With The Avengers priming for release in 2012, Captain America: The First Avenger was bound to receive a lot of hype. Thankfully, it lives up to its hype and delivers a classic superhero film that will be enjoyable to both fans of the Captain America franchise and new viewers alike.
Steve Rogers is what you would refer to as ‘the little guy’ when the film begins. He has tried and failed to join the military on five different occasions in five different cities. He has the body mass of an anorexic high school girl coupled with powerful asthma. But he is dedicated to the core of his being to serving his country, to protecting the innocent, to being a good man. Rogers is eventually offered a chance, which leads him to boot camp and eventually to a secret underground facility in which he is turned into Captain America.
The interweaving of the entire Avengers franchise is plain in Captain America. We have significant elements of the story that are parts of Iron Man and Thor’s mythos. Howard Stark, Tony’s father, is a major character in Captain America and displays a character very much like his son. As well as that, there is a short clip post-credits in every pre-Avengers film that relate very much to The Avengers film.
A classic hero
Captain America is much more like a hero than the rest of his Avengers counterparts. He is a classic good guy, almost too perfect as a character to become associable. But the themes of bullying are ones that many viewers may have experienced at one time in their life. As well as that, the patriotism of the unsubtly named Captain America is a direct affirmation of the movie’s core idea.
A clichéd but enjoyable story
The story of Captain America is relatively good. There is a crazy cultist villain with too much power. There is a beautiful and smart woman. There is a fairly standard story of a rise to power and the responsibilities it entails. Of course, with Captain America, it is not his own character flaws that hold him back from his role as a hero; it is other people and their agendas. He is restricted to being either a lab rat or a show monkey. He feels confined and useless to the American public since he is not out there on the front lines, risking his life and using his abilities to serve and protect.
Gorgeous visuals and designing
The set and design of the film and all its various aspects are designed gorgeously. The entire film feels very period in the way they have shot and lit each scene. Rogers’ outfits range from the awfully showy to the pragmatic. The outfits of every other character feel at home in the film and its era. The visual effects and CGI are wonderful, without the extravagance of Thor or the complexity of Iron Man; it still manages to pull of the fantastic in a way that fits the overall mood of Captain America.
A fairly well written script with only a few blunders
The script is well written. While being somewhat clichéd, the character of Captain America is so earnestly good that it comes off as rather refreshing in a time of antiheroes and morally ambiguous protagonists—not that I have anything against those. Humorous moments pop up when a villain throws a young hostage into the ocean to aid in his getaway. Rogers immediately goes to save the kid, who tells him to catch the villain as he can swim. Other moments feel forced and so clichéd that they are simply annoying. When he is kissed by a random hero-worshipping female, the leading lady just happens to walk into the room at that moment. It is a device used countless times in Hollywood films to the point where it should deserve its own name.
Overall, Captain America is a great film with a solid story and some good dialogue that is beautiful to watch. Captain America rounds off the eclectic cast of The Avengers. He is the soldier of the group, the man who is good down to the core of his being, selfless and heroic and a true patriot.