Business rating: 1.5/5 stars
Star cast: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell, Stanley Tucci.
What’s Good: The performances; the well-executed action sequences; Steve Rogers’ characterisation.
What’s Bad: The loopholes in the script; the lack of confrontations between the hero and the villain.
Verdict: Captain America: The Last Avenger is an average fare that will not fare too well, thanks not only to its haphazard release (it has not opened in the six national multiplex chains).
Loo break: A couple in the latter half.
Watch or Not?: Watch Captain America: The Last Avenger if you are a fan of Marvel comic heroes.
Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The First Avenger, based on a Marvel comic, is the story of a weakling’s transformation into a superhero during World War II.
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a physically weak and short young man who wants to enlist for the US army during the World War II. He is refused entry into the army many times because of his physical arributes, but he keeps trying. One day, Dr. Erksine (Stanley Tucci), a scientist from a US army Super Soldier program, inducts him into the army because he finds Rogers to be a persistent and compassionate man. During the training, Rogers impresses everyone. And although his army trainer, Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones), doesn’t like him, Rogers is picked to be the first one to become a super soldier. Soon, he is turned into a super soldier (with increased height, muscle and super-human strength) by using a technology invented by Dr. Erksine and weapons manufacturer Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper). However, in an attack right after Rogers’ transformation, Dr. Erksine is killed and the whole super soldier program has to be abandoned by the US government.
With no other real choice left, Rogers takes up the offer to help sell war bonds to Americans. He is promoted to the post of Captain, made to wear a super hero’s uniform and asked to become an entertainer. He tours the US, successfully raising money for the US’ war on Germany. Months later, when he meets his old friends from the army, he realises that he should be doing much more for his country. He takes off on a dangerous army mission to save several prisoners of war.
On the other hand, the powerful German general, Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), the head of the secretive German science division known as HYDRA, is making plans to not only destroy America but the rest of the world also. Schmidt has developed an army of soldiers and destructive weapons using a mysterious blue cube (which Schmidt believes stores the energy of the Gods).
While on his mission to save the PoWs, the paths of Rogers and Johann Schmidt cross. Schmidt (also called Red Skull because of his red-coloured facial skin) tells Captain America (Rogers) that the two of them were of the same kind. He asks Rogers to side with the Germans or else, be murdered.
Captain America, now equipped with a better gear, courtesy the army, is able to take on Red Skull and destroy many of HYDRA’s weapon caches across Europe. Soon, he even gets into Red Skull’s last-standing bastion and enters the airplane, using which Red Skull is planning to bomb major cities across the world. What happens next? Is Captain America successful in foiling Red Skull’s plans and saving the world? Does he successfully get back to America? The rest of the film and the climax answer these questions.
Captain America: The First Avenger Review – Script Analysis
Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s screenplay, based on comic books by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, is well-written. The track of a sickly Steve Rogers’ transformation into the strong Captain America is entertaining. The dialogues are peppered with humour. The action scenes are also well-choreographed. A surprise in the climax is worth watching out for.
However, the latter half of the narrative progresses rather haphazardly, as lots of incidents depicting Captain America’s activities are all put together, without clarifying where and at what point of time they happen. Also, writers fail in extracting the maximum out of Captain America and Red Skull’s enmity. The duo confronts one another only a couple of times in the whole movie. The lack of confrontations/fight sequences between the protagonist and the antagonist will be felt by the audience too. Also, because the details of Red Skull’s plans are rather unclear, it is difficult for the audience to realise the magnanimity of his planned attack, which Captain America is seeking to foil. As such, when Captain America supposedly becomes a real hero in the eyes of the American army and people, the audience doesn’t feel the same. All in all, the film will appeal mostly to a section of the city-based audiences who are aware of the Captain America comic franchise.
Captain America: The First Avenger Review – Star Performances
The performances are very good. Chris Evans shines in the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America. That he has been made to look rather weak in the role of Rogers does not take away anything from his performance. Hugo Weaving is competent as Johann Schmidt/Red Skull though one wishes that one had got to see more of him in the movie. Tommy Lee Jones stands out in a short role. Hayley Atwell (as Rogers’ girlfriend), James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes (as Rogers’ friend), Dominic Cooper and Stanley Tucci support well. Toby Jones (as Schmidt’s scientist, Dr. Arnim Zola) is memorable. Samuel L. Jackson leaves his mark in a cameo appearance.
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