Review: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

captain america the first avenger movie poster

“Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.”
– Abraham Erskine

In the present day, a frozen circular object is discovered, and the scientists find a circular red, white and blue object in the abandoned craft and call it in. Going back to March 1942, Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), Hitler’s advanced head of weaponry, has finally discovered what he has been looking for for a very long time: the mysterious Tesseract. It is said to possess exceptional powers, and he is sure that this is the case. He leaves a slaughter in his wake. In New York City Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is rejected yet again for military recruitment. Health is not on his side, nor is physical favour. His best friend, Sergeant James “Bucky” Barnes (Sebastian Stan), wishes that Steve would just accept that he cannot get in, though he, Bucky, has been accepted and ships out the next day. Overhearing the conversation between the two friends and why Steve wants to enlist, Dr Abraham Erskine (Staley Tucci) gives Steve the opportunity, who grabs at it enthusiastically.

captain america small steve

“I don’t want to kill anyone. I don’t like bullies; I don’t care where they’re from.” – Steve Rogers

Steve has been recruited in the Scientific Strategic Reserve to fall under an experiment to create super soldiers. He begins training and is met with an unyielding barrier of negativity. Nobody thinks he has it in him. Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) is exceptionally peeved when Erskine insists that Steve is his choice for the experiment due to his good nature, something that British agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is impressed about. Erskine admits to Steve that Schmidt forced the doctor to initiate the procedure on Schmidt, and that it worked but that there were some serious issues and side effects. In Europe, Schmidt and his right hand, Dr Arnim Zola (Toby Jones) harness the Tesseract’s energy successfully, and soon they will be able to change the world, not necessarily in a good way. Schmidt knows that Erskine is in the States, and an assassin is sent to kill him. Steve enters the experiment nervously and emerges a new man: the perfect solider. His physique is totally changed, and it seems the medical conditions that have plagued him are gone. However, directly after his transformation, Erskine is gunned down by a Nazi spy by the name of Heinz Kruger (Richard Armitage). After chasing the man down, the Nazi bites his cyanide pill and talks of HYDRA before his death.

captai america star spangled man

“He will be the first in a new breed of super-soldier.” – Colonel Chester Phillips

Instead of sending Steve overseas, Colonel Phillips tells Steve that he will go to a laboratory to be researched on so that they can recreate the serum to make more super soldiers. US Senator Brandt (Michael Brand) approaches Steve and gives him another opportunity to serve the country. Steve ends up touring the States dressed as Captain America and promoting war bonds. Eventually he is sent overseas to see the troops out there, and he is met with hostility instead of the reverence he is used to. Peggy Carter appears and bolsters his ego, though he is horrified to learn the men he just attempted to perform for are what remain of Bucky’s unit… and Bucky isn’t there. Steve immediately decides that id Phillips won’t send anyone in, he will go in by himself. Assisted by Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) and Peggy Carter, Steve saves the men and gets his best friend out alive. Returning to the camp, Phillips has to admit that Steve is dedicated, and so Captain America becomes a thing. Schmidt, however, escaped to compound, and is called Red Skull because of how Erskine’s botched procedure left his physical features. Steve falls in love with Peggy, and the two of them play their little games with each other, though the montage of becoming Captain America has suddenly made all the women notice Steve, putting some strain on their relationship.

captain america working

“You could have the power of the gods! Yet you wear a flag on your chest and think you fight a battle of nations! I have seen the future, Captain! There are no flags!” – Red Skull

After his heroic mission, the men look up to Steve, who recruits his own group to assist him in taking down Schmidt and his HYDRA organisation. The team consists of Bucky, Timothy “Dum Dum” Dugan (Neal McDonough), Gabe Jones (Derek Luke), Jim Morita (Kenneth Choi),Jacques Dernier (Bruno Ricci) and James Montgomery Falsworth (JJ Feild ). Steve also goes to see Stark about sorting out a better outfit, and here he discovers his shield, a beautiful shield made out of vibranium, a highly rare and indestructible metal. How will Bucky deal with Steve being the strong and popular one now? What will happen between Steve and Peggy? Will she be able to resist his charm? Will the group be able to cripple the HYDRA organisation and bring Schmidt to his knees?

