Review: Captain America The First Avenger

Thanks for checking out our Captain America : The First Avenger Review

Genre: Action/Science Fiction/War/ Superhero
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Starring: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell and Hugo Weaving
Released: July 22nd, 2011

Steve Rogers volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America. As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes and Peggy Carter to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull.

THE GOOD There is a lot of good in this film, but there are three distinct, GREAT parts of the film that propel ‘Captain America’ to be the most enjoyable and rewarding film of the Marvel Universe bunch. One is where Rodgers is chasing down a HYDRA spy and the spy takes a child hostage. The spy still shoots at Rodgers who is (aside from the changes from the Super Soldier serum) unarmed and no shield as of yet. But the moment comes when the spy has to get rid of his hostage as a distraction for the new hero. The dock kid steals the scene with one single line. Trust me, you’ll love it.

There is one sequence I was starting to have a few doubts about, but as it got going, the USO segment put a smile on my face. There’s even a nod to the old Captain America comics, and, one of few times where the filmmakers really tip the hat to the fans without losing a mainstream audience.

Then of course, there’s the big action set piece where Rodgers as Cap goes behind enemy lines in an attempt to rescue a handful of POWs and have his first face off with Schmidt aka The Red Skull.

Hugo Weaving does a nice job as Schmidt, although….

THE BAD There is a point in this film where you kind of wished they would have split it up in two films instead of one (not counting the Avengers) because while I’m not against the montage of Captain America and the Commandos taking on varied Hydra agents and soldiers, it did feel like it need more substance. Speaking of which, aside from James ‘Bucky’ Barnes and ‘Dum Dum’ Dugan (Neal McDonough), the adventures come and go so quickly that the Commandos become window dressing. The final showdown is also a bit surprising, and if it wasn’t for the first few minutes of the film, they might have had me surprised. Let’s put it this way: it’s not terrible by any means, but it doesn’t have the same “POW!” level as the POW rescue in the middle of the film.

You have heard the saying a film feels too long; well at two hours and five minutes (although that includes the stinger-trailer for Avengers next year) it actually feels too short.

Now, back to Weaving as Schmidt aka The Red Skull. See the above comments for this film feeling too short at two hours. In a nutshell- there’s not enough of this villian. When that big action scene happens, it’s literally interrupted by another character; after that, it’s Red Skull killing underlings and shaking his fist everytime something doesn’t go to plan. I would have been happy for another ten to fifteen minutes, just to let the film breathe a little in the third act.

Perhaps after all the origin, the fun of the USO/War Bonds, the two best cameos in the film (one being Stan Lee, the other being…well, let’s just say it’s a nod to another film Joe Johnston directed) the fun chemistry of Evans and Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones…the film built a high plateau and then felt the need to wrap it up in a box and a bow. I’m not really opposed to it- there was some good and wonderful things that had a ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ feel (one gag near the end with a bad guy stooge in specific) and I think unlike Iron Man 2 and Thor, this film lends more ease to multiple viewings. It’s more enjoyable, more satisfying. Now if you happen to liked those two Marvel films more than I did – that’s alright. You’ll eat this up like cake.

My score : 8 out of 10

Comment with Facebook

About Darren

"Revenge is sweet and not fattening." Alfred Hitchcock

46 thoughts on “Review: Captain America The First Avenger

  1. Captin America was a classic and had my dad whooping for joy. It was very action packed but the end was seriously disappointing. It left me thinking . . . will there be another one? I don’t think they should have left the ending like that but mostly other than that it was a good movie that kept me on my toes.

  2. I hated this movie. I quite like (not love) the whole Marvel movie franchise. But when people say this movie is better than Thor, I start to question their bias just because the title is Captain America and riviews mainly come from Americans (I’m generalizing).

    The first half of Captain America is good, but the second half just falls short. Doesnt anybody realize that the action sequences are just non-existant. Bottom line is, this movie is corny and unlike Thor (which is also kind of corny in its own way), the film is not aesthetically pleasing (Thor’s colours and design of Asgard were amazing) or have the action to back it up.

  3. I strongly disagree with the review. In my honest opinion, this was one of the worst Marvel movies so far. I think it is receiving so much praise just due to the fact that it is the Cap, but if it were any other hero in the same movie I doubt the reviews would be so kind…

    The movies is horribly slow, to the point of boring. My girlfriend actually asked me when was going to happen something, and we were already more than one hour into the movie. The part were the Cap goes circus monkey style is almost unwatchable. The combat scenes are subpar and as already been said by another commenter the war tone was missing. And don’t get me even started with the last battle between Red Skull and the Cap, that was all that they can pull off? Really?

    In general the first movie of the hero type tends to be great. Iron Man had me impressed, Thor wasn’t that good but still did it, but this… meh… I just hope that they don’t screw the Avengers the same way and they get praised just for being the Avengers.

  4. I really liked this movie. I thought it was just a really fun summer film that also had a lot of heart to it. I was very entertained by it and would probably give it an 8 or 8.5 out of 10.

  5. The confrontation between the Red Skull and Captain America was really brief though, then Red Skull basically takes himself out (disappointing). The CGI technology used to make Chris Evans such a skinny Steve Rogers was cool. Im sure Christian Bale was have gone cold turkey and actually lost the weight for the role. In all it was a nice movie.

