Captain America: The First Avenger completed the initiative process of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, finally giving us the last origin story before the ultimate team-up occurred. Following the transformation of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) into a military Super Soldier, it is one of the best entries in the franchise, even by today’s standards. Its World War II setting creates an intriguing and more realized story, which stops it from becoming generic.
The film beings with one of the best opening scenes in a superhero movie. It shows the attack on a building in Germany, where we are introduced to the horrendous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving). He uncovers an object called the Tesseract, which possesses extraordinary powers. He shows no mercy, and once he has what he wants, shoots the man hiding the mysterious object. This is the proper way to introduce a villain. Once you see the dark side, knowing there is no light side, you can become invested in the character’s brutality.
After that, the introduction of our hero is even more powerful. You can get behind Steve Rogers instantly. All he wants is to be recruited into the military. However, it’s not because he wants to kill people. He’s just always been bullied and wants to look out for those who’ve been in the same position. The character of Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is the standout. She’s a very no-nonsense, badass hero who is also caring, despite her appearing otherwise. The scene where Steve must say goodbye to her as Red Skull’s ship is going down is utterly tragic. You’ve seen how close their bond had grown over the course of the film, and know that they’ll likely never see each other again.
The action sequences are perfectly awesome. They encapsulate features of your typical superhero film, while also keeping to the aesthetic of the time period. The team dynamic is also key here. Cap doesn’t work solo, and if he did, that would probably drag the film down. You get to see him work well with others, which makes his character even more developed. Playful banter between characters helps ease the stakes, though it does make emotional blows even more hard to take.
One of the best parts about this movie is that it’s able to balance plot points. Thor had too much going on, which made it hard to enjoy and pay attention to. That is, save for the action sequences. Captain America can balance its main story with everything else because it chooses not to focus on unnecessary plot points when it doesn’t have to. It keeps its story front and center: however, it still is able to give audiences a realistic love story between Peggy and Steve without it getting in the way of the main plot.
Captain America: The First Avenger is one of the best superhero films ever made. Its WWII theme is great, and the character dynamics are fresh and exciting. The film rarely shifts focus, which stops it from suffering from an overabundance of plot points. The action sequences are well-made, as well as extremely fun to watch. The story is well-written and overall, the film is just fantastic. It is truly one of the best entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Captain America: The First Avenger stars Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones. Directed by Joe Johnston.