'Captain America: The First Avenger' Review By THE JOKER

"I've knocked out Adolf Hitler over 200 times..."
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Visuals

Marvel and Disney had teamed up and brought us back into a world where comic books could be made into wonderful films. They grabbed our attention with the Iron Man series and then got everyone excited for the "first avenger" Captain America. This is a film that had me hyped, ready to see more of what we saw from the previous films; but essentially let me down. The benefit of it was, it did lead into The Avengers film and it brought Captain America back from the dead.

The story, in the beginning was very intriguing and pulls you right in. They grab your attention and put you on the edge of your seat to start it all. They truly made us feel for Steve with the writing as he struggled to become a contributor to the heroic efforts being done overseas, while showing us he had the heart of a lion. We were ready to see Captain America.

I very much appreciated the way they did the origin of Red Skull... It was not some long, drawn out process and it wasn't too short that is was cheesy. It showed us how he became who he was and introduced us to his dark, twisted mind. After Steve Rogers takes the serum and becomes Captain America, the tone of the entire film seems to change and takes us downhill to a bad Zack Snyder feel film...

It was a very interesting idea to have Captain America as a stage performer without letting him be a hero right away. While we may have hated every moment of that scenario, it did do it's job of make us desperately want to see Captain America as a hero. The problem I have with it though is that they took way too long getting us there, which is why the film felt like it was too short in length. That was poor writing at its best. Then the rest just felt like a classic comic book cheesefest from there. This film just lost the tone that Iron Man had set up for The Avengers, and we did not see it again until he woke up in the hospital bed, many years into the future. I was finally saying to myself "Ok, here is that Marvel tone I know and love."

The acting was either spectacular or horrible. There was not very much in between. I felt the secondary roles were very weak in their delivery. The German spy who took the cyanide in Captain America's first chase effort was pathetic. He truly was reading his lines with no attempt at a real life expression for what he would be doing in that exact scenario. The assistant to Red Skull was the same thing, until he was in the interrogation room with Tommy Lee Jones. Now, Sebastian Stan as Rogers best friend, I felt, actually did a really good job. He was really the only secondary actor I though did his role extremely well. The rest of the non-main characters were decent, but not necessarily spectacular.

Hugo Weaving as Red Skull really let me down. When I first saw he was cast as the character, I was beyond excited. His was acting I would describe in this as decent, but a lot weaker than what we usually expect from him. I felt he was trying to hard to achieve a German accent, rather than deliver his lines with an effective voice. That was big part of why I think his role may have felt weaker. We wasn't getting as much dynamics and range of emotion from him because it was too difficult to do with the accent he went with.

Chris Evans as Captain America I would describe as ok. I feel he started of kind of weak. At a time where we are supposed to be connecting and sympathizing with him, it was hard to do. It simply felt like he was trying to hard to make us feel that way, and it came off cheesy; but he is a very young actor and I feel he got a lot better in The Avengers. Once he became Captain America, this is where you can tell he researched the hero himself as the hero. It is evident he had studied and trained a lot more to be that person than his former puny-self. Which is fine, but I wish he would have been that way with the character as a whole!

Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark brings the word intriguing to mind. He was wonderful, yet strange. This was of course perfect for his role. I could totally see this guy being the father of Tony. I was extremely pleased with his character.

Stanley Tucci is one of those guys that I just will never understand why he never gets a lot of roles. He is a man who is every character he plays and almost always one of my favorite parts of the films he is in. This film was no exception. His facial expressions are among the best I have ever seen in Hollywood. He delivers with his tone, body language and just his overall being. He was able to do a realistic accent and still give us quite a bit of range with his tone! I felt he had one of the better death sequences I have ever seen on film. Flawless performance.

Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter was excellent. She delivered her lines flawlessly! One thing that really stuck with me when it came to her in this was that she was amazing at speaking with her eyes. She gave us perfect facial expressions throughout the film. I feel she was the best actor/actress in the entire film, just ahead of Tucci...

