Throughout the MCU history, Captian America has always been a fan-favorite. Every time Chris Evans reprises his role as the First Avenger, it seems like he just gets better and better. After the jaw-dropping final moments of “Avengers: Infinity War,” fans and audiences alike are very excited to see what happens next with the character and the story. But what makes Captain America so special to the movie audiences? Among the many reasons people love this character, it’s safe to say that the main reason dates back to 2011 where his character debuted.
Directed by Joe Johnston, this film follows Steve Rogers as he is rejected from being in the military to fight in WW2. He then volunteers to receive the “Super-Soldier serum” which allows him to become Captain America.
There was a lot riding on this movie as it was the fifth film in the MCU which also was leading up to 2012’s “Avengers.” If this film didn’t work creatively or financially, the Avengers film would have probably played out differently. Looking back, fans and critics really enjoyed this film – which did make money, however, it wasn’t a giant box-office juggernaut as we’ve become accustomed to with the MCU in the last several years.
The main reason this film worked was because of Chris Evans. Looking at the character now, it would be hard to imagine him leaving or being killed off, but it was this film that made people really fall behind him with support. The choice to show the trials of Steve Rogers pre-serum was very wise as it helped to make the character more relatable. Chris Evans plays this role with such humbleness and you begin to feel for him when he gets picked on or beat up in an alley. What makes him special is that this character doesn’t give up, no matter what, and you feel this throughout the entire film.
The rest of the cast also did extremely well. Tommy Lee Jones as the Colonel was pure Tommy Lee Jones but it worked, nonetheless. Hayley Atwell, who portrays Agent Peggy Carter, is such a sweetheart, but at the same time, she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. There are some moments in the film where she picks up a gun and rallies behind the other men and this was an excellent choice rather than displaying her as the “damsel-in-distress” scenario we’ve seen time and time again. As for the main villain, Hugo Weaving as Red Skull is one of the best villain castings Marvel Studios has ever done. Weaving goes all-out with this role as he displays the menacing, cruel nature of this character. The thing they could have done better with Red Skull was not only fleshing him out a bit more but make his goals more relatable rather than him just wanting to kill millions and take over the world.
The production value has always been top-notch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in this film, it becomes even more noticeable, as the filmmakers give the audience the feeling of being in 1941. Every set-piece looks amazing and CGI looked great on the pre-serum Steve Rogers, but there are just a couple noticeable hiccups but not enough to take you out of the film. There’s also a montage moment that doesn’t work for this film. It shows Captain America and company going off on multiple missions, mowing down the enemy, which does look cool, but it fails as pushing the narrative.
The action in this film is well-choreographed and watching Cap throw his shield at an enemy was very entertaining. The hand-to-hand fight scenes were thrilling and you can tell that they gave Captain America a certain fighting style. Also, the conversations and fight scenes between Steve and Red Skull was by far some of the best action in the film.
Other than the couple issues with the film with Red Skull not being fleshed out, a few moments of spotty CGI, “Captain America: The First Avenger” is a fantastic film and currently stands as one of the best in the MCU. This film is extremely entertaining and is triumphant in comic book movies. If you haven’t seen it in a while, go check it out as you might find it better than you remember.