Starring: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci
Few comic book heroes are as recognizable as Captain America. He is the Superman of the Marvel Universe and the embodiment of the ‘average Joe turned superhero’ idea. Even as a proud Canadian with a deep understanding of the historic love/dislike neuroses Canada has with the United States, WGTB could only ever look upon Captain America as the great hero he is. Indeed, the idea of Captain America and the ‘flag draped defender’ is so universal that we need only look at his followers: Captain Britain, Captain Canuck, Guardian/Vindicator, Liberty Belle, etc. to see the mass appeal.
Which probably explains why the latest instalment of Marvel Studio’s continuum, Captain America: The First Avenger has been so widely anticipated. Not only does it put one of comic book's true stars on the silver screen, it also commences the great tie-together that started with The Incredible Hulk in 2008 and will culminate with the Avengers in 2012. The movie, directed by Joe Johnston and starring Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones and Hugo Weaving is a well adapted take on the comic and is a fun, World War II focused comic fantasy story. Think Indiana Jones meets Saving Private Ryan meets X-Men and you got the idea.
The plot is both action-packed and true to the original Joe Simon/Jack Kirby classic. Steve Rogers, a scrawny Brooklyn kid wants to join the war effort but doesn’t have the physical capacity to do so. After yet another try, he has a serendipitous encounter with the German-born inventor and US government official, Dr. Abraham Erskine, which allows him to join a top secret program headed up by crusty Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones). Phillips is unimpressed with Rogers, but Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Dr. Erskine eventually secede in getting him to be the first ‘Super-Soldier’. Of course, Scrawny Steve becomes that super-man, but not before the program is destroyed by an agent of ‘Hydra’, Hitler’s special research division, led by Johann Schmidt a.k.a. Red Skull, who like his leader, has an affinity for the occult and mysterious. Schmidt has been busy building Hydra into an extra-national terrorist organization and has used a mysterious Norse tesseract to power Hydra’s high-tech weapons.