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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Movie Review: Captain America

Captain America: The First Avenger    $$$ ½

124 Minutes

Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Stanley Tucci

Director: Joe Johnston

            This is the last of the pre-Avenger movies that focus on the origin of the characters before they are all assembled into a might bastion of Super-Herodom. In this case, Steve Rogers is the oft laughed at 90-pound weakling. He is determined to enlist in the army and fight the Nazi war machine, but has a decent sized list of conditions in which any of them, by itself, is enough to classify him as 4-F and unfit to serve his country.  Combine all of them together and you can see that this guy operates on heart and determination.

            As chance would have it, Dr. Erskine notices the heroic effort Steve puts into joining the military and includes him in his secret program to develop         a unit of super soldiers to go against the advance technology of the German science division known as Hydra. Without a secret weapon of their own the Allies will soon lose the war.

            Dr. Erskine is successful with his experiment on Steve Rogers and Captain America is born. Unfortunately, Hydra agents assassinate Dr. Erskine before he can repeat the experiment and Cap remains the lone member of the super army intended to stop Hydra and its leader, the Red Skull.

            I eventually decided on a 3 ½ rating for Captain America, but struggled with the decision more than any other movie I’ve reviewed. I felt it was a good solid movie and at the end I felt like marching down to the nearest recruiting center and joining in the fight against the world’s despots. For that reason, I wanted to give it a 4. They nailed the setting and the feel of the period. I suspect that they really captured the essence of the Golden Age of comics from which this story is taken. I don’t collect comics at this time, but this has made me want to see if I can’t get my hands on some of the original Captain America issues.

            The movie industry has really moved forward with special effects, both visual and audio. In that move, I feel that they have lost some of the art of character and dialogue that keeps the old black and whites dear in my heart. That being said, I found myself immersed in the early story of this film. I knew the origins of Captain America and still found myself enjoying the interaction between Chris Evans and Stanley Tucci.

            So, why not give it the full four bucks on my scale?

            As good as this movie is, I’m not convinced that it needs to be seen in the theaters in order to really enjoy it. I didn’t have to see awe-inspiring pyrotechnics in order to get my money’s worth with this film. A smaller screen is just as likely to convey the warmth of a budding friendship between Rogers and Dr. Erskine, or to heat up the temperature between Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter as they flirt their way towards romance.  Captain America was an excellent film and I don’t encourage anyone to wait to see it. See it right away. Maybe the fact that I plan to add it to my limited collection at home is reason enough to add an extra half buck to the rating and give it a perfect score.

            Randy’s Rating System

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.

$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.

$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.

$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.

0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.

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