Captain America: The First Avenger

Out Now On-Demand

Action-adventure adaptation of the Marvel comic series, set in 1942, directed by Joe Johnson (The Rocketeer, The Wolfman).

After being deemed unfit for military service in WWII, a scrawny Steve Rogers (Chris Evans from Fantastic Four) volunteers for a top secret science project that turns him into Captain America, a super-soldier dedicated to defending justice and democracy against the Nazis.

The Captain's strength, endurance, agility, speed, reflexes, durability and healing are at the highest limits of natural human potential. The WWII confrontations lead to the ultimate foe in Red Skull (Hugo Weaving, The Matrix), Hitler's treacherous head of advanced weaponry, whose own plan for world domination involves a magical object known as The Tesseract.

Like with Fox’s X-Men: First Class, there’s a buzz from seeing a superhero flick play out in a period setting. Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger reaches back to the early ‘40s, pitting the Captain against the Nazis. It’s all very Indiana Jones and director Joe Johnston reaches back to his days working on both Jones and 1991’s The Rocketeer to envisage bright, vivid retro-futurist design.

There are tie-ins to other Marvel properties, naturally. The Cosmic Cube links to Thor, while Iron Man’s dad, Howard Stark (a Downey Jr-ish Dominic Cooper), has plenty to do as an inventor/designer on the payroll of the US government. The film’s climax is, unfortunately a bit of a whimper, saving any loose ends for The Avengers film next year, where all established heroes will finally get to fight alongside each other.

It’s the unique moments in Captain America that leave an impression. A highlight is a sequence where the Captain, with nothing better to do, is suited up and sent around the country performing a song-and-dance routine in a stage show. It’s a meta-moment; kids are shown reading Captain America comic books as the man becomes a propaganda figurehead for the war effort.

It would have been ideal to have more moments like these in what is otherwise a fairly standard origin tale. Nonetheless, flawless effects – including making a pre-captain Chris Evans look like a twig – plus top performances from the likes of Stanley Tucci, Hugo Weaving and Tommy Lee Jones, ensure an old-fashioned quality to this appealing matinee-style adventure.

A.V. Club

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For the most part, it manages to balance laughs, genuinely rousing moments, and a fully packed agenda into something fleet enough to keep running under the weight of its rich ambitions.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

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It goes without saying it's preposterous. But it has the texture and takes the care to be a full-blown film.

Christchurch Press (Margaret Agnew)

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If you like your comicbook action pulpy and sweetly old-fashioned (our hero has never been kissed so don't expect much raunch) this may keep you entertained until the next superhero flick rolls along. Which should be any second now.

Empire (UK)

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Charming, handsome and full of pep – all 70 year-old Cap lacks is a knockout blow. Still, Johnston should be saluted for old-fashioned heart in a cynical age, while Marvel should be confined to barracks for cynical marketing.

Hollywood Reporter

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Sticking to its simplistic, patriotic origins, where a muscular red, white and blue GI slugging Adolf Hitler in the jaw is all that's required, Captain America trafficks in red-blooded heroes, dastardly villains, classy dames and war-weary military officers.

New York Times

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Has a winningly pulpy, jaunty, earnest spirit.

NZ Herald (Russell Baillie)

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Mission accomplished, fairly enjoyably yes, but that's about it.

Total Film (UK)

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The final piece of the Avengers jigsaw falls efficiently into place: decent acting, decent action, a few too many “we’re all heroes inside” platitudes. But it’s no star-spangled sick-maker, either.

Variety (USA)

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As Marvel heroes go, Captain America must be the most vanilla of the lot.

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One of the best of the Marvel bunch. Reminiscent a bit of Indiana Jones; a period set film of a normal man with 'superman' abilities. Fantastic


America, f**k yeah!

It's too short, rushed, squeezed in to too tight a run time to please middle American audiences - but, it's undeniably fun. Pitched right in the family film market - Joe Johnston (director of the awful 'The Wolfman' and less awful 'Jurassic Park 3') delivers a film owing lots to his mate Spielberg's "Indiana Jones" - and aside from a dumb-ass villain (a red faced camp-as a row of tents Hugo Weaving)and titchy run time, it's great no-brainer fun. Chris Evans is good - and the special effects that make him titchy then hugey are cool and it's fun to see Tommy Lee Jones being, er, Tommy Lee Jones. And the ending? Okay - as a fan of THE AVENGERS graphic novels this left me and my 5 year old desperate for mid-2012! 3 stars - but 4 if the DVD adds a much needed 40 minutes :)


Surprisingly Dull

I had high hopes for this superhero flick. However the plot was dull. The character Captain America had about as much depth as Superman. If I had 5 hands, it would only get 2 thumbs up.


Saved the BEST (AVENGER) for last!!

WWII one of the Darkest Chapters in Human History, We needed Heroes then like we need Heroes now. APPLY within.


A MUST FOR ALL MARVEL FANS!!!

This movie was a great adaptation of the Captain America comic series!! I thoroughly enjoyed it! Very true to the comic and would probably be quite a good movie for people who are not Marvel fans especially with the big budget effects and great acting! Excellent movie, I can't wait for The Avengers to come out now after seeing this!!


Enjoyable - A Fun Night Out

Full of action and romance. Love it.


Chris Evans Movie... oops, I mean Captain America.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was a refreshingly different from other Marvel big screen flicks & rather than saying it was better than Thor I reckon it was equally as good. I mean, both flicks delivered on action & hero hotness & afew good laughs. Bring on The Avengers!


Super

One of the best super hero movies ever.


Good

Maybe it's because I have such high expectations for all Marvel adapted films, but Cap wasn't as good as I had hoped for. The one thing I anticipated the most in this was seeing Cap kick ass, and a lot of it; I wish there had been a lot more of this. However it was a decent movie, definitely worth a watch. Oh and as for the now customary teaser, if you're a diehard fan then don't bother staying to watch, it was the same Avengers teaser that had been on the internet well over a month before the movie was released.


AWESOME

I love it, storyline closly adds up to the comic only with a couple of changes for the avenger sake. Not quiet as good as iron-man but pretty damn close.