Viewed – 05 October 2012 Blu-ray
There was a time when I really didn’t think the newly formed Marvel Studios would pull it off. A grand concept, 4 origin stories, leading to a big ensemble smack down with this year’s highly entertaining Avengers Assemble. Yet I have to give it where it’s due, until now in my opinion these have all been polished and well made movies … with this being no exception.
Set during World War II, a wimpy but gutsy guy (Chris Evans) dreams of joining the army and following in the footsteps of his soldier friend. Yet being small and skinny, he continually fails every medical, and soon begins to believe he’ll never get to fight for his country. That is until a scientist (Stanley Tucci) see’s potential and signs him up, leading to him becoming the first human test subject for an experimental formula that apparently creates super soldiers. At the same time a power-hungry Nazi meglomaniac dreams of conquering the world, and as you can imagine – it’s going to take that exact super solider to save the day. Step forward Captain America!
This wasn’t the Captain America I remember. Wasn’t he something to do with American Football? But this follows the early comics of the character more closely and makes for a fun, often amusing and very slick action thriller. Chris Evans like in The Avengers, made for a more complex, conflicted ‘hero’ than some of his contemporaries, and in this zero to hero story carries the film well (with quite incredible skinny guy effect). Hugo Weaving is on hand as villain The Red Skull, and always makes for a great boo-hiss baddie (see: The Matrix Trilogy), and along with decent support from Tommy Lee Jones and the aforementioned Mr Tucci this is a movie that’s very difficult not to enjoy. Special effects, action sequences and story are all delivered with style and energy. For an origin story it makes for absorbing if lightweight material, with more of a glossy, propaganda themed image of the war than how it really was (think 1940’s comics), and some of the earlier Captain America poster-boy stuff seemed to mock the character, sitting uneasily alongside all the cool action and drama.
Still this was easy viewing and made for my preferred origin tale of the saga.
Verdict: 4 /5