Tommy Lee Jones is such a gifted person in the art of acting. While this may not have been the greatest role we have ever seen him do, it was still really well done. While this line is not relevant to his acting, it makes me laugh each time I hear it "I brought you dinner!" Just excellent delivery of tone of his voice. There was no need to create an accent or anything for his character. Why do it when your own voice is epic enough!

The directing is where I really get upset with this film. I feel they were handed a wonderful story to tell. There was just way too much cheese. There were only a couple of lines in the script that were, most of the cheese came from the visuals and the overall feel of the film. Then there were things like the meetings of Red Skull and Captain America. I really wish they would of had more hand-to-hand combat between the two instead of using all these high technology. I am definitely not against it being there, since it was present in the comics and was needed to lead into The Avengers, I just wish they did not rely on that to create their "great visual" battles. Most of my issue came from the visual package for the tone, which I will dwell into below. The ending, was absolutely perfect though. It really set the tone for what should a movie in the Marvel film universe. This was something the film lacked until this point.

Alan Silvestri was very decent. It wasn't completely over the top wonderful, but it was still pretty good and fit the film perfectly. You had your hero theme, action theme, villain theme, and touching moments theme with a military twist! It definitely did what it needed to accompany the film. I appreciate the American march style theme for Captain America. It was perfect for his character. I liked the German feel meets the Imperial March for Red Skull, but I felt there needed to be more moving inner voicing to give his theme more depth and provide us with an even darker tone. But like I said, overall, it was a good score!

The visual package is what really drug this film down for me. Everything just felt way too over the top. There was just way too much CGI. When he was skinny, you could tell they CGIed his head to a skinny body. His head was much bigger than the body beneath it. There were even times where you could see the lines between his real skin and the fake CGI one... Even a lot of the buildings were CGI and it really effected the feel of the film and killed that tone I have been preaching about. Like the scene where Captain America dropped the bomb into the top of the tank and jumped out of the way in slow motion; the scene screamed the bad version of Zack Snyder. The tank was poorly sized and the effect just looked and felt fake. I really hate when films rely on CGI... it kills the tone of the film. I will say that when we finally go to see hand-to-hand action sequences, they were really well done. Very realistic on what would happen in a fight. These sequences were also very visually exciting, something that Joss Whedon realized with the character in The Avengers.

To me, Iron Man set us up for what everything should feel like, and this fell way short. While it is enjoyable, I will rewatch it several times over, it is much weaker than it's other Marvel films. I understand they wanted this film to be it's own thing, but it is still in that story arc universe and I wish they would have realized that. I hope everyone enjoyed this read. I am open to discuss anything and everything in the article.


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Comments (58)


    @bryanyentz Thanks man! That is fine by me! Perhaps before I post my reviews, I can send them to you to get proof read or whatever! Like I said before, I got my degree in music, not English! XD

    But thanks! I appreciate the feedback! I look forward to seeing your opinions on my reviews!

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  2. Bryan Yentz

    Excellent review, bud. While I would have been harsher in my rating, you tapped practically EVERY problem I had with it. This is by far one of your strongest, most well-written reviews. To better help you with your critique construction and execution, I'll take some of your paragraphs herein and rewrite them to show you how I'd go about presenting them--not that you did anything truly wrong--I just want to offer you another means of cleaning and expressing your opinions. Still, your material is coming along quite well, man.

    2 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  3. jasdjqs

    @mcleve02 Your welcome

    2 years agoby @jasdjqsFlag


    @jasdjqs haha don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the film, but because this was a part of a series, I had to judge it compared to that... that is where it fell short for me... But I am glad you see my points! It's nice that people aren't being dicks about me tearing a movie that most people are fanboys over... haha Thanks for continuing to read my reviews!

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  5. jasdjqs

    Nice dude, I did enjoy the movie better than you but i do see your points

    2 years agoby @jasdjqsFlag


    @redcameraman haha to each his own my friend! Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the film. It just was not what I was expecting and I have to be as fair of a critic as I can be! haha

    BUT I am glad you read and liked my review none the less! Thanks man!