captain america the team

“This isn’t a back alley, Steve, this is war!” – James “Bucky” Barnes

An 8/10 for Captain America: The First Avenger. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this film. When it came everyone was like uhming and ahing and I was like what the hell, let’s see, and then I had a total blast. They completely reinvented Captain America. He was not boring, he was cool and he was someone to root for. Luke made a fantastic observation when he reviewed this saying it was a good set period piece, and I cannot disagree, it was good! The costume design was fantastic and so was Chris Evans, especially when he donned the pretty strange outfit… it ultimately just came together and worked well. As much as when this first came around I could only think the Human Torch, Evans was perfectly cast. I loved the music and the cinematography… this film was just fun. It looked great, the colouring of it, and I enjoyed the pace of it and the story line. The cast worked well together. Yes, there were some questionable CGI effects at times, but nothing that is a deal breaker. This movie came together well in so many ways. It impressed me. Of the pre-Avengers movies, I must say that Marvel nailed this one as well as the initial two Iron Man movies (no, I am still not a fan of the third). Captain America: The First Avenger was one of the best introductory films I have ever seen for a superhero and definitely my favourite, and I loved how they focused on the war, being a hero and not someone’s pet and all that. I would highly recommend that you check this out if you have not done so already, it just worked on so many levels.

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31 thoughts on “Review: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

  1. Joseph@thecinemamonster says:

    Possibly my favourite Avenger film and superhero. I wasn’t born or grow up back in those days, but the nostalgia illuminates me! I love the way everything looked and functioned, such a beautiful time. Excellent post, Zoe :).

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      It really is a freaking excellent flick and he is a solid and perfect superhero, he is cool. Ah, that is so true, it was stunning. Thanks a lot Joseph, glad you enjoyed it!

      Like

  2. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop says:

    Really liked this one. I think it’s my favourite Origin story of all the Avengers character but I still prefer Thor as an actual character I think. And it still creeps me out a little seeing Chris Evans’ face on that scrawny little body! Ha! Great review Zoe 🙂

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Chris! I am with you there, definitely a brilliant Origin story, so well done. I LOVE Captain America’s integrity and loyalty and bravery… great characteristics to have. Oh yeah, it was so strange to watch that!

      Like

  3. CMrok93 says:

    Wasn’t the best of the superhero movies that Marvel tried to get the hell out before the Avengers, but still a fun time nonetheless. Nice to see that Chris Evans worked-out so well in the first place, too. Good review Zoe.

    Like

  4. christenagarcia says:

    Great review, I really liked this movie as well it was one of the better Marvel movies. They did do a great job of introducing the character.

    Like

  5. ruth says:

    Glad you’re doing a double bill for Captain America! Cap has become my favorite Marvel character. He’s not boring at all and that’s a testament to Chris Evans’ portrayal. I happen to love the first film, it’s more of an 8.5 for me as I love every single one of the supporting cast in addition to Evans, esp. Tommy Lee Jones w/ his curmudgeonly quips, Stanley Tucci and last but not least, Peggy Carter! I even picked her for the spin-off blogathon 😉

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      😀 Thanks Ruth, had to put them out together, deserved some credit! He is fantastic and really lends a great hand. I actually think this is closer to an 8, but had a hard time scoring both this and the next one… we shall see how it goes! Ah, it all came together perfectly!

      Like

  6. caragale says:

    Yeah I liked this one a lot more than I expected to! I just had it in my head that Captain America wouldn’t translate very well, but between this and The Avengers I have grown to really love the character. This one isn’t my absolute favorite Marvel movie, but it’s definitely one of the better ones! Great review!

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      It worked! (Although I am still not an Avengers fan… maybe I should struggle through it again sometime and see if my opinion changes now that I know what it is about and all that). This is one of my favourite ones, I won’t lie, it is right up there for me. Thank you so much!

      Like

    • Zoë says:

      😀 It was just brilliant! I thought that this was definitely better than Iron Man 2 (which I did enjoy), and I LOVED Iron Man but I am with you… this one? AMAZING.

      Like

  7. Tom says:

    Nice. Yeah, so I’ll be seeing these out of order but The Winter Soldier was exciting enough to get me to want to watch his beginnings. I want to see a very early and naive Steve Rogers. Seems like he’d be a good pip! 😀 😀 😀

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      I cannot tell you how happy this makes me Tom, really! 😀 😀 Cannot wait to see what you have to say about them both! He is fantastic to watch, and to see how he came to be is just wonderful!

      Like

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