Marvel Madness: Captain America: The First Avenger

Marvel Madness: Captain America: The First Avenger

Olivia Guy, Co-editor

By the title of this review, it’s pretty obvious that this is the first edition of my series of personal reviews on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

I know the MCU movies have always been popular, but in the past year, I have noticed a rise in popularity in the movies and TV series. Is it because their movies are just that good? Is it because of advertising skills? Or could it be their continuous casting of undeniably attractive actors and actresses? Who can really say for sure? 

Well, I am going to try!

To be honest, I’m not the biggest movie fan. I watch movies when something exciting comes along, but in my opinion TV shows are just better. It’s easier to watch in short increments, and they leave more room for a storyline and an attachment to characters to develop. 

It’s almost embarrassing how late I am to this “Marvel Party.”

But the time has come!

My FOMO has gotten the best of me, and I’m finally setting out to dive into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

I will be following the timeline order that is set out in Disney+, watching the entirety of the movie selection and a select few of the series that I find most intriguing. 

The plan is to take some notes as I watch the movie and then after, reflect on the movie as a whole and just lay out my thoughts. 

I must now caution readers that there will be spoilers in these reviews. Just warning everyone now, so don’t be mad at me when I reveal the most shocking plot twists. 

The first movie I watched was Captain America: The First Avenger. 

I have got to admit, in the first five minutes, I was ready to turn off the movie and get some needed sleep. The first scene is just a strange way to start a movie, men huddled around a glowing blue cube…. keep in mind I’m going into each one of these movies blindly and had no clue what to expect. That being said, starting the movie and seeing a strange fantasy-like scene was just weird. Honestly, it reminded me of the scenes in The Smurf movies where Gargamel (the evil wizard) is in his evil tower using his magic to watch the Smurfs.

I digress. 

I had no idea what time period we were in until I saw the WWII headlines and Nazi flags, and realized we had to be somewhere in the 1930s-1940s which is funny because ironically in IB European History we are in the unit “Nazi Germany: Authoritoran Single-Party State.”

I thought it was interesting to see some of the concepts and people we are learning about referenced in the movie. And the movie does a wonderful job of making the viewer feel immersed in the time period. Although looking back, sci-fi technology doesn’t quite work with the 1940s theme. 

It’s fine. I can look past it.

In the first half hour, I struggled to find the plotline. Other than the secret government serum that leads to a super-soldier transformation, not much happens. The scene was quite dramatic as we see Captain America (Chris Evans) strapped to a table becoming a bio-engineered soldier-superhero.

 With that being said, I do think it was essential for a solid background of both the time period and Captain America to be built in the first half. I just wish it had been more engaging.

Anyway, the main plotline that develops is the classic “good vs evil” trope. The Nazi group HYDRA has a series of bombs intended to be used on American cities to end WWII and rule the United States.

Speaking of… can we please acknowledge the jarring scene that unveiled the real face of the antagonist “Red Skull.”  Voldemort 2.0?

I’ll say it. I’m a sucker for a slow-burn, bittersweet romance story, and Agent Carter and Steve Rogers had me rooting for them throughout the entirety of the film. The balance of both characters’ personalities made for a natural feeling that I love in a movie. The romance isn’t too much that it feels forced, but it’s enough to be noticed. 

I’ve got to hand it to Evans– he does a really great job at translating the heart and passion of Captain America to viewers in order to enforce their attachment. 

On the other hand, the antagonist Red Skull falls a little flat. I really don’t know anything about his character except that he is the nemesis of Rogers and his face looks like my skin after going to the beach for the day. Except in this case, his face is assumed to be red because of a failed experiment. 

The second half of the movie includes various action-packed fight scenes that can be expected from a traditional superhero movie. With his shield making for the perfect sidekick. 

Along the way, we gain more insight into the beloved character of Captain America. 

I will say, his character is cheesy. But in a good way. He’s the heartwarming good guy everyone needs. 

The time jump at the end? Unexpected.

Overall, in my opinion, it was a solid film. Life-changing? No. 

However, my semi-romance-loving self is living for the last line: “I had a date.” 

Final Verdict: 7/10?

I don’t really have much yet to compare it to.