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Review: Captain America – The First Avenger

 Steve Rogers (Chris Evans in a really weird-looking body swap CGI) is a weedy little guy who desperately wants to join his buddies in the army fighting against the Nazis during the Second World War. Unfortunately he’s just not fit enough. After trying several times and being rejected as medically unfit he is spotted by a scientist Dr Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) who is impressed by his relentlessness. He has him recruited to a special scientific division under the command of Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) in the care of sexy English agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). Rogers is picked for a pioneering experiment to create a super soldier. Using a mixture of Erskine’s super-soldier serum and technology provided by Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) (Iron Man Tony Stark’s father) weedy CGI Rogers turn into a big beautiful pumped-up Chris Evans.

Erskine is German but he fled from Germany when his super-soldier experiments there went badly wrong and transformed the Nazi Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) into the megalomaniacal Red Skull. Red Skull is determined to take over the world for himself and to do this he acquires the Cosmic Cube an artefact left by Norse ‘gods’ which his pet scientist Arnim Zola (Toby Jones) uses to create weapons. He also forms his own fanatically loyal army of followers called Hydra.

To prevent the Americans destroying his advantage Red Skull sends an agent to kill Dr Erskine and destroy his experiments. He manages to kill Erskine but is too late to destroy the experiment. However without Erskine the super-soldier experiment is abandoned.

Rogers is recruited to front a publicity campaign for war bonds, touring the country with dancing-girls in a cheesy Captain America costume. But it is not enough for Rogers and he wants to get involved in the fighting. When he hears that Red Skull has captured a large number of allied troops including his childhood friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Rogers goes behind enemy lines alone to the Hydra base and rescues almost 400 troops, including Bucky.

The story continues with Rogers being equipped with a leather Captain America costume, being given his iconic shield and hand-picking a squad of men to go around Europe wrecking Hydra’s bases and trying to stop Red Skull’s plans to dominate the world by destroying huge chunks of it.

This is film is a fine lead in to next year’s Avengers film and it really does a great job of setting up Cap’s back story. The wartime setting was pretty well done and I wouldn’t have minded seeing another Captain America film set back in that time but I doubt that will happen very soon. Red Skull was a bit of a one-note villain and his only motivation seems to be that he is mad and evil (which just like the comic-book character I suppose). It may not as good as Iron Man but it is better than Thor and the Incredible Hulk and has raised the stakes for The Avengers . After all this build up that film had better be spectacular

Rating 7/10

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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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