07 August 2011

Captain America -- A review from a new fan

Long time visitors of the Impala's Trunk know that I am not a comic book fan. I don't read them, I don't know how to read them. Everything I know about a comic story or a hero is through movies and TV shows.

I was really looking forward to Captain America. I didn't know too much about the story and the characters, so I actually borrowed my friend's The Avengers the animation movie and see what's the fuss is about. I got the feel about what The Avengers is like as a team and it helps me to see how everyone fits into the story.  

Captain America has always been about the journey of Steve Rogers, a physically weak young man with a pure good heart, who wanted to save lives and serve his country. Steve Rogers volunteered for a research project and was chosen as the first human test subject for the super-soldier serum developed by the scientist Dr Abraham Erskine. The serum worked. But Captain America was like a poster boy for the army, an icon for hope. Some soldiers didn't see him as a real solider, but when it was his time to shine, he shined. Captain America was lost to the world after WWII when he hurled into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. His body was recovered from the ice 70 years later (aka present time). Now he is a member of The Avengers with Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Haweye, Hulk and Nick Fury.

The movie, Captain America did not disappoint. If you don't know the story of Steve Rogers and The Avengers, it's ok but you will miss details you don't even know they are awesome. Having watched the animation to get myself up to speed for the backstory, the first time viewing of the movie was still a bit too much. But I really really enjoyed it. The thing about this movie is that it had such great material (the story and the characters), it was packed with information and they tried to tell you everything about Steve Rogers. The downside is some scenes happened too quickly (and therefore perhaps forgettable), I had to watch it again. The movie made more sense the second time I watched it.

Contain spoilers

I guess what I am trying to say is that the pace of the story could be better and the story could be a bit more tighten. Like some scenes deserve a better explanation, if you know what I mean? Two scenes came to mind and I thought they were supposed to be significant -- the choosing of the shield and the ending.

I assume the shield of Captain America is very significant yes? So in that scene, when Howard Stark was introducing different types of shields for Steve Rogers to choose from, it was too convenient for Steve Rogers to catch the shield that was dumped on the floor and went "oh look what's that... humm.. that's the shield I am destined to wield."

The other scene that could've been explained better is the ending. Not everyone knew Captain America survived the fall and the ice, I feel that the writers kinda assumed everyone knew that or perhaps it was their intention. I don't know for sure. For the ending, I would've connected it back to the first scene of the movie, revealed the frozen shield and Captain America and leave it there. Nick Fury (aka Samuel L Jackson) could be in the teaser and the trailer after credit. It was almost too spoilery to see Steve Rogers waking up in bed, ran out to Broadway and stopped by Nick Fury where he told Rogers he had been asleep for 70 years.

Captain America was not as perfect of Thor. I was totally satisfied after Thor, there was not a single thing I would change. But with Captain America, I actually expected much more, because it was the first avenger, and there were a few scenes I could see changing. But again, I really enjoyed it. I would seriously watch it again.


I am impressed with the cast. I thought each character were well written. Chris Evans exceeded my expectation, he did a really really good job. Although I am sure Jensen Ackles would've been so much more awesome! Anyway.. I thought Chris Evans was really good at playing a pure heart innocent 'won't even kill a fly' soldier. I thought his intention was good, he never gives up even when he was tinier than me. In fact, that was one of my favorite parts of the movie, seeing Steve Rogers got bullied but he never ever gave up. There is almost nothing special about Steve Rogers, he was just a young man with a good heart. He was selfless. Steve Rogers was nothing like Tony Stark who was show-y and he was nothing like Thor who was a bad-tempted god. The team of Avengers has different personalities and egos, I guess that's why it will be so important for Steve Rogers to lead.

Other characters I like:

Surprise #1: Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell). I thought her character was very well written. I really like the chemistry between her and Captain America. She was a strong female character and she looked really classy. One thing I am very impressed with female characters in comic books are their strong presence. They kick ass and they don't need a hero to rescue them, in fact, it's often the other way around. Although Peggy wasn't a superhero but her character was strong and at times, she reminded me of Smallville's Lois Lane.

Surprise #2: Dr. Abraham Erskine (played by Stanley Tucci). Stanley Tucci was fantastic at fixing people! LOL.... From The Devil Wears Prada to Captain America. He was perfect for the role. I love his mentoring role and I love the compassion he brought to the role.

Surprise #3: Col. Chester Phillips (played by Tommy Lee Jones). Who doesn't love this guy? I mean, it's probably the first and only time I declare my love for Tommy Lee Jones. I love him in this movie! Col Phillips was awesome! He was almost too cute to be a Colonial!

Surprise #4: Howard Stark (played by Dominic Cooper). I didn't expect Howard Stark (Tony Stark's father) to be heavily featured in this film. I mean, Howard Stark was quite a prominent figure in Captain America. He was a contributing engineer for the super-soldier serum project, he went to the war with them, he invented the shield and uniform for Captain America, he flew the jet to the enemy line, he was helpful, he went looking for the body of Captain America after the war... The guy was everywhere!

Easter Eggs

- Cosmic cube -- That's the glowing blue thing in Thor, right?

- Bucky -- Is he dead? He didn't die in the animation.

- Howard Stark & The Stark Expo -- I love the Stark Expo reference and Howard Stark was involved since WWII.

- This is probably nothing.. but Redskull asked Captain America: "Tell me, why are you so special?" If Jensen Ackles played Captain America, I swear he could've replied, "Because of my perky nipples."

The Avengers
So, I stuck around and watch the stuff after the trailer, it was worth it. If you haven't watched the leaked Avengers trailer, you must watch until the curtain draws.

To wrap up, I really really like Captain America, I can't wait for the DVD... And I can't wait to watch The Avengers. It is an ambitious movie and it is Joss Whedon's first major motion picture. I am just dying to see more Joss's stuff!!

Did you like Captain America? What do you think?

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