But as "Captain America" he's just a propaganda tool until he gets a chance to prove himself on the front line as a key weapon against the deeply evil Nazi Schmidt (Weaving).Shot more like a rollicking adventure than a typical superhero movie, the script spends just about enough time on the origin story to grab our attention, including nifty effects that render Evans as a 90-pound weakling. Then the action kicks off, powering through one set piece after another. Refreshingly, it never bothers to deepen the story with random sideplots, superfluous characters or knowing winks. So it's a lot of fun to watch.
The action sequences are thrilling without being too suspenseful and, for the most part, the filmmakers keep the stunts and explosions within believable proportions. In fact, the film has a wonderfully dishevelled look, combining more rough-and-ready filmmaking touches with the slick 1940s clothes and architecture. Which almost makes it feel like one of the propaganda films it so cleverly recreates.
The actors are clearly enjoying it too, throwing away witty lines while glaring at each other manfully. Tommy Lee Jones is terrific as the sardonic Col Phillips, while Weaving amusingly goes for broke as this summer's second nose-free villain (after Voldemort). The feisty-sexy Atwell provides just the right amount of romantic tension. And Evans seems utterly effortless as the hero, conveying just the right balance of courage and anxiety.
Frankly, this is one of the most enjoyable Marvel Comics movies in recent years. Without the snarky asides (Iron Man), god-like posturing (Thor) and dark-soul torment (Hulk), this is the Avenger we can both identify with and root for. Let's hope he takes centre stage when they all team up on-screen next year.
Run time: 124 mins
In Theaters: Friday 22nd July 2011
Box Office USA: $176.6M
Box Office Worldwide: $365.8M
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Production compaines: Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 175 Rotten: 47
IMDB: 6.8 / 10
Director: Joe Johnston
Producer: Kevin Feige, Amir Madani
Starring: Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America, Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt / The Red Skull, Tommy Lee Jones as Col. Chester Phillips, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Sebastian Stan as James 'Bucky' Barnes, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark, Stanley Tucci as Abraham Erskine, Natalie Dormer as Private Lorraine, Amanda Righetti as SHIELD Agent, Richard Armitage as Heinz Kruger, Toby Jones as Dr. Arnim Zola, Bruno Ricci as Jacques Dernier, Neal McDonough as Timothy 'Dum Dum' Dugan, Derek Luke as Gabe Jones, Kenneth Choi as Jim Morita, J. J. Feild as James Montgomery Falsworth, Stan Lee as General
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