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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)


And if you don’t like him then you can just go to Russia!

Marvel launches another super franchise with this origin story, which follows Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as he volunteers for a secret experiment during World War II. Transformed into a superhero named Captain America, Steve goes after the Axis. With his perfect physique and heightened reflexes — and his sidekick, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) — Steve battles the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), a super soldier created by Italian fascists.

With The Avengers film coming closer and closer, it’s time we finally got a look at the one who basically started it all and is the most important of all of them. And he is played by Johnny Storm.

Director Joe Johnston knows what he’s doing with this material because he once made a 1940′s superhero flick back in the day called The Rocketeer, and it seems that he hasn’t lost that spark for making the 40′s seem awesome. To add to the awesome look this film has, is the action that this story brings out.

There’s nothing really much else like watching a dude dressed in all red, white, and blue hurling a shield almost the length of a football field, kicking the shit out of these super-Nazis, and seeing him shoot people right in the face without even caring one bit. After awhile, it starts to just become the same old stuff after awhile, but the action keeps on building and building itself up to the point of where the end is there and hell practically breaks loose.

The problem with this superhero film is that this is basically the same as every single, superhero film that has come out within the past 3 years ever since Iron Man. I was expecting this to be a lot different for this story since it needs to tell us more about just why everything happens for the reasons they do, but we never really get that. Just about three montages as well.

The story here is pretty much the usual good vs. evil premise we have all come to know by now but the writing is all so solid that it makes it all seem very different. I found myself actually laughing a couple of times with this film and actually a little bit of quoting after wards too which I guess can’t be said about too many superhero films in today’s world. There’s also a great deal of heart to be shown in this film which by the last 10 minutes will be somewhat moving.

Chris Evans has never really been much of an household name and is somewhat a poor mans Ryan Reynolds, but we now know who can play the better superhero. Evans keeps a little bit of that sarcastic comedy he has here but he also does a great job of making Steve Rogers seem someone to completely love and stand behind. He seems like a noble dude and a normal human-being who just has this superpower that he is incredibly strong and ready to kick ass at any second. Let’s also not forget that he totally looks the part with his buff and muscular body that actually had me believe this dude could perfectly defend our country. It was a little hard to get past the fact that he already played another Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four, Evans was still a solid casting choice.

Hugo Weaving is OK as The Red Skull who looks really menacing with the scary look and slick-leather wardrobe but is nothing memorable. I never really hated him at all because he just wants to destroy the world and that’s pretty much it which I think is a problem with the script because as much as Weaving tries to look smug the whole time I knew what was going to happen, didn’t really care, and most of all just thought with better writing this villain could have been even more terribly menacing.

The rest of the cast is pretty bangin’ though. Tommy Lee Jones can practically play the one-liner, smart, old-timer role in his sleep now and his role as Col. Chester Phillips is no different; Newcomer Hayley Atwell does a pretty strong job keeping up with the boys here as Peggy Carter; and Stanley Tucci is also good as German scientist Abraham Erskine and shows just what a pro he really is. The rest of the ensemble cast is filled with the likes of Derek Luke, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones, and Neal McDonough who is surprisingly not playing a villain this time around. I guess he’s just trying to build back up his career after that Street Fighter shit that came out two years ago.

Consensus: With a couple of writing brush-ups, Captain America: The First Avenger could have been even better, but instead works with awesome visuals, kick-ass action, and some very good performances that really add so much more to this film and get you even more pumped up for The Avengers film.

7.5/10=Rental!!

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29 responses to “Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

  1. pacejmiller July 26, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Can’t wait to see this one! Good review!

  2. Steven Flores July 26, 2011 at 4:17 am

    I have no plans to see this but I kind of disagree about Chris Evans being the poor man’s Ryan Reynolds. I think Evans can act and he can prove that in a film like “Sunshine” which is a pretty underrated film despite its flaws.

    Plus, I think Evans is a better actor and he was the best thing in those awful “Fantastic Four” movies.

    • CMrok93 July 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      True! I think he’s a good actor without a doubt, but so many people think Reynolds is so much better than him which is why I thought of it. Still need to see Sunshine though!

    • Marshall July 27, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      Agree to disagree, I think Reynolds is better, more human and has the power to emote so much more. Evans just got picked for the better movie.

      • CMrok93 July 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm

        True! But I have to give them both credit since their both very good at what they do.

      • fogsmoviereviews July 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm

        That’s a statement I’m in almost total agreement with. I actually liked Green Lantern better. I know, I know, I’m in the extreme minority. Its cool.

        But I agree with you on the Reynolds vs Evans battle. In fact, Evans was one of my big problems with this movie. He really was kind of bland. Plus half the time he was all photshopped up.

