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Film Review: Despite Disastrous Skinny Steve, ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ is Perfectly Imperfect

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CHICAGO – With mammoth special effects budgets carelessly puked into blockbuster films these days without story or heart, it’s effortless to wow audiences with beguiling explosions and one or two trademark, “The Matrix”-like innovations.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

And while “Captain America: The First Avenger” unsurprisingly doesn’t disappoint in that easily impressive department, the film ultimately succeeds where most comic book adaptations fail: a love connection you actually feel, a mostly cohesive story and a believable superhero who manages to inspire all without being too unrealistic.

Instead of saving the planet with supernatural powers, this man of steel merely wields a badass shield. As the World War II-set film is this summer’s only mainstream superhero flick, it already has advantages over the recent “Thor” and “Green Lantern”. “Captain America: The First Avenger” has taken great strides to embody a relatable hero who’s born into strength from weakness. Quite simply, his head’s on straight and his heart’s in the right place.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Captain America: The First Avenger”.

And while the costuming and American patriotism are well known, the layman is still confusingly hazy on what super powers fuel this superhero. Captain America is just blessed with strength and speed thanks to a somewhat realistic, government-administered serum. While this plot line directly pilfers from Jason Bourne’s films, Captain America refreshingly isn’t invincible.

Also, “Skinny Steve” Rogers (Chris Evans) gets a really freaking hard shield soon after he steps in a box and poops out a Herculean and strapping Captain America. If steroids would work that fast today, professional baseball players everywhere would be salivating with envy.

“Captain America: The First Avenger” stars Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Samuel L. Jackson, Dominic Cooper, Sebastian Stan, Richard Armitage, Toby Jones, Neal McDonough, Derek Luke, Kenneth Choi, JJ Feild and Bruno Ricci from director Joe Johnston and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. The film, which has a running time of 125 minutes, is rated “PG-13” for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action. “Captain America: The First Avenger” opened on July 22, 2011.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Captain America: The First Avenger” review.

Chris Evans as Captain America in Captain America: The First Avenger
Chris Evans as Captain America in “Captain America: The First Avenger”.
Image credit: Jay Maidment, Marvel Studios

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Captain America: The First Avenger” review.

Anonymous's picture

Good review

Well-defended review. Thanks!

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