Published July 22, 2011
The summer’s super hero race has come to a finish and the last ‘supe’ out of the blocks just happens to be the best. “Captain America: The First Avenger” is the best of the Marvel flicks, and will probably be the most fun you’ll have at the movies this summer.
Director Joe Johnston (“The Rocketeer,” “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”) seamlessly blends the nostalgia of WWII and the science-fiction gadgetry of H.G. Wells into a beautifully crafted adventure.
Chris Evans (“Fantastic Four”) plays frail Steve Rogers, chosen by the military to undergo a top secret experiment that transform the scrawny young man into Captain America, a super-human soldier who will win World War II. Forget Hitler, though. Cap meets an even greater threat with the diabolical Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) and his Hydra foot soldiers who are using the “science of the gods,” referencing an energy source created by the characters from “Thor,” to attempt global domination.
With the flair and razzle dazzle of a USO show, “Cap” stylishly captures a pastiche version of life in the 1940s, from the elaborate set designs of vintage New York City to women as glamorous as Veronica Lake, to an elaborate USO dance and newsreel montage featuring an original song by Disney vet Alan Menken.
“Cap” isn’t just a nostalgia trip, though. Like a well-designed game of dominoes, the movie features some thrilling action pieces that fall into place leading to an exciting finale.
Rounding out the film is a stellar cast with standout performances. Stanley Tucci, Tommy Lee Jones, Toby Jones, Dominic Cooper and the lovely Hayley Atwell pull the ink from the comic pages and bring “Captain America” to patriotic life.
“Captain America” sets up the eagerly anticipated 2012 movie event “The Avengers.” “Cap” incorporates plot elements of previous Marvel films “Iron Man” and “Thor”, fleshing out the celluloid Marvel universe to create the stage where Cap, Iron Man, The Hulk and Thor will meet.
Combining mythology, patriotism and a classic war-film setting, “Captain America: The First Avenger” is certainly the classiest in the super hero genre and it builds the anticipation for next year’s uniting of “The Avengers.”