Captain America: The First Avenger

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captain americaLike so many of the super hero films we’re seeing lately, this focuses on the early days of the hero. That means more Nazis.Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a thin kid that keeps trying to get into the Army to fight in the war. Knowing that he’ll eventually become the muscular Captain America, I kept going all Benjamin Buttons on the screen, trying to see if I could tell how the head of Evans was super-imposed on this thin frame.

I’m guessing comic book fans will welcome seeing the guy that played Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films jumping on board this project – with boots and shield – to fight crime.A scientist, played by the always reliable Stanley Tucci, gets Rogers in a program that will turn him into a Super Soldier. It looks like some crazy lightning bolts and radiation are shot into him, and he comes out looking like somebody that was injected with steroids.With that, it’s off to deal with the crusty boss in the Army that doesn’t like him (who does Tommy Lee Jones like in movies?). Rogers also has to stop the Nazis and the HYDRA organization, let by Red Skull. It was perfect to cast Hugo Weaving, the voice the fan boys all know and love from V for Vendetta. And just like the villain in Harry Potter – he’s missing his nose.

With Comic Con invading San Diego this weekend, it’s the perfect time for this movie – the last of the Marvel Comics set-up super heroes for next summer’s huge Avengers.

It was enjoyable to see a super hero that doesn’t have the arrogance of a Tony Stark. He really did have that all-american earnest boy, underdog vibe, which made for a fun popcorn flick. Although, not having that arrogance also means we miss out on the humor those films have.

The sets were fabulously done (although the 3-D completely unnecessary). It was a blast watching the USO tour, the patriotic colors, the art-deco style buildings, and all the great cars – which reminded me so much of Dick Tracy (the Warren Beatty version).

The movie also has touches of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spider Man, and a few others. Hayley Atwell as the love interest is cute, and has the perfect hairstyle and lipstick to make you think of a pin-up from the ‘40s.

It was also interesting that there was more to her character. She didn’t just sit at home waiting for her super hero. She had a nice relationship with him when he was still a scrawny soldier, and she’s tough and good at her job, much like Lois Lane in the Superman films. She even decks a soldier that gets out of line.

One other cast member I was really impressed with was Toby Jones, a British actor that resembles Truman Capote. He was great as a scientist working with the Nazis and Red Skull.

Director Joe Johnston gave us The Wolfman last year. Let’s be glad this is a lot better. It’s also a lot better than Thor, Iron Man 2, and…I’m glad it got rid of the bad taste Green Lantern left in my mouth.The film didn’t take a lot of risks, but it’s a great summer popcorn flick.

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