Opening this weekend is the long-in-development, much-anticipated addition to the Marvel superhero canon of superhero movies, Captain America: The First Avenger. It stars Chris Evans as the titular character, with Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan and Derek Luke, rounding out the cast.
The film focuses on the early days of Brooklyn-born Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) during World War II, who volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier with the peak of human abilities known as Captain America. As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).
Not only does Captain America help the Allied Forces win the war, he later goes on to become the leader of one of Marvel’s most powerful superhero teams, The Avengers, comprised of characters who’ve already recently been feted with their own individual movies, like Iron Man, and Thor.
And, unless you haven’t been on the web much in the last week, you’ve probably seen the bootleg trailer for The Avengers movie, currently in production, scheduled for a summer 2012 release.
Of note in Captain America: The First Avenger, Derek Luke (who burst onto the scene with the starring role in the Denzel Washington-directed drama Antwone Fisher) co-stars, playing a character named Gabe Jones, a member of an elite special unit of U.S. Army Rangers called the Howling Commandos led by Nick Fury ( played by Samuel L. Jackson).
And, as has been the case in past Marvel Studios superhero movies, you might want to stick around for what might come at the tail-end of the closing credits.
I have yet to see it, even though it screened for the press earlier this week, but thanks to review aggregator website RottenTomatoes.com, thus far, 27 critics have seen and reviewed the film, with 17 out of 27 giving it a thumbs-up, or about 63%.
First the good, from Andrew O’Hehir at Salon.com who says:
“’Captain America’ is exactly what the third week of July needed: a curiously fun, surprisingly imaginative and unashamedly old-fashioned yarn of skulduggery and adventure.”
And from the other side of the aisle, challenging Mr O’Hehir’s review, from Kirk Honeycutt at the Hollywood Reporter:
“In terms of even recent films, Captain America lacks the deft touch, appealing character interaction and sophisticated storytelling skills of Marvel Comics’ X-Men: First Class.”
Directed by Joe Johnston, Captain America: The First Avenger is rated PG-13, clocks in at just over 2 hours in length, and opens on over 3,500 screens nationwide, so you really should find it at a theater near you, regardless of what city you live in.
You also have the option to see it in 3D, though I hear that the increased ticket price 3D movies usually command, isn’t at all worth it, as the 3D conversion happened after the movie was already filmed.
And if you’re one of the few who still hasn’t seen it yet, here’s the film’s trailer:
Tambay Obenson is Editor of Shadow And Act on the indieWIRE Network at blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact