Director: Joe Johnston
Cast: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Neal McDonough
Synopsis: Steve Rogers is determined to make his contribution to the war effort, but is deemed unfit for service. That is until the research scientist behind a top-secret development recruits him to test his Super Soldier Serum. Steve Rogers is reborn with enhanced strength and abilities as Captain America.
With this film the final piece in the puzzle is finally here in Marvel Studios lead up to its superhero team movie, The Avengers, due for release next year. Cinema audiences have now all been introduced to The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor, as well as meeting other significant characters for the Avengers throughout this film. Like all the above films, adapting the title character would not have been easy, as over-reliance on the source material could have tipped these films into something of a farce. As a Marvel fan myself, I am glad that this danger has once again been averted.
Chris Evans was a great choice for Steve Rogers. He has made a career to date as a brilliant character actor and with this film he makes the jump to leading man. His CGI to a bullied weakling is quite convincing, with a performance to back it up. He plays Rogers as a determined man whom is dedicated to doing his part to help his countrymen. He also successfully performs some more emotional scenes that really elucidate the motivations for his character, and as such manages to avoid making this a two-dimensional performance. Hugo Weaving plays Johann Schmidt, later revealed as Red Skull. He is an actor of great skill, and few actors could have made the make-up job he has gone through translate into a convincing performance. The rest of the cast all perform admirably, but it is perhaps Stanley Tucci’s Dr. Erskine that remains in mind long after the end credits have rolled. He is a lynch-pin character that helps determine the man who Rogers is going to be, and provides some real heart to the film.
As for plot, it establishes all the necessary elements that are required to let the film flow on smoothly to the Avengers. Many of these elements are nods towards the established fans, giving them something more to get excited about, however a lack of familiarity with the character will not be a hinderance to an audience. This is Steve Rogers’ story, from birth to the incident which will lead him being resurrected into a modern-day story. The opening act establishes character, the second act establishes Cap’s reputation, and the final act is action sequences that are expertly executed. In the end though, the story is intentionally incomplete. Some elements seem to be waiting resolution in The Avengers.
This is an entertaining action film that manages to convey some good comic and character moments along the way. To unfamiliar audiences it would probably rate around three stars, but for established fans like myself that this film is largely targeted for, an extra star must be given.
4 stars out of 5.