  6. I really didn’t love it, probably my second least favorite Marvel Studios film (still ahead of Iron Man 2)… the script was bland, and I felt like Johnston was rushing to get from scene to scene, not letting the film breathe. There was alot in the movie that I liked, but there was just as much that I didn’t. The tone was very fantastical – “comic booky”. I may have preferred a more grave slant. This was one war movie where WAR didn’t seem all that horrific (and, if you don’t know, wars are bad, mkay?). The score was terrible too.

    I saw it in 2D (I despise 3D) but so many of the green screen effects shots suffered from being primed for 3D – I’m not talking about things flying towards you in the screen, but rather the perspective of foreground/background.

    The whole thing just felt off. Still looking forward to Avengers.

    1. I actually agree with you. It did feel a bit off. However, in my eyes, Cap and Thor are two of the corniest comic book characters ever (though I still always loved Captain America). They way they would speak with that “hero tone” all Hercules and what not always made me think “soooo corny.” I figured if Marvel can make these two characters into viable full length film characters, then they can do anything. And I actually think they succeeded with both Cap and Thor. The movies weren’t “sooooo amazing” but I think Marvel pulle dthem both off. I love both characters equally and they will make the Avengers AWESOME. The movie was off but now that its done along with Thor, the coming of The Avengers just feels EPIC.

  7. I was “Cap”tivated from the first scene in the film till the last. Sure, any movie has its flaws and you could easily point them out, but I enjoyed the hell outta this film!

    1. At the Modern Marvels of Tomorrow scene. At the time I wrote this review it looked a lot like Kyle Seacord’s aviation outfit from The Rocketeer. It appears it isn’t, according to most other sites, such as MTV.

      Instead, the uniform in the glass case is actually a reference to the The Invaders, specifically the “original” Human Torch.

      Still a cameo. Not just the one I thought of.

  8. I think also aesthetically it was quite unique. With so many Marvel and ‘comic book movies’ being flung at us these days movie makers need to find more than just different heroes and villains to separate or lift their marvel movie above the rest. I think they definitely succeeded in that respect but I agree that the villain was horribly underdeveloped, and they could’ve taken more risks with direction and the script. One of the better Marvel movies, but not the best

  9. Evans did a great job and had me at “I can do this all day”

    I’ve been skeptical of not the actors of this film, but how the Director would present my Favorite Hero from the books..


    Loved it.

    Had me feeling Indy vibes in terms of actual excitement and feeling.


    1. There once was a time when I might have said the same thing- but play fair. Evans was also in Losers and Scott Pilgrim; his co-star Jones once played Two-Face, and Hugo Weaving was V.

      They are all actors in different roles.

  10. I hope they do something with Bucky in a sequel…The Winter Soldier storyline could be awesome. Not to spoil anything but given the climate they were in, he could be preserved and brought back to modern day, similar to Cap.

    The Avengers trailer looked good. The tone seemed very dark and Thor felt different, maybe it was the missing sleeves…but all in all, so far so good for what amounts to an extremely ambitious task in putting all these guys on screen together. I wonder if Caps adjustment will be one of the main themes of Avengers or if it will be glossed over…also I wanted to see the Hulk, but Ruffalo as Banner looked good.

  11. …. I saw the movie, and all i can say about Hayley Atwell character is… she has moxie. Alright now i’m completely believe we got an actress for Wonder Woman movie (if there is one), DC/Warner, please take notice… this is how you make movies about your brand superheroes. You can’t rely on Batman to be your bread & butter all the time.

  12. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but was wondering something. You say the scenes of Cap. with his squad have been cut into a montage…??? The question is did they film only pieces of these raids or all of each mission. Maybe I’m assuming to much, but surely they shot all of the scenes and edited them into the montage…???

    If so it could be a great extra for the DVD/Blu-ray release.
    Operation Super soldier: The Missions or The Mission archive!!

    Something like that would be pretty cool!!!

    1. Cap and The Howling Commandos are given the task of finding and eliminating varied HYDRA bases, and stopping Schmidt and his right hand man, Dr. Zola. It isn’t stated how long these missions are in between each other. The Super-soldier serum appears to also effect and enhance Rodger’s memory; a brief glance at a map shows HYDRA locations and/or areas in which HYDRA plans to strike.

      And there IS a possible untold story. Joe Johnston made his thoughts known a few days ago among the ‘wish list’ projects he wants to be a party to. One of those was a character called Winter Soldier. That should give you a clue where some things might go.

  13. This film created a believable world that i want to live in. I absolutely loved this film. My wife looked at me multiple times during the feature and told me she saw me cheesing like a kid in amazement. I was a child of the 80s reading comic books and didn’t think seeing my childhood heroes come to life on the screen was a possibility. This movie captivated me and held me in amazement. Yes it has its minor flaws but as a movie I was taken away from reality for 2+ hours and that is the goal of any movie. I hope you feel the impact of this statement, I loved this movie!


    if you haven’t seen the film yet GO, it’s a Great movie and at the end you get your first look at the entire avengers team, INCLUDING Cap in his modern age suit! Check it out!

  15. Jesus dude. Can you try not giving out spoilers next time when you write the “General Idea”? I mean….REALLY??? That’s just irritating. I didnt read every Cap comic so no I did not know the how The Red Skull got that way. And the “General Idea” section is general but at the same time much too detailed.

  16. I think Marvel left the opportunity open for them to go back to WWII with a sequel and cover those raids with his squad. I kind of hope that they do that because I’d love to see those characters again. Let the 3rd movie begin to show his adjustment to the modern world.

    1. Hold on, you’re saying these is an extra scene after the credits, like with Pirates? Good to know, I usually watch the credits for a while, but not always till the end.

Leave a Reply