Reviews

Captain America

3

Chris Evans is coming to save the mother-lovin’ day, yeah.

If the biggest obstacle with Captain America is not turning a flag-wearer into a flag-waver, job done.

Following the Marvel template, it’s more about individual pluck than national pride; less a salute to Uncle Sam than a fanfare for the little man – as embodied by Steve Rogers (a digitally emaciated Chris Evans), a “90-pound asthmatic” unfit for military service, circa 1942.

But the kid’s got guts and he hates bullies, pegging him as the ideal subject for an experimental super-soldier serum that makes him look, as Clive James once said of Arnie, “like a condom stuffed with walnuts”.

Thus, Captain America is born – first as a baby-holding propaganda patsy, then as a two-fisted, shield-spinning Nazi-fighter.

And so to the next-biggest obstacle: being an origin story, hoops must be jumped through before battle can really commence. Joe Johnston’s film doesn’t exactly dally, but does seem to be in competition with Batman Begins to see who can hold out longest before revealing its hero in full super-regalia.

In the meantime, there’s flirty business with British lady-trooper Peggy (Hayley Atwell, sturdy, sensitive), some mild horn-locking with gruff-but-fair Colonel Philips (Tommy Lee Jones, nicking all the one-liners) and dark machinations involving Hitler’s top weapons guy, Johann Schmidt, aka The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).

Schmidt is pitched as a Nazi so unhinged he offends other Nazis, but turns out to be more mouth than trousers (and no nose, a la Voldemort). Weaving has fun hisssing his linesss, yet Cap’s most famous foe isn’t the holy terror he should be.

Still, if Chris Evans tones down the brash from his other comic-bookers Fantastic Four and The Losers – which may be a blessing for some – his Cap isn’t the square he can sometimes be on the comic-book page.

And if Joe Johnston lands closer to Stephen Sommers (specifically the toy soldiering of G.I. Joe) than Steven Spielberg (Raiders’ period setting/modern feel is a stated influence), he manages to pull out the stops for the finale: an explosive confrontation above the clouds that then quiets down for a touching farewell.

Of course, Cap’s fate is already decided: like Thor, Iron Man and co, he’ll return in next summer’s The Avengers.

Obstacle number three, setting up the Marvel mega-movie, is tackled without tripping over too many signposts, though a reference to Odin does serve as a reminder that Captain America doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head as well as Thor.

Verdict:

The final piece of the Avengers jigsaw falls efficiently into place: decent acting, decent action, a few too many “we’re all heroes inside” platitudes. But it’s no star-spangled sick-maker, either. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times}

Film Details

User Reviews

    • apo1978

      Jul 22nd 2011, 1:03

      Drat! I was hoping this was gonna be a 4 star movie, still looking forward to it though. However, with Joe Johnston at the helm I was always a little concerned....

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    • davidleach2000

      Jul 22nd 2011, 10:01

      1

      Personally, I think TF should have gone with a four. I Saw this last night and loved it! Best summer film so far and best super hero film this year. Great action, very convincing special effects, the Chris Evans skinny man effect is seamless. Thoroughly entertaining, this is real boy's own adventure stuff. Can't wait to see it again.

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    • trist808

      Jul 22nd 2011, 12:21

      Why have you only given it one star then? Or is that star to be added to Total Film's rating? lol ... I have it on good authority that Captain America is the best superhero film of the year and it is excellent (this is from a Marvel fan and more importantly a DC fan who can't wait to see Cap again, he loved it and he's seen it twice now) so I think the TF review is being slightly cagey. The response from last night's screening has been nothing but positive ... the only downside being no Avengers teaser trailer at the end of the credits. You're gonna have to wait until Cap's release next Friday to see that, or catch it online this weekend as I'm sure it will get posted in the next day or so as Cap opens in the U.S. today :)

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    • Andy85

      Jul 22nd 2011, 19:28

      trist808, Davidleach is rating the review not the film my friend :)

