In this entry of Revisited, we take a look at Captain America: The First Avenger. The first entry in the Captain America franchise and it seems so far removed from the Steve Rogers we saw in Infinity War. Hell, the character changed when the Russo Brothers took over the franchise in the sequel. Compared to the rest of the films in the franchise (sans Marvel’s The Avengers), Rogers is a bit of a boy scout with that same personality.
There are some people that didn’t feel this was a good representation of the character. Unfortunately for them, the character was pulled from the ‘Golden Age’, which was used as a propaganda piece to inspire adults (who read comics overseas) and give hope in the kids at home. Yes, compared to the darker character of the latter films, it is a far cry from what we have known in the comics. Steve Rogers hasn’t been this “go get ‘em” since the forties.
Upon his resurrection in the sixties, he became a man out of time. A soldier without a war. A person without a home. In his view, the cause in World War 2 was just and direct. Black and white. Upon waking up in the future, he didn’t know where he fit in. Chris Evans has done a masterful job bringing him from a guy that “hates bullies” to the man without a country. It is established early on that he has his own ideals. Do what’s right, even if it goes against his superiors.
His onscreen chemistry with Hayley Atwell is one of the highlights of the first film. The attraction of Peggy Carter to Steve Rogers is subtle and very innocent for the time. Another word of praise goes to Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes) has such an easy going personality that you would believe those two are friends. Hugo Weaving, on the other hand, was chewing up the scenery a bit but it worked for Red Skull. Stanley Tucci deserves a bit of credit. Usually in big budget films like this, he tends to chew the sets. Don’t believe me, check out the fourth Transformers movie. He played him sweet, lovable, and subtle.
The film did an interesting job at changing the color palette between home and the war. Anything that was in the neighborhood or publicity tours were bright, shinny, and vibrant. When the action moved to the battlefield or the Europe area, the palette shifts to dull, grim, and de-saturation. To the point that Captain America’s suit was less star spangled banner-ish.
Compared to the other films in the line, including Infinity War, it is a weaker film. However, every character has to start somewhere. Steve Rogers has to start of bright-eyed and bushy tailed before he can become a man of integrity. He has to be developed as a man whose only agenda is to save the world and stop a bully. No political agenda. No ulterior motive. It has to present a man that knows what is right and must do the right thing.
Captain America: The First Avenger is the weakest of the character’s franchise, but necessary for the development of the character. Is it pertinent to Infinity War? Kinda, sorta. The loss of Bucky is pretty pronounced, since he is his only link to his past. Who he used to be. Peggy is gone. Now, Steve Rogers is truly alone. Yes, the movie has some cartoony moments, but it is a comic book movie. Definitely, a good start but the sequel takes it to another level.