Jul 262011
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

Pitted against the anticipation for “The Avengers,” super project, “Captain America: The First Avenger” seemed like an afterthought by coming out at the tail end of the “Avenger” prequel movies.

Add to that the fact that Captain America has an unproven track record as a movie superhero and all signs would point to “The First Avenger” being a major flop.

However, Marvel Studios takes this lesser publicized property and creates a summer action movie that entertains as much as any superhero film out there.

Set in the 1940s, the film establishes a beautiful New York City through sepia tones and a glossy finish.

Chris Evans pulls off the goody two shoes roles of Steve Rogers and Captain America quite well, making the most out of a one-note character.

Action sequences feel predictable, but provide entertainment through fast-paced set pieces and impressive visuals.

On the other end, the most glaring mistakes that “Captain America” makes lies within its villain.
Usually sound, Hugo Weaving leaves a lot to be desired as bad guy Red Skull, although he is not given many menacing things to say by the script.

Ultimately, as an “Avengers” precursor, “The First Avenger” gets right what “Iron Man 2” failed at last year.

This film introduces Captain America’s involvement with the Avengers project in a short, seamless way. It feels like an actual part of the story and culminates well with an epic “Avengers” teaser after the credits.

Samuel L. Jackson’s eye patched Nick Fury is not parading around the entire movie like he was in “Iron Man 2,” and instead the Captain America folks rightfully hold center stage for essentially the entire film.

Having different Marvel characters cross over into the same movie is bound to impress; “The First Avenger” gives a little sample by having Tony Starks’ father Howard Stark play a pivotal role.

And with “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” set to come out next year as well as “The Avengers,” 2012 is shaping up to be superhero gold.

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at verve@collegian.com and can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonberlinberg.

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