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    • Talyseon

      Jul 22nd 2011, 20:38

      5

      I think you are missing the point; yes it tones down the Gung ho Patriotic Jingoism, but Steve Rogers' individual pluck is totally devoted to the service of his country and fellow man. That is true patriotism, and not just the kind you wear on your lapel. And I think it shows in this movie because they actually worked at the character development. I loved it; check out my full review: http://bit.ly/qQbXVc

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    • skipnappan

      Jul 23rd 2011, 0:07

      1

      Cap’s mortal enemies are the reds, which could be communists or Chipawas or gingers, and he’s friends with basically anybody else who wants to think they’re a ‘superpower’ but really isn’t. Tommy Lee Jones does a great job of playing Captain Canada, the Cap’s slightly younger friend who just seems a lot older because back then they didn’t have free health insurance, but he is also a lot less d****ey and generally easier to tolerate. Ryan Reynolds is perfect as Captain America. I don’t think there’s anyone in the country they could have cast to represent us so well! Except maybe Jason Lee? Read the rest of this review @ http://skipnappan.com

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    • skipnappan

      Jul 23rd 2011, 0:07

      1

      Cap’s mortal enemies are the reds, which could be communists or Chipawas or gingers, and he’s friends with basically anybody else who wants to think they’re a ‘superpower’ but really isn’t. Tommy Lee Jones does a great job of playing Captain Canada, the Cap’s slightly younger friend who just seems a lot older because back then they didn’t have free health insurance, but he is also a lot less d****ey and generally easier to tolerate. Ryan Reynolds is perfect as Captain America. I don’t think there’s anyone in the country they could have cast to represent us so well! Except maybe Jason Lee? Read the rest of this review @ http://skipnappan.com

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    • MeanMachine

      Jul 23rd 2011, 10:55

      3

      This is a 4 star movie NO QUESTION. I'm the worst critic normally but this does not deserve 1 star. It is a good movie with a decent story line. Make up your own minds but I enjoyed it very much! Chris Evans was the perfect choice. He done the role proud.

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    • MeanMachine

      Jul 23rd 2011, 10:57

      1

      My error, I left a star out!

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    • zjh11350

      Jul 25th 2011, 3:37

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    • fortunesfool

      Jul 25th 2011, 16:53

      This is the first 'average' review i've read for this. Everyone else seems to love it. About what you can expect from a magazine that names Star Trek 'sci-fi film of the decade'.

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    • baldeelox

      Jul 26th 2011, 8:36

      1

      I thought it was very good especially with drab background of a muddy WW2 which isn't the most fancy setting for great action set pieces visually but they made it work very well.. Don't agree with most however that Chris Evans was the perfect choice plenty of actors who could have done the role proud and in my previous green lantern review that in this day and age with "everyone being a star" that no -one should be able to play 2 supes...In years to come are we really going to say it was justified that chris and ryan got to play 2 supes ...was there no one else?? Chris suits Johnny from FF alot more than Cap Usa but who cares roll on avengers...nice pit stop along the way and this nicely leads to what has to be theee biggest film ever next year...If it doesn't some one needs a big dry old skool slap. Cap Usa is a good summer movie but no way the best that still belongs to x-men in my book.

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    • thisgenius

      Jul 27th 2011, 6:12

      What 's the 3D like? In Deathly Hallows Part 2, I personally thought the 3D was horrendous, and I could have easily done with seeing it in 2D. Just wanted to make sure its worth it before I actually splash out on it.

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    • writerdave87

      Aug 1st 2011, 9:21

      Between skipnappan and baldeelox, the reviews here are taking 'derp' to brave new places.

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    • ChrisWootton

      Aug 18th 2011, 12:17

      2

      Really enjoyed the first half (effects for the thin Steve were amazing), as soon as he becomes Captain America though I thought the film went to pieces. As for the 3D... it wasn't in 3D!! The only thing that was ere the end titles... Actually ruined it for me.

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    • RachelSpicer

      Dec 5th 2011, 3:41

      1

      I actually fell asleep. This movie was so boring...

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