Cinema Review: Captain America – The First Avenger Mark Foker July 26, 2011 Movie Reviews 2405 As a kid Captain America was my favourite comic book superhero. It may have had something to do with the way the creators took a traditional defensive item of armour in the shield and made it into an awesome lethal weapon. But when the movie began, I actually thought I’d walked into a screening of The Thing by mistake, as the opening scene starts with the discovery of what looks like a spaceship buried in a snow drift. Now, I’m not sure that this film will appeal to the new generation of fans who are more familiar with a modern day super hero. This first instalment goes back to the original storyline set 1942 when America is just about to enter World War II. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a five foot nothing skinny weakling is turned down for enrolment into the US Army yet again, due to his lack of body mass and a long list of ailments. On his fifth attempt to enlist he impresses a military scientist Dr Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) on his sheer persistence. Erskine is one of the good Germans working for Uncle Sam and is also involved on a secret project to develop a new wave of Super Soldiers. Steve has the qualities that fit the profile for this experiment. He is a noble, decent human being with a brave heart and high moral standards. As this is the only way that he will ever reach the front line to kick some Nazi butt, Steve volunteers to be injected with a serum that not only makes him stronger but increases the size of his biceps and triceps instantly and he also grows about a foot and a half taller. The man in charge of overseeing the project is Colonel Chester Phillips, played by the ever reliable Tommy Lee Jones who has some of the best lines in the movie. The Colonel doesn’t think that Steve is ready for action and Steve is put to work on the stage, dressed as Captain America to sell US bonds to the American people to assist the war effort. This isn’t what Steve had in mind. But with the help of a no-nonsense British officer Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell who also doubles up as his love interest) and a certain Howard Stark, Captain America is soon flying over Europe (in a plane of course) to take down evil Nazi Johan Schmidt (Hugo Weaving, Lord of the Rings / The Matrix / V for Vendetta). Schmidt aka Red Skull is head of Hydra, Hitler’s Occult Division. He was also injected with the same serum but the affect only enhanced his nasty side. Weaving plays this character like Agent Smith with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s accent. With the majority of the film set during WWII it has an Indiana Jones meets Hellboy feel to it and is more of an adventure romp than a super hero story, which I found a nice change to the usual Marvel productions. It’s also good to see a strong female character that doesn’t possess superpowers but can still kick-ass. The special effects showing Chris Evans as a 90 pound weakling are flawless which goes to show that you can no longer believe what you see on screen anymore. Once again the use of 3-D doesn’t really add to the viewing experience, as much of the film is quite dark and there’s probably only a couple of ‘coming at ya’ moments. All in all this is a great ‘Saturday Morning Pictures’ movie that everyone can enjoy.