Friday, 29 July 2011


And so the march to the biggest movie franchise since George Lucas or J K Rowling's efforts continues with the latest installment of Marvel Studio's claim to fame with the story of the original Avenger...

With the success of Iron Man and Thor, the goldmine that is The Avengers due next summer seems to be the deadline for Marvel to unleash all its key players with only two characters left to have their go in the limelight. So step up Captain America...

After the huge success of Nolan's Dark Knight series, superheroes plights are expected to be grittier but Marvel has moved away from this and director Johnston's "1940's origins" tale of Steve Rogers has swung squarely into the camp of fun and cheesy rather than dark and moody.

To help with this objective we have Evans who has brought his confident charm to other comic book roles such as Fantastic Four's The Torch. However here, his natural charm is stifled to allow the weak nerd character of Steve to project throughout his transformation from 7 stone weakling to 7 nation's saviour whilst retaining his meek and mild sensibility.

Although understandable, this means that the hero of the movie is, once the experiment kicks in and gives him muscles and abilities, is fairly bland, especially when compared to Tommy Lee Jones who comes across as the grandfather of his The Fugitive role, chewing up scenery and actors alike.

Now the villain would normally take centre stage over a under-developed hero, but Weaving's Red Skull doesn't get that opportunity - he only gets to do an Arnie-type vocal impression whilst occasionally appearing now and then to drive the well-worn plot along its predictable route. What it does bring though is a fun futuristic view 1940's life, giggly jokes involving "fondue" and Jones being grumpy all the time.

What is disappointing though is the obligatory end credits sequence that brings all the other heroes together for their first outing due next year. Here it feels like the original sequence was shoved to and tacked onto the normal ending of the film to allow them to put a hastily-edited trailer for Joss Whedon's The Avengers as the surprise ending. All this does is make Captain America feel like it's been rushed to get it out before the main deal next year. Any good work done during its running time is undone in those last few minutes which is sad, and also says alot about the whole movie in general. Fun but flawed.

UK release date: 29.07.11
Certificate: 12A

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