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag


    @skywise I will definitely see that. I liked him a lot in this for sure (Cooper). Him and Hayley that is, and not just for the manly reasons. I am glad to see you agree man!! Thanks for reading!

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag


    @bawnian-dexeus haha alright... just being your goofy self then! XD

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag


    @crypt Yeah, it is but just barely over We Were Soldiers... haha But I am glad you still liked it man!

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag


    @ghostman haha Fight Club is still my favorite! Now are you going to comment and read my review since you make me suffer through yours!!! XD

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag


    @instead8909 I am glad to see you agree! Yeah, it just did not feel like a Marvel film... it felt more Batman Foreverish... IDK, but thanks for reading! I always appreciate it!

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  12. T. King (Red Camera Man)

    @mcleve02: Nice review. I thought this movie was great though, AND better than "Thor" (which both came out in 2011). I thought the cast was excellent, and I actually loved the visual effects/cinematography in this film; it made the WWII setting look stunning and fantastic in my opinion. I also think Chris Evans should stick to his role as Captain America instead of being that c*cky Human Torch in "Fantastic Four" and that douchebag character in "Scott Pilgrim."

    2 years agoby @redcameramanFlag


    @diaigma Thanks man! I am glad to see you agree!

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  14. skywise

    @mcleve02 Aside from the hulk movies, this is my least favorite of the Marvel/Disney stuff that has come out. It's not bad at all, just...different. But I have to admit to say, I was never a Cap fan. I mean...I should say he was never one of my favorited characters.

    You are spot on with Dominic Cooper, that guy is a brilliant actor. If you enjoy his acting you MUST see The Devil's Double. He is f*cking amazing in that movie.

    Great review sir.

    2 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  15. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @mcleve02 I said no such thing

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  16. The Cryptkeeper: Resurrected

    @mcleve02 Not having read the comics (as you know or assumed) i enjoyed this movie. I persinally felt Evans did well as Cap America, and i think i enjoyed this movie a little more than you did! i have not seen this since theatres, though... anyhow, great review! longest to date i think. it seems that the previous comments seem to think so as well.

    2 years agoby @cryptFlag

  17. Nicholaus XX

    @ghostman -- Damn..

    Not too far off, though. One of the Saw reviews were over 2,600.

    2 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  18. Ghostman

    Correction: It was 2,785 words.

    2 years agoby @ghostmanFlag

  19. Ghostman

    @XxNickTheFilmCriticXx Longer than the Saw reviews. I think The Avengers was over one thousand words or something.

    2 years agoby @ghostmanFlag

  20. Nicholaus XX

    @mcleve02 -- Damn you!

    @ghostman -- It's not that I didn't like it. It was just difficult to read long reviews after being mentioned 5+ times a day, from other reviewers. Yeah, I saw. Really? Even longer than the Saw reviews?

    2 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  21. Ghostman

    I will admit, The Dark Knight and The Avengers have to be my longest reviews.

    2 years agoby @ghostmanFlag

  22. Ghostman

    @XxNickTheFilmCriticXx What, you don't like my longer reviews from the past? I've shortened them lately, and stopped reviewing movies.

    2 years agoby @ghostmanFlag

  23. WongFu

    On my first viewing of Capt. America I thought it was boring but entertaining in some spots. A trilogy would have been better, though I found it rushed.
    Enjoyed the review and I do agree with your assessment. Capt didn't feel like a hero to me until the end of it.

    2 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  24. Diaigma

    My sentiments exactly. Great review, sir! :P

    2 years agoby @diaigmaFlag


    @john-m See I am different... I would say this, then Hulk, then Iron Man 2, the Thor and the Iron Man... but to each his own. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the film! I am just being as honest as possible when I review from now on! But thanks for reading and thanks for the compliment!

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  26. John M

    @mcleve02: Good review and even though I enjoyed the film more then you I agree with a lot you said. Though I would contend that Thor is the worst of the current marvel films.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag


    @XxNickTheFilmCriticXx Forrest Gump most likely will be...

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag


    @bawnian-dexeus didn't like my review huh?

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  29. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    Eh, Meh, Heh :)

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag