My son and I saw an advance movie screening of Captain America: The First Avenger (Marvel Studios) last night. In this superhero movie, a wimpy Steve Rogers tries several times to join the army in the 1940’s. He failed every time until he was recruited to take part in a secret program. He’s injected with an experimental serum that transform him into a super soldier (Captain America). Meanwhile, Hydra (the Nazi’s science and weapons program) has developed a weapon that can destroy America. In the second half of the movie, it’s Captain America and his men fighting the Red Skull and his Hydra minions. Bottom line: of the four superhero movies I’ve seen this summer, Captain America is only third on my list. I like Captain America: The First Avenger, but I like Thor (first) and Green Lantern (second) better. I did like the film better than X-Men: First Class. Captain America: The First Avenger will open this Friday, July 22nd.
Here are seven things you should know about Captain America: The First Avenger movie:
Bye-bye Nazis, hello Hydra
I have not read a lot of Captain America comic books (especially during his early years fighting in WW II). However, from what I can remember, Captain America fought the Nazis in WW II and not Hydra. In the movie, Red Skull is the leader of Hydra, which was not fond of either the Americans or the Germans. Most of the movie was about Captain America fighting against Hydra instead of the Nazis. I know storylines change all the time, but I’m not sure how well this will sit with die-hard Captain America fans. Other changes include: Red Skull is as strong as Captain America, Bucky seems to be bulkier than he is in the comic books, and Captain America’s wings are painted on his mask instead of sticking out like tiny wings.
No Avengers movie preview
We were expecting a preview of the new Avengers movie at the end. But after all the credits rolled by (about ten minutes), all we saw was a message telling us that Captain America will be in the new Avengers movie. There’s no need to stay around after the movie is over. Just head for the car while everyone else hang around for the extra that isn’t there.
Stan Lee makes another appearance
Stan Lee (creator of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Avengers, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, and Doctor Strange) makes an appearance in the movie during a medal ceremony for Captain America. I’ve seen him in many Marvel movies and still get a kick when he delivers a one-liner in a superhero movie.
If you want see a shield fly at you, watch the film in 3D
There really wasn’t a lot of great 3D effects in the First Avenger movie. It’s mainly a hand-to-hand combat movie that doesn’t need a lot of special 3D effects. However, there was a nifty 3D scene of Captain America’s shield flying at you. It made me duck and I could hear the audience say, “oooooh.”
Rated PG-13 for intense action scenes and creepy Red Skull
The Captain America movie is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action. There was no sex or nudity, just a couple of short kissing scenes. There may have been some brief profanity, but I don’t remember hearing any. The intense action scenes did include killing and blood, but nothing gory. The Red Skull may scare very young children, but my eight-year old didn’t find him scary looking.
Take a pee when Captain America joins the Chorus Line
The movie is about 125 minutes long. The first half of the movie is fairly slow because the movie takes it’s time developing the origin of Captain America. If you or your kid need to go to the restroom, I would go after Steve Rogers has been injected with the super soldier serum. After Steve Rogers is transformed into Captain America, the movie spends the next ten to fifteen minutes showing Captain America in a broadway like show.
The Human Torch is now Captain America
Chris Evans is the star of the movie. He plays the role of Captain America and Steve Rogers. If you’ve seen the Fantastic Four movies, then you probably know Evans as the Human Torch in those movies. Evans does a splendid job playing the shy and reserved Steve Rogers, who is practically the complete opposite of the brash and short-tempered Johnny Storm (except for the physique). The Captain America movie also features Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter and love interest), Tommy Lee Jones (Colonel Chester Phillips), Hugo Weaving (Johann Schmidt / Red Skull), Sebastian Stan (James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes — sidekick in the comic books), Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark — Iron Man/Tony Stark’s father), Richard Armitage (Heinz Kruger), Stanley Tucci (Dr. Abraham Erskine), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Toby Jones (Dr. Arnim Zola), Neal McDonough (Timothy ‘Dum Dum’ Dugan), Derek Luke (Gabe Jones), Kenneth Choi (Jim Morita), JJ Feild (James Montgomery Falsworth), and Bruno Ricci (Jacques Dernier). The movie was directed by Joe Johnston (The Wolfman, Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III, October Sky).