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Wick's Review

Created Oct 22, 2011 09:53PM PST • Edited Jun 17, 2015 11:35PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Popcorn movies should all be this strong. Channeling Indiana Jones’ 1940s movie tropes, Marvel’s First Avenger proves engaging from the outset, exciting from the middle and exhilarating to the end.

    Notwithstanding a pair of underwhelming leads, the overall strong cast, irony-free patriotism and terrific visuals give Captain America enviable depth of strength. While Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom remains the exemplar of 1940s matinee stylings, Captain America’s huge creative and commercial success proves there’s still a world of moviegoers who love good old fashioned American virtues delivered with FX-powered panache. Pow!

    A note about the concluding Avengers recruitment scene: Everybody knows to stay to the end of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies for the Nick Fury cameos. Befitting Captain America’s “First Avenger” subtitle, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury scene is the best yet.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    Chris Evans proves competent if not distinctive as Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. Largely the same can be said of Hayley Atwell, his professional and romantic counterpart.

    The supporting actors are great however.

    • Stanley Tucci’s touchingly erudite German genius.
    • Dominic Cooper’s dashing Howard Hughes clone.
    • Tommy Lee Jones’ gruff Army Colonel: Admittedly a role like this isn’t a stretch for the naturally gruff Jones, but it’s always a treat to see him strut his gruff stuff.
    • Hugo Weaving’s demonic genius, a devastating parody of Nazi racial insanity.
    • Toby Jones’ sniveling functionary.

    Oh yeah, Samuel L. Jackson gives the most fully fleshed-out Nick Fury tease yet. Can’t wait for The Avengers next May.

    Speaking of obligatory cameos, Stan Lee appears as a General who exclaims “I thought he’d be taller!”

  4. Male Stars Good 3.0
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Great 4.0

    While Captain America may be the First Avenger, he’s the fourth Avenger character introduced from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is however the first irony-free Avenger, given Robert Downey Jr.’s Ironic Man and the ironic juxtaposition of an entitled deity amongst egalitarian mortals in Thor. Even the self-inflicted condition of The Incredible Hulk trades in irony.

    Happily, Captain America’s unabashed patriotism ignores 21st Century America’s predilection for irony and self-flagellation. Hell, it even had ‘em cheering America in Russia, Bolivia and Bulgaria, according to IMDB. Let’s hear it for cultural imperialism!

  9. Direction Great 4.0

    Happy to see Joe Johnston return to FX-heavy, heavily charming form. The director who broke in with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids all those years ago apparently hasn’t lost his golden touch.

  10. Play Very Good 3.5
  11. Music Very Good 3.5
  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5
    • The Nazi sub that looked kinda like an SR-71 Blackbird
    • Red Skull’s logo, lair and glowing weapons
    • The WWII G.I. Joe trappings
    • The War Bonds song-and-dance numbers
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.6

    Lots of war violence without any blood to mess up the story.

  15. Sex Innocent 1.4
  16. Violence Fierce 1.8
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.6
  18. Supernatural 3.5

    Imagine the spam if the heman machine in Captain America were real.

    • “Grow six inches … in height and length!”
    • “ViagraBody!”
    • NFL body, no gym required”
  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Supernatural 3.9
  21. Physical Supernatural 3.5


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Jul 24, 2011 7:14PM

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
Marvel continues their streak. Their movies are always at least very good.