Captain America: The First Avenger 3D

Rated PG-13 125 min. 2011

This film is the latest in Marvel Comics’ build up to their great big orgiastic Avengers movie that’s supposed to come out next year, and follows down the same wisecracking paths as Jon Favreau’s Iron Man flicks and this year’s Thor. But where those films have a definitive, and workable, palette to work from, Captain America can’t quite figure out a proper tone, mostly due to being set in World War II. This should be a plus, since comic book movies aren’t normally set in period (it already worked once this year for Marvel in X-Men: First Class), but war-torn Europe is a much grittier backdrop than the ’60s. Even here, the front isn’t depicted as all that much fun, which means when we get the laser gun-wielding, gimp suit-sporting henchmen, none of it quite fits together. Actually, the film starts running off the rails quite before that. The first sign is when we meet our protagonist Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a 90-pound weakling soaking wet, who’s actually just some scrawny actor with Evans’ head CGI’ed on him, making him look like Martin Short in Clifford. Luckily, we don’t have to deal with our bobble-headed hero for too long, since the U.S. government is kind enough to ’roid him up into the superhuman Captain America. The entire film comes off as inept, even down to technical aspects, like its grainy digital video look and the bizarre editing choices, with short scenes being snuck in here and there that have zero purpose, plus all the phony looking CGI. All of this is compounded when we get the requisite tag scene at the end, with Samuel L. Jackson setting up The Avengers next summer. And then another tag scene after the credits. And then — after that — a trailer for The Avengers. Sure, this is a movie with a beginning, a middle, and an end, but it feels like a movie that’s an advertisement for another movie.

Film Credits

Official Site: captainamerica.marvel.com

Director: Joe Johnston

Writer: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

Producer: Kevin Feige

Cast: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Hayley Atwell, Richard Armitage, Natalie Dormer, Sebastian Stan and Neal McDonough

Trailer

Captain America: The First Avenger 3D

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