Captain America: The First Avenger

Film, Action and adventure
Captain America : First Avenger
Chris Evans, center, in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Chris Evans, center, in Captain America: The First Avenger
It feels fair to say that when ‘Captain America’ was first announced, no one outside of the 50 states was expecting anything special. As the film’s subtitle alleges, the Captain may be ‘The First Avenger’ but he’s still a patriotic prat in tights whose main powers, much like the real-world superpower that spawned him, seem to be excessive arrogance and blunt force. So respect is due to Joe Johnston and his screenwriters for not only fashioning a nifty, highly entertaining slice of pulpy comic-book action, but for making this most divisive of costumed crusaders universally relatable.

The film’s period setting helps: by taking the character back to his mid-’40s roots and pitting him against history’s most hissable villains, the Nazis, the filmmakers have neatly sidestepped questions of American imperialism. They even take a few witty potshots at patriotic fervour in a terrific mid-film musical sequence, as our genetically buffed-up, weed-turned-warrior hero, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), traverses the country selling war bonds and bopping a comedy Adolf on the nose to the delight of baying crowds.

But, with this sticking point out of the way, the film has other problems to contend with: the action scenes are inventive and well constructed but can feel somewhat slight; the characters are well sketched but far too plentiful; and the 3D effects are blurry and confusing – if you can catch this in 2D, you probably should. Most damagingly of all, ‘Captain America’, like ‘Iron Man 2’ and ‘Thor’ before it, is hamstrung by its commitment to the upcoming Marvel superhero ensemble movie, ‘The Avengers’, leading to a deeply unsatisfying non-sequitur ending. The result is pacy and punchy, but not quite a knockout.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday July 29 2011
Duration: 124 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joe Johnston
Cast: Hayley Atwell
JJ Feild
Tommy Lee Jones
Stanley Tucci
Chris Evans
Toby Jones
Dominic Cooper
Hugo Weaving

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
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I enjoyed this, despite reading two-star reviews of it. I thought it was well done - Chris Evans is delicious and liked the 'weedy' effects. Agree with the reviewer about the musical number - very enjoyable, some nice minor characters, but agree that the ending made it feel like 'part 1'.

Excellent effort to be filed (and double billed on dvd) just behind THOR. Both 8/10...these scores from a NON comic book fan.

For an old Marvel head like me one of the great pleasures of Cap Am was seeing characters from Sgt Fury's Howling Commandos as part of the Captains infantry (Dum Dum Dugan (with his bowler hat), Gabe Jones, Percy Pinkerton and others. Yes the action sequences are slight and the Red Skull could have had more impact but the period stuff is terrific esp the war bonds sequence with Cap's original uniform (&shield). The "bully" motif, also a big part of his origin worked a treat. Like Sam Raimi Joe Johnston has more of a feel for this stuff than either Kenny Branagh (Thor, what a disaster) or Jon Faveau (who has no idea how to direct action).

After so many comic book movie adaptions during the last few years, this well-made movie has unfortunately nothing much new to surprise the frequent movie goer lke myself. The cast was good though but it might just as well be in 2D unlike movies like Avatar which really impressed in 3D. What really irritates me is that in the Netherlands, the movie distributor does not give the cinema goer the opportunity to choose between 2D or 3D for some recent releases like Captain America: the first avenger, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Rio (only the dubbed Dutch versions of Kung Fu Panda 2 and Rio meant for a younger audience were also available in 2D). Two exceptions were fortunately Pirates of the Carribean: On stranger tides and Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2 which were both available in 2D and 3D. I think that all movies released here and elsewhere should be available in both 2D and 3D versions. The movie goer can then decide for himself or herself which version to go for.

Oh dear. What's wrong with me? I really quite enjoyed this film. But then I came to it with the same expectations of the kid I once was who read every Marvel and DC comic back in the sixties, and really just enjoyed the stories and didn't get any political sub-plots or imperialistic symbolism.So , for me it was just a rather exciting, boy's own adventure story that rattled along for a couple of hours with great effects and a few good jokes, the Nazis as the bad guys and Hayley Atwell. I guess, Mr Rabbit, I am therefore 6 years old. Incidentally, if you're buying dodgy DVDs of pre-released movies from a stall, then you're a criminal and should go to jail. You do realise that the same people behind movie piracy are the same who enslave children from Africa and Eastern Europe for sex slaves in the West, and who are behind the drugs trade and other organised crime. Shame on you, Roger Rabbit.

I don't get it you basically poo pooed the film and yet you give it rather high grade. To me movie is horrible: it's army propaganda; basically Saturday morning cartoon with no acting skills needed; very shallow with "take steroids as only way to attract girls and join the army so that you become real man"; very unoriginal I mean basically every scene is already seen in some other movie all the way to the end when it reminds of 'Vanilla Sky'. And this is viewpoint I also don't get that audience constantly has with US movies in past decade "So they dodged American imperialism for the sake of fun" but why don't they at least once make a movie in which they put American imperialism and maybe even maximize it for the sake of fun? I wish that anybody who sees this movie also sees movie "Latino" (1985) or at least drafting scene "Across the Universe" (2007).