In preparation for Avengers: Infinity War, I’m watching all the Marvel Studios movies leading up to it.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
I have been really looking forward to watching this one again. I remember when it was announced that Joe Johnston was directing it, it seemed like a perfect fit. He directed The Rocketeer, a criminally underrated adventure/superhero movie that I loved as a kid. He did a fantastic job setting the cinematic Captain America up. Funnily enough, I had only really gotten into Captain America in the comics fairly recently at this point, via the excellent Brubaker/Epting run. I bought all those issues individually, and the omibuses too. It’s not that I didn’t like the character before, but that run really gave me an “in” into the character.
Back to the movie itself, watching it again I was struck again by how great the design is of the movie. Cap’s suit (they’d really screw that up in Avengers,) his look with the costume under the jacket, the Hydra soliders… really all the Hydra tech was interesting in a retro-futuristic was. And Chris Evans is just so freaking good. I thought he made a great Human Torch, but he’s the perfect Steve Rogers. Just as I have no real interest in seeing Tony Stark recast, I have no interest in seeing anyone other than Evans in the role. There was a lot of talk about how, when Wonder Woman came out, she represented this ideal hero that hadn’t been seen since the first Superman movie. Well… uh… maybe the first DC movie since then. But that heroism is on full display in Captain America. I still get a little weepy during the scene where skinny Steve throws himself on the grenade.
And then there’s Hayley Atwell. Ugh. I have a huge crush on her. Agent Carter is such a great character (as evidenced by her cancelled-too-soon TV show too) and she just lights up the screen, every bit Steve’s equal. One thing I’d kind of forgotten is how great Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci are in this, bringing so much warmth and humanity into relatively minor roles.