Thursday, March 14, 2019

Captain America: The First Avenger Review (Project: Henry's Endgame)

Captain America: The First Avenger, 90%, A-, 4.5 Stars
The MCU’s first prequel takes us to World War II, where a good man becomes the GOAT before Tom Brady earned it without super soldier serum. The last Avengers set-up movie is slow at times, with wonky visual effects and questions left unanswered, but a strong character arc combined with a period appropriate soundtrack make for an exciting period piece.
Plot
-Pacing 8/10
The plot moves oddly. Sometimes it’s slow, sometimes it’s fast, and the rest of the time, it’s moving forward. A few things could probably have been cut, but aside from that, it moves well.
-Coherence 8/10
For the most part, the movie makes sense: ineligible guy named Steve wants to enlist in the army to stand up to bullies, gets pumped with steroids, and serves honorably until he makes the ultimate sacrifice that’s immediately undone by his waking up in the present. It’s bookended well with the opening scene being him being found in the present and the last scene that, based on the duration of black on screen between it and the prior scene, must have been a midcredits scene pushed to before the credits started because the distributor didn’t get it. My big question from the end is “what became of the tesseract between this and the Thor post credits scene?” due to Captain Marvel and how it reappears in that movie on a Kree ship.
Sidenote: when Red Skull was sent to space, I said “next stop: Vormir!” I just love watching these after new movies have come out, knowing what happens next. Can’t say the same about the truth about Fury’s eye, but I digress.
Characters
-Relatability 9/10
While Steve may seem to lack common sense, his unwillingness to back down and just do what he’s told is portrayed as admirable. While he doesn’t undergo a character arc in the same way Iron Man and Thor did, he was consistently portrayed.
-Development 9/10
Steve is developed as a likable character who earns the heroic feeling I got off his sacrifice. Other characters are given screen time, such as Peggy Carter, who’s gone on to become a fan favorite in her own right, and the Howling Commandos prove to be fun additions. Bucky is developed as the best friend of Steve to the point we feel Steve’s pain when he becomes the Winter Soldier dies.
Upon this viewing, I noticed a line from Peggy where she discusses doors closed in her face. This is likely a nod to the sexist attitudes of the time that her solo series would go into greater detail with. It’s a throwaway line that adds more if you’ve seen Agent Carter like I have.
Picture
-Visual Believability 7/10
The effects are a bit wonky and dated. Red Skull looks impressive, but some of the action shots didn’t age that well.
-Purposeful Content 9/10
Back from the first Thor movie is shots of stuff coming at you clearly meant to take advantage of the 3D format. It’s less obnoxious here, and everything else mostly adds to the story.
Soundtrack
-Emotional Resonance 10/10
Alan Silvestri’s soundtrack conveys the sense of patriotism and the respect for humanity Steve has.
-Appropriate Use 10/10
There’s great use of Captain America’s theme in the bond selling montage, and it was a great addition to the period appropriate soundtrack.
Dialogue
-Appropriate Humor 10/10
There was some good humor throughout.
-Appropriate Cursing 10/10
It’s a good, clean period piece, with the right amount of edge in terms of historical accuracy.
The First Avenger gives all the right context and tells a good story. It’s a great addition to the MCU canon, just don’t expect historical accuracy verbatim.
Numeric Breakdown
-1 = That Bad
0. Unbearable
  1. Awful
  2. Really Bad
  3. Bad
  4. Weak
  5. Mediocre
  6. Questionable
  7. Good
  8. Great
  9. Amazing
  10. Perfect
Letter Grade
100%-97% = A+
96%-93% = A
92%-90% = A-
89%-87% = B+
86%-83% = B
82%-80% = B-
79%-77% = C+
76%-73% = C
72%-70% = C-
69%-67% = D+
66%-63% = D
62%-60% = D-
59% or below = F
Star Grid
0%-19% = 0.5 Stars
20%-29% = 1 Star
30%-39% = 1.5 Stars
40%-49% = 2 Stars
50%-59% = 2.5 Stars
60%-69% = 3 Stars
70%-79% = 3.5 Stars
80%-89% = 4 Stars
90%-99% = 4.5 Stars
100% = 5 Stars

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