Captain America: The First Avenger: It was like going from the sublime to a smack in the eye.
I had planned to see Arrietty, the Ghibli animated Japanese movie tonight but was astonished to see the red sold out indicator on the Nottingham Cineworld screentimes board. Of course, it actually meant that the film wasn’t showing. The excuse this time: something wrong the the projection equipment. Honestly, it is at least once a fortnight that something goes wrong at Cineworld and I am greeted by a shrug of the shoulders.
Thus, to avoid making it a wasted journey I bought yet another pair of 3D glasses (I would have brought some if I’d know I’d need them) and caught Captain America instead. And this was a movie which really left me in two minds.
Actually, let’s be honest, Chris Evans leaves me in two minds.
I was never convinced by him as a superhero in Fantastic Four and he is pretty much the same as Captain Steve Rogers (aka Captain America). Is it the pretty boy thing which puts me off? It might just be. But while he is a bit insipid, he is backed up by a terrific cast, including Hugo Weaving a dastardly villain, Tommy Lee Jones, a gruff army colonel, Dominic Cooper, the eccentric Howard Stark (Iron Man‘s dad).
Oh, I nearly forgot, two of my favourites, Toby Jones and Stanley Tucci.
I guess that while there is much to admire about Joe Johnston‘s film, it has something of the feel of a scene setter. Evans plays a weedy, short young man who is desperate to join the US troops in the Second World War. Despite his physical flaw, Genius scientist Tucci recognises his passion and good heart and asks him to take part in an experiment which bulks him up to Arnie Schwarzenegger proportions. Evans, to be fair, must have done some serious gym work to get into that shape.
Anyway, after a few hiccups, he ends on taking on German Johann Schmidt who has plans of world domination that even eclipse those of Hitler. There are explosions galore, decent chase scenes and a love match between Evans and Hayley Atwell. And it sticks completely to the wholesome Captain America image. It is a gore and profanity-free zone which will please plenty of parents during the summer holidays. But, in the final analysis, it was all a little too neat and it just lacked a bit of spark.
Still, we all know it was a mere introduction of Captain America to the big screen in advance of The Avengers next year.
For the moment this was worth 6/10. Let’s hope for greater things next time out.
Check out: everyfilmin2011.blogspot.com
Running time: 124 minutes
Released: July 29th 2011
Director: Joe Johnston
Producers: Kevin Feige and Amir Madani
Screenplay: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (based on the comic books by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby)
Music: Alan Silvestri
Captain America/Steve Rogers: Chris Evans
Peggy Carter: Hayley Atwell
James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes: Sebastian Stan
Colonel Chester Phillips: Tommy Lee Jones
Johann Schmidt/Red Skull: Hugo Weaving
Howard Stark: Dominic Cooper
Heinz Kruger: Richard Armitage
Dr. Abraham Erskine: Stanley Tucci
Nick Fury: Samuel L Jackson
Dr. Arnim Zola: Toby Jones