Cast: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Samuel L Jackson
Director: Joe Johnston
Blessed with an old-fashioned charm that you don't find in most modern blockbusters, 'Captain America: The First Avenger' is a simple, straightforward superhero film that places greater emphasis on story and characters over special effects and set-pieces.
Dating all the way back to World War II, this origin story stars Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, a scrawny Army reject who enlists for a radical experiment, becomes a buff soldier with superhuman strength, then takes on the Nazis and a power-crazy villain who's making dangerous plans for world domination.
ADD-afflicted teenagers seeking instant gratification in the form of relentless action and blinding VFX are likely to be underwhelmed by the film's beautiful art-deco look and feel, which is so far removed from the CGI-created worlds of 'Green Lantern' and 'Transformers 3'.
Captain America himself, an ideal of American manhood, is a traditional superhero whose weapon of choice is a red-white-and-blue shield. He single-handedly penetrates the army base of Nazi leader Johann Schmidt (played by Hugo Weaving), and releases hundreds of captured soldiers.
The film then is less spectacle and more a celebration of good old-fashioned derring-do. When the action becomes a bit monotonous in the second half, it's Chris Evans whose endearing portrayal of Captain America continues to keep your interest alive.
Evans also scores big points for investing humor and heart into the earlier puny avatar of Steve Rogers, giving us a protagonist to root for. Also terrific is Tommy Lee Jones as the gruff commanding officer who's skeptical of Rogers' abilities.
An enjoyable evening out if you're happy to embrace nostalgia, 'Captain America: The First Avenger' is good ol' fashioned fun; I'm going with three out of five. It leaves you looking forward to 'The Avengers' next year when Captain America will join 'Iron Man', 'Hulk', 'Thor' and other Marvel superheroes for a new adventure.
Gautam Datta, Kolkata
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