Movie review – Prototype of a superhero

2011-08-05 15:06

I love a good superhero movie – and Captain America: The First Avenger is one. It follows the creation of the first of Marvel’s Avengers, Captain America.

Film: Captain America: The First Avenger (UIP)

Director: Joe Johnston

Featuring: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell and Dominic Cooper

Rating: 8/10

His rather hokey moniker is all about his creation date – 1941, eight months before the Americans entered the second world war. For creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Captain America was a political statement and their prototype for a superhero.

Chris Evans stars as Steve Rogers, a scrawny but plucky fellow who desperately wants to enlist and serve in the army. While his spirit is more than willing, his flesh is weak.

This first part of the film employs some incredible technical nous to put Evans’ handsome face on to the body of a short, skinny person.

Impressive! But not nearly as impressive as the first viewing of the new Steve Rogers, transformed by Dr Abraham Erskine’s (Stanley Tucci) super- scientific serum into a perfect physical specimen. After a whole lot of gym time on the part of Evans, women will be grateful, men envious.

For every hero, there must be an antihero. Hugo Weaving is Johann Schmidt, aka Red Skull, a snarling Nazi villain. Most recently, Weaving has been voicing the gentle Megatron in the Transformers trilogy, but he gets his villain game on to give Captain America more than a few headaches.

The setting of this film is perfectly synced with the early 1940s, only with a few Marvel touches. One of which is Captain America’s trademark shield as well as a number of other advanced weapons provided by none other than Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), who is the father of Iron Man. Similarly, the blue light-emitting cube that gives Red Skull his power is rumoured to belong to Odin, father of another Avenger, Thor.

So, not only does this film provide the final back story for next year’s Avengers, which I think will be the mega- blockbuster of the decade, but it takes fans back to the origins of the Marvel universe.

» For the Captain America trailer, visit

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