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tommy_lop Captain America the first avenger review

Updated on April 5, 2014

Captain America Blu ray box

The blu ray box
The blu ray box

Captain America the First Avenger

Rated PG 13

made by Paramount 2012

Stars Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, and Hugo Weaving

5 stars for Captain America the First Avenger

I took all photos off my TV with my Ipad. Captain America belongs to Marvel and the movie Captain America the first Avenger was made by Paramount.

So with Captain America the Winter Solider came out recently I decided I would review the first Captain America movie (ok not technically the first, how about the first one worth watching) and do a quick review on it. After all it is probably my favorite of the Marvel connected universe movies and it is definitely worth checking out.


The movie opens up in modern day where we see Agent Coulson of shield at a crash site somewhere in the artic. They open up the alien looking plane and we see its pilot trapped in a block of ice. We then skip back to World War 2 where we see a Nazi officer named Johann Schmitt (aka the red skull) get his hands on some energy cube that once belong to Odin (note: this movie came out like 2 months after Thors original movie so the quick tie in is pretty good at connecting the two movies).

digital tricks are used to make Steve Rogers look puny

Chris Evans has Steve Rogers before becoming captain America
Chris Evans has Steve Rogers before becoming captain America

We skip to America where Steve Rogers is trying for a dozen times to become an enlisted man. Problem is he’s short, scrawny, has Asthma and other health issues. He is classified 4f and is sent on his way. His friend Bucky tries to cheer him up by taking him to a fair but Steve again seeing an enlisting station tries to enlist again. This time though he is noticed by a Dr. Erkskine and when he sees Steve arguing with Bucky about enlisting and later even interrogates himself to why he wants to go overseas he sees Steve has the right qualities he has been looking for and enlists him in the super solider program.

After Steve struggles through boot camp with Colonel Phillips he chosen to have the operation (over Phillips objection) while the procedure works and he is now a super strong and healthy solider, a nazi spy however sneaks in and kills Dr. Erkskine. Dr. Erkskine like any good comic book scientist left no notes or duplicates of said formula behind so they can recreate the formula just in case something happen to him or his place of business. This leaves Steve too precious to the United States to send off to war so he becomes Captain America a war bond sales man who puts on shows and makes movie to help support the war effort.

Steve after he gets the super solider serum

However when his USO outfit sends him to entertain troops on the front line he learns Bucky has been taken prisoner by Hydra, the Nazi’s science and weapon development program ran by Schmitt. So Steve Rogers decides it’s time for Captain America to take action so he convinces Howard Stark and agent Peggy Carter too sneak him behind enemy lines to save Bucky.

I won’t spoil too much of the movie for you but after that it’s kicking Hydras butt and taking down Schmitt. The movie is careful about using the word Nazi after Schimitt starts using giant tanks and light guns that look like they would be rejects from a star wars movie. From there Captain Enemy is Hydra and not the Nazi and I think this was done to keep the movie from being Saving Private Ryan with a super hero involved. This is meant to be a big budget super hero movie and not a gritty WW2 movie and its creators definitely took that into account. This was meant to be more of a throwback to the dawn of super hero comics where everyone from Superman to Captain America were doing their part to take down the Nazi’s.

So why do I like this more than any generation 1 Marvel movie well Thor was good but it wasn’t great, it was more sci fi fantasy and it was working with the fact that he is probably the least well known super hero of that group and first movie he was in. It was entertaining and I liked the relationship between him and the villain Loki has brothers whose rivalry has spun out of control into a very deadly game. I liked Iron Man the character and Tony Stark stole the show in the Avengers but Iron Man is always surrounded by extras that are boring and villains that are even lamer. With Captain America we got a likeable hero, and he’s likeable before he becomes all muscles. He’s not violent but he doesn’t run from a fight and he has a sense of duty too. And he is always trying to do the right thing. The super powers just help him do that better.

Steve Rogers has Captain America

For supporting cast we have 3 of the best supporting characters in a Marvel movie it’s a shame this is only movie there going to be in (but 2 out of the 3 are going to be getting a TV show). Agent Peggy Carter is the love interest and the weakest of the 3. Still she’s not nonsense and is able to smooth out some of Steve’s rougher edge and give him that initial push he needs to fulfill the potential Erkskine saw in him. She also shows in a somewhat comic sense why Captain America needs that shield; she’s scary when she’s angry.

Then there is Howard Stark who is Tony Stark’s father and we see him in his younger days. A bit more laid back then Tony and obviously tailored after Howard Huges (well at least before he went crazy) we see him invent stuff that does sometime fall apart and he hits on Peggy that drives Steve nuts. It’s easy to see why they become good friends.

Tommy Lee Jones with Stanley Tucci

He's still skinny
He's still skinny

Finally my favorite character of the movie is Colonel Phillips and he’s cliché has hell. Yeah he’s the typical commanding officer who is super hard and doesn’t like the hero at first because he doesn’t believe in him. And by the end of the movie because the hero has done all his dirty work has some respect for him. Yeah we have seen this in army movies all the time. However he is played Tommy Lee Jones and Jones makes a point to steal the scene in every scene he is in by giving Phillips a sense of humor next to his hard temper. Scenes like him arguing with Erkskin that Steve is do puny to get the serum and then throwing the grenade to show that the solider they need to take has to have guts, Steve jumps on the dummy grenade and passes Phillips test only to have Phillips say he’s still skinny, and Jones over the top grouchy delivery makes it even funnier. He’s hard but he’s also funny and it’s a shame he won’t be in anymore of these movies.

For the villain Schmidt comes off at first has your typical Nazi officer who has someone gotten a powerful weapon in his hand. He calls himself the red skull but doesn’t look like a 1940’s comic villain. They keep a good mask on him and while there are one or two scenes hinting at the fact he’s not normal he’s not revealed until the half-way point where he shows he is has strong has Captain America is and then takes off the mask to show that the super solider syrum he took damaged his face and he became the red skull. He’s threating without being too over the top and he can definitely take on Captain America in head to head fight.

Schmitts (Huego Weaving) looks human for the first half of the movie

But there is something not right about his face
But there is something not right about his face

The Blu Ray

The special features on the blu ray are pretty good you get a Marvel One Shot featuring some more misadventures of Agent Colson. You get a director commentary on the film. Then you get several featurettes covering things from the Captain’s origins in the comic book, to making Chris Evans look skinny before he got the super solider serum, and some things too hype up the avengers which Captain America’s ending leads directly into. Some deleted scenes and even some trailers for the movie round out so if you like the movie there is plenty to watch afterword’s.

Final Recommendation

While Captain America the First Avenger is no Dark Knight it never tries to me. It tries to me a good old super hero movie that does occasionally stop and thinks (unlike the Dark Knight which always feels like it’s thinking) it’s light hearted, it’s fun, and it’s just a blast to watch. I can’t wait to see Captain America the Winter Solider.

Captain America the First Avenger DVD

Captain America the first avenger trailers

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