Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #263 Captain America: The First Avenger

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Movie #263 Captain America: The First Avenger

(2011, US, d. Joe Johnston)

Though I haven’t been as bummed about this season’s superhero movies as almost everyone else has (I thought Thor was quite good, actually), I think it’s a general consensus that Captain America: The First Avenger is the best superhero film of the year. That said, it is still quite far from perfect. First off, the biggest problem with the film is the character arc. In any story, especially the superhero story, a character must go through an arc that culminates in the climax. There is none of that in The First Avenger. First off, Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans) is already the perfect man. Therefore, the arc he goes through is basically completed at the beginning of the film, with his actual transformation into the superhuman he becomes.  According to Dr. Abraham Erskine (played by Stanley Tucci), since Rogers was always weak and small growing up, he will appreciate the value of strength. However, instead of exploring that concept further by giving Rogers/Captain America a superiority complex, we are left at that. He is the perfect human being, and there is no doubt in that. I am not suggesting, though, that this formula does not work. In fact, for some reason, it does and I think a large part is due to the genre of the film and because of the skill of the filmmakers in telling a compelling story that takes place in the height of WWII. What also surprisingly works here is the love story between Rogers and agent Peggy Carter (played by the very classy Hayley Atwell). Their relationship is the closest thing to an arc the film has and it does a very good job of capturing the interest of the audience. Apart from that, the film also does a great job of capturing the feel of an old 40’s film. All the lighting, makeup, and set design is inspired from the era – and to an extent, so are the performances. It is this combination of elements that works, and works very well.

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  1. Steve Rogers is hotter than hell, and his screen presence resembles that of another superhero (Christopher Reeve as Superman).This movie is a lot of fun, with subtle jokes and plenty of war action to please the audience. What I liked the most was the historical background given to the story, which makes it kind of plausible.
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  2. I agree with you for the most part, but I think First Class was the best superhero movie of the summer.
    Love your posts, keep up the good work!

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