Rogers.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Joe Johnston's take on Captain America not only pays homage to the origins of superheroes but also does a good job with the World War 2 setting, there were even parts of the film which looked like mash ups between Indiana Jones and Star Wars which made for a great spectacle.
The emotional scene where Cap goes on ice for 70 years proves Chris Evans was the right choice to play the Star Spangled hero.
Fans don't leave the cinema till after the end credits because a special treat awaits.
Photos courtesy of United International Pictures Singapore
Captain America: The First Avenger opens in cinemas 28 July
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