Friday, July 22, 2011
CAPTAIN AMERICA is another winner from Marvel Studios
I keep waiting for Marvel Studios to drop the ball and release a stinker. Well they are three for three this year with Thor, X-Men:First Class, and now Captain America. The story is set in 1942 and centers on a young man named Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans) who is repeatedly rejected for enlistment in the army due to his numerous health problems and physique. But when a scientist named Dr. Erskine (played by Stanley Tucci) recruits him for his super soldier project to turn him into the perfect weapon to defeat Hitler, he accepts. Rogers is not the first person whom Erskine has tried his experiment on. Years ago Johann Schmidt (played by Hugo Weaving) was subjected to the treatment but had a dangerous side effect as his skin was mutated into a horrible red and skinless shape. And now he is power mad to rule the world, even disobeying orders from his superior Hitler himself. He calls himself The Red Skull now. Flash forward a few years and now Rogers survives the process and gains superhuman strength, speed and endurance to become a super soldier. His initial training sequences while he is still the scrawny recruit under Colonel Chester Phillips (a scene stealing performance by Tommy Lee Jones) are priceless. Rogers also catches the eye of British agent Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell who shines in a great role). Also on board is Howard Stark , yes Tony Stark's dead. He is played by Dominic Cooper and like father like son, has a weakness for the ladies and drink.
The first half of the movie is structured as the origin and more plot driven before it gives way to the action packed second half. Not to say the first half doesn't have action. There is an exciting chase sequence by Rogers after some enemy agents who have destroyed the location of the super soldier research building. Rogers is at first kind of worried and unsure that he can become the hero we all know he can be. So a lot of his early scenes are him learning on the go. Very comparable to Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
When he finally dons the uniform of Captain America, awesome and indestructible shield included, you can't help but swell up inside and say here we go. His fight scenes with Hydra agents and then finally The Red Skull himself are pretty intense. But this movie is more than just about the action. The budding and tender romance between Steve and Peggy is not normally seen in a comic book movie and it is very well done. You really care and hope that these two will hook up. The finale wraps up with a slam bang aerial showdown aboard Red Skull's huge aircraft as he intends to strike multiple targets all over the world with it's destructive power.
This was pure comic book bliss and the ending sets up the forth coming Avengers movie perfectly. As Cap will be joined by fellow heroes Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye under the guidance of Nick Fury (once again played by Samuel L. Jackson). AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! But we have to wait until next year for that. In the meantime we can enjoy Captain America till our hearts content.