Wednesday, 3 August 2011
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
It's 1942, and scrawny, asthmatic everyman Steve Rogers (a convincingly CGI-reduced Chris Evans) wants to serve his country, not to kill Nazis, but because he "hates bullies." Considered ideal for eccentric scientist Stanley Tucci's Supersoldier experiment, Rogers promptly morphs into superbuff, star-spangled champion Captain America and flexes his awesome abs in a succession of wonderfully volatile set-pieces.
The 1940s setting is inspired and director Joe Johnston (Rocketeer) handles the action with pitch-perfect tone, infusing proceedings with a swashbuckling spirit, as Cap crashes motorcycles, chases submarines and brawls on airships. Shields fly like frisbees, the stunts are nifty and things explode spiffingly.
Evans cuts a refreshingly likeable figure as an awkward hero just trying to do the right thing, sparking beguiling chemistry with Hayley Atwell's feisty English rose love interest, while Tommy Lee Jones' grizzled colonel brings effortless wry humour. An exceptional cast is rounded off by Dominic Cooper's enthralling, roguish inventor Howard Stark (Iron Man's dad!) and a creepy Hugo weaving as delicious, disfigured antagonist The Red Skull.
Captain America is a satisfying superhero romp that delivers magnificent spectacle and loveable characters. More than just a set-up for next Summer's Avengers, this is the sort of picture that makes grown men hug and punch the air in triumph.
A real American hero.