‘Captain America’ DVD Review

Director: Joe Johnston

Starring: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones

Plot: At the height of World War II a young, patriotic American, Steve Rogers, keeps getting turned away from recruitment due to his small stature and poor health. When given the opportunity to participate in a experiment to become a ‘Super Soldier’ he leaps at the chance.

Review: The final addition to the Marvel prequels arrives to finally set the stage for The Avengers next year and like the others it holds up well as a stand alone adventure flick, carrying the high standard of quality that we’ve come to expect since Iron Man (although that film is yet to be beaten). Like the others this is structured around a simple character arc and Chris Evans is a perfect fit for the part. Although he was an unexpected choice, especially having already played three other comic characters, he comes across as genuine without being cheesy, which is undoubtedly the biggest challenge a movie like this is going to face.

Evan’s interaction with the other characters and his progression from runt to propaganda icon to full blown super soldier elevates the movie above the mainstream perception of the character. Regardless of what is going on around him, Rogers/Capt. America is a believable character he sometimes feels as though he is reluctant to take on the mantle he’s been given without ever wavering in his conviction that he has to play his part in the war effort.

Whilst Rogers is a well fleshed out character and his relationship with Hayley Atwell and ‘Love Interest’ is well played some characters lack adequate development in spite of generous screen time. Atwell, as Agent Carter is as good as Evans but has no backstory or motivation. She waxes lyrical about how tough it is being a woman in her career without explaining why she so adamantly pursues the job. Hugo Weaving is a perfect fit for Red Skull but beyond the typical villain tropes there’s very little to him. He’s crazy, he’s like a Nazi but worse and is super strong but we never get a sense of who he is although much of the first act is devoted to him.

The only other gripe is a lack of a climatic finale. The assault on the base and the punch-up in the plane is all well and good, and the conversation between Roger’s and Carter is spot on, but it lacks something that would really make it an exciting finish. It also defies logic, as Capt. America pilots the ship he seems to forget the dozens of options available to him – including going to the door and jumping out.

In the end though, it was a well put together piece of action cinema that will appease comic nerds and normal folk alike, and sets things up nicely for the spectacular we want to see in 2012.