Director: Joe Johnston.
Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Principal cast: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones and Hugo Weaving.
Release date: 29th July 2011.
Captain America first appeared in 1941 in Timely Comics and was the creation of Joe Simon and comic legend Jack Kirby. The story of an underdog, shunned for national service and then genetically enhanced, Steve Rogers became the agent and super solider fighting the Nazi menace.
Although the character waned in popularity in the post war years, it was Stan Lee, who, in the early sixties, brought the character back into the limelight by incorporating him into the emerging world of Marvel Comics alongside characters such as Iron Man, Thor and The Incredible Hulk.
Thus seven decades since the Captain first braced the printed page, Marvel have now brought us a large scale and matinee orientated blockbuster based upon the Sentinel of Liberty’s origins.
The theme throughout the film’s marketing campaign has clearly been “Retro” and there’s clearly fun to be had with the futuristic but retrospective design of both machinery and costumes whilst the movie has been given a deliberate colour palette that almost shouts 1940 at the viewer.
Perhaps director Joe Johnston’s previous work on The Rocketeer (1991) and as visual effects director on Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) has helped to create a pulpish atmosphere and it’s nice to witness a superhero movie seemingly free of the increasingly complex irony and cynicism found in modern based adaptations.
Chris Evans certainly looks the part as the beefed up ‘All American’ hero and most importantly the costume looks impressive, incorporating a Second World War feel with the added plus of a flying shield that truly glides courtesy of some cleverly envisioned CGI.
Tommy Lee Jones provides the gruff and dry humour as Colonel Chester Phillips, the military head bent on creating a super solider whilst Hayley Atwell looks suitably both apple pie and quaint essentially British as love interest and heroine Peggy Carter.
Plus there’s the added cameo by the father of a certain superhero industrialist that provides a connection and timeline with the forthcoming Avengers movie.
Elsewhere, Hugo Weaving camps it up nicely as Johann Schmidt aka The Red Skull, an egotatistic brake away Nazi with visions of world domination complete with horror make up and sidekick Toby Jones (who seems to be everywhere at present) in full Igor mode as scientist Doctor Arnim Zola.
It should all be ridiculous, but in truth it’s great fun.
Captain America represents Marvel at it’s most profoundly overblown daftness but also Marvel at it’s most entertaining. Retro and slightly naÃ¯ve in it’s tone, Captain America simply delivers what it promised, wholesome adventure and pure escapism.