Captain America: The First Avenger

(2011)

Genres: Musical, Sci-Fi

Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

Transcript for Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
Are you ready for Captain America? I’m Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of mubi.com.

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
And I’m Christy Lemire of the Associated Press. We're starting out this week with yet another comic book superhero who's coming to the big screen in 3-D. It's "Captain America: The First Avenger." Chris Evans stars as Steve Rogers, a scrawny kid from Brooklyn with dreams of military stardom during World War II. Stanley Tucci plays the scientist who sees something special in him.

/clip -- Steve undergoes zapping

But Captain America isn't the only guy who's juicing. Hugo Weaving plays the former Nazi leader Johann Schmidt -- otherwise known as Red Skull. He's formed his own splinter group -- and built some intimidating weapons -- with the help of a put-upon scientist played by Toby Jones.

/clip -- Hopefully something with Hugo Weaving an Toby Jones in the lab

But Captain America also finds some time for romance. Hayley Atwell co-stars as agent Peggy Carter, the only woman with whom he's ever had a prolonged conversation.

/clip -- Hopefully of Evans and Atwell. There's something in the trailer.

Director Joe Johnston's film feels weighty and substantial, even in 3-D, and it has a beautiful, sepia-toned, art-deco look about it. The abundant supporting cast includes Tommy Lee Jones, as a military leader who is skeptical of Captain America. But, this is far more engaging when it's about a scrappy underdog overcoming the odds -- that is to say, before little Steve becomes a 'roided-up monster. And it only scratches the surface in trying to examine the perils of premature fame. Still, my thumb is up, because it looks great and it moves well.

IGNATIY:
My thumb is also up. I wasn’t really expecting, you know, a 3D superhero movie to remind me of Martin Scorsese’s “New York, New York,” but it kind of does during that World of Tomorrow or something; the fair that they go to. The cast in this is pretty good as well. 

CHRISTY:
Everyone is great.

IGNATIY:
Everyone is good. Tommy Lee Jones especially.

CHRISTY:
I mean he can do this kind of character in his sleep.

IGNATIY:
Yeah.

CHRISTY:
Where’s he sort of bemused and condescending and mocking and mean, but he’s great at that. He’s always funny. This is a movie with some heady themes, and he provides some humor, which it definitely needs.

IGNATIY:
And Chris Evans gives I mean a fair amount of depth to Captain America, who’s frankly kind of a corny character. You know, he wears like a suit with the American flag on it. But..

CHRISTY:
But…but he has his little trash can lid.

IGNATIY:
He has his little trash can lid.

CHRISTY:
To fight off all of the enemies. Yes.

IGNATIY:
But a, you know…I like the conceit of Captain America starting off as this character who has to sell war bonds and only later becoming a hero, because you know, he feels guilty about the fact that he stands on stage and punches Hitler while people actually fight in a war.

CHRISTY:
And the effects here are pretty good. From when he’s the little scrawny kid to becoming the big bulked up hero that we know. It’s pretty seamless.

IGNATIY:
Good effects. It’s a gorgeous looking movie, especially in 3D.