"Captain America: The First Avenger" is the last of the big four Avengers to throw himself at the big-screen before next summer's major Marvel Studios event, and he doesn't disappoint. If you were worried about how the star-spangled superhero would translate from paneled page to live-action (especially after that '90s-movie-that-must-not-be-referenced-again), worry no more: the movie is great and absolutely worth the wait.
After the jump, check out five reasons why you need to catch "The First Avenger" this weekend!
As if this wasn't already a given before the movie, you can now officially add another excellent villain to Hugo Weaving's already extensive list of fantastically memorable on-screen bad guys in the form of Johann Schmidt, better known as Red Skull. The HYDRA leader is ruthless, determined and ugly as sin — the perfect recipe for silver screen sadism.
Weaving is great, but I would split the film's best acting honors between Tommy Lee Jones and Toby Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips and Doctor Arnim Zola, respectively. The two aren't given the flashiest roles in the movie, but Tommy's loud performance and Toby's quiet one are two of the best takeaways from "Cap." Added bonus: the two share one-on-one screen time later in the film that is 100% scenery chewing. And maybe some steak chewing as well.
When Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield
Chris Evans does a great job as Steve Rogers, first giving us a clever and resourceful underdog to root for in Skinny Steve, and later a heavily muscled and astonishingly athletic hero in the form of Cap. But the character is clearly at his best when he's allowed to beat down bad guys without pausing to take their names. Cap's action sequences are impossible to look away from, providing fans with several stand-and-cheer moments that mostly revolve around utilizing Cap's shield as a bludgeon or projectile. For whatever faults the film has (and it does have a few), Cap's action scenes are not among them.
Long Time Coming
"The First Avenger" stretches out over a long period of time — not just in terms of modern-day bookending, but also in the context of World War II itself. Cap is given several years to grow into his own as a superhero, making him one of the most confident and experienced of the Marvel Studios heroes thus far (save for Thor, who's been hammering gods since he was in Asgardian diapers). The period work itself is fantastic to behold, which is another reason why Cap's long expanse of time is such a delight: it means that if we get a "First Avenger" sequel, we're practically guaranteed a return to the front lines of World War II, if only in flashback form.
"Avengers" Almost Assembled
This one's a gimme, isn't it? "Captain America" is the final piece of the puzzle before next summer's "Avengers." It's taken a long time to get to this point, but now, we're finally on the eve of release — or close enough, anyway. Cap doesn't disappoint on the long road towards Earth's Mightiest Heroes hitting the big screen, and seeing his first adventures in all their live-action glory is going to be absolutely essential to appreciating the whole of "Avengers." For that reason alone — but also for many others — "Captain America" is a must-see for superhero fans.
Here's Chris Evans talking about shooting "The Avengers," which is currently in production.
And here are five Easter Eggs from the movie!
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