  3. Ipodman July 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    “And he is played by Johnny Storm” LOL

    I think Ryan Reynolds is the poor man’s Chris Evans… come on, Chris Evans is freaking hilarious while RR is just …. heh.

    Haven’t seen this movie tho… looking forward to it this weekend, nice review as always!

  4. Chris Petersen July 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Good review, man. Thanks for checking out ours as well.

  5. Bryan Parrill July 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Good review.

    I have to say I understand why people compare Evans and Reynolds, but they are way different.
    Personally, I always liked Reynolds from his Pizza Place days, but have grown more and more tired of him as he hasn’t ever stretched himself or been in many good movies.
    On the other hand, I always hated Evans. He started out in some real pieces of crap and only recently did I start not hating him beginning with the aforementioned Sunshine, continuing with his hilarious part in Scott pilgrim, and now with CAP I think he has his coming out party as a real star.

  6. Maquantum July 26, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Nice review, it seems we agree on pretty much everything. I wish Red Skull had more to do because that makeup was AWESOME. I am also a fan of The Rocketeer, and I watched it again the day after I saw this. Thanks again for reading my review!

  7. Erlingur Gretar July 26, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Hey there! Good review, and thanks for checking out ours. I haven’t really thought of Chris Evans in conjecture with Ryan Reynolds before, but it kind of makes sense :)

  8. Dan July 27, 2011 at 2:19 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. The premise had me a bit worried, but I still wanted to see it since it’s a part of The Avengers series. I’ll probably end up taking your advice and make it a rental.

  9. Wilde.Dash July 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks for visiting the site, I’m with you on a lot of points, particularly on that description of Chris Evans as standing in the shadows as a “poor man’s Ryan Reynolds.” Hopefully, this film will rectify that situation.

    Thinking there should actually be an entire movie in which Tommy Lee Jones actually does just deliver one-liners in his sleep. I’d watch it.

  10. fogsmoviereviews July 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I agree with the majority of your review, The Man, including the overall score.

    The Red Skull had a great look, but you’re right, he came across really kind of bland and non-descript. I used the word “Forgettable” when I wrote it up. Which is a crime, because he’s Cap’s greatest foe, for sure.

    Evans did almost nothign for me in this flick. In fact I found the whole CGI skinny wimpy Evans a little distracting, and thus a detraction from the movie overall.

    One thing I do disagree with you on is the action being “kick ass”. I basically feel – if you took the uniform off of him, you’d never tell the action was from a super hero movie! I mean, I realize Cap is only a suped up human, so you can’t get too crazy. But it was only a step away from being a Schwarzenegger flick… Just a lot of explosions. He used his Shield to fun effect, and the district nine type weapons Hydra had were cool enough, but overall, I guess I wanted more…

    • CMrok93 July 28, 2011 at 4:21 am

      Damn Dan! I have to say that you’re very harsh and I don’t think you need to be considering that all this film wants to do is have some fun, show some special effects, give a good story, and make you feel proud you represent the U.S of A. I mean come on is that too much to ask!!?!?

      • fogsmoviereviews July 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

        No, yeah. I dont know. I mean, I’ve been coming across a lot harder on this film than I mean to I think.

        I think its one of those that when I was there, watching it, it all felt good, and I had a good time, and I liked it. It IS like a B+ for me.

        But then as soon as I start to analyze it, or write about it, I just start blowing holes in everything.

        Keep in mind, I’m just plain old Dan, not DAN THE MAN. LOL. I’m just getting started at this stuff, so I guess I still need to work on having my tone match my feelings about the movie.

  11. Heretic July 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I felt the film did a great job at shouting out to the days of the WW II film era, all with semi faded look, slicked back hair do’s, and outstanding costuming.

  12. relativelyrealistic August 16, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Totally agree about the performances being quite good, and even moreso about this one doing a terrific job getting you real psyched about next summer’s Avengers flick. Good review!

  13. Pingback: » Movie Review – Captain America: The First Avenger Fernby Films

  14. itsjosiahdavid November 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    You know what I never got to review this movie and now I know why: like you said its not too memorable. Thing is its great fun to watch but I found myself talking more about X-Men First Class (for good and bad reasons lol) compared to this. This I just thought was really cool and that’s it! I lokved the [look] of the Red Skull btw.

  15. Crow April 2, 2014 at 3:29 am

    I had to come reread this! Your youth is showing. He ain’t a poor man’s Ryan Reynolds! He is better than Reynolds ( who is fine ). This movie was awesome and so was The Avengers! I cannot wait until the premiere of Winter Soldier! 4/4/14 ( I have been quoting that date for over a year!) Good Review!

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