Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Steve Rogers has a dream.  All he wants to do is serve his country.  World War II is in full swing and he’s not going to let something like a medical deferment stop him.  You see, Rogers is small, weak and has a few health issues.  He can’t serve, as much as he wants to and as many times as he tries.  That’s where Dr. Abraham Erskine comes in.  He’s interested in using Rogers as a test subject.  Rogers agrees.  Even if it’s not for sure, it might get him into the armed forces.

Dr. Erskine has developed this serum that will turn an ordinary man into a super soldier.  He knows that Rogers is the right man for the job, despite the military’s skepticism.  Rogers is turned into a super-soldier.  The drawback is that the formula is lost, leaving Rogers as the only positive result.  This is useless to the military, as they were promised an entire army of super-soldiers.  But, they could always use him as a poster boy to sell war bonds…

This isn’t what Rogers signed up for.  Yes, he is serving his country, at least more so than when he started off.  The problem is that he’s going around in a silly costume that pleases civilians, but is seen as a joke by those on actual active duty.   When the opportunity presents itself, Rogers goes and saves his friend and many other soldiers, thus earning him the right to defend his country.  Rogers also brings back some good intelligence, giving him several more missions to go on.

HYDRA is the main group of bad guys.  They’re the Nazis' research wing and they’re developing some pretty nasty weapons.  If Rogers can take out the remaining factories, all will be saved.  HYDRA is led by Johann Schmidt.  He’s an earlier, failed attempt at the super-soldier.  To say he has issues is an understatement.  It’s not going to be easy to defeat Schmidt and HYDRA, but it is possible.

At this point, if you’ve been reading my reviews, you should have figured out that I’m going to watch the Avengers movie one of these days.  Of all the movies that feed into that movie, this one seems to be the most obvious in terms of setup.  It even has “The First Avenger” in the title.  (The only one that comes close is Thor.)  You even get a tie in or two.  In the beginning of the movie, Rogers and his friend are visiting the Stark Expo, hosted by Tony Stark’s father, Howard.  Howard Stark even plays an important role in the movie.  I don’t think that the references were too much.  It wasn’t really forced at all.

The movie took a while to get going.  There was a bit of setup and a while where we got to see what kind of person Rogers was.  I didn’t think it dragged, but the action doesn’t start immediately.  Rogers spends a good deal of time getting ready to be made into Captain America and spends a good deal of time before seeing action.  If you’re in it for the action, I don’t know that you’ll be disappointed, but you will have to wait for it.

Right now, the only movie I would want to see before seeing The Avengers is The Incredible Hulk.  I’ve seen Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Thor.  (I don’t think there are any other movies I need to see.  Please leave a comment if I’m mistaken.)  Of all the movies that I’d have to see, The Incredible Hulk is the one I’m not too crazy about.  If I hadn’t wanted to see The Avengers, I’d probably have watched this and the two Iron Man movies and maybe gotten around to watching Thor if it came on TV.  Since I don’t read comics, I don’t know how well it holds up to the comics, but it is definitely worth renting.

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