‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ effects make for excellent viewing

Captain America: The First Avenger

(Cert 12, 119 mins, Action/Drama)

In 1942 Norway, diabolical German officer Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) steals a Cosmic Cube belonging to Odin and charges mad scientist Dr Arnim Zola (Toby Jones) with harnessing the Cube’s power as part of his plans for world domination.

Meanwhile in America, German defector Dr Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) spearheads a secret programme to create the ultimate soldier.

Asthmatic weakling Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is transformed into a muscle-bound hunk and he enthusiastically does his bit for the Allied effort by portraying a fictional character called Captain America at war rallies.

When good friend James Buchanan (Sebastian Stan) is presumed dead behind enemy lines, Steve joins forces with playboy inventor Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) and officer Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to parachute in behind enemy lines as Captain America and single-handedly take on the Germans.

Captain America: The First Avenger establishes the origins of one of the most popular superheroes from the Marvel Comics stable, employing digital trickery to impose Evans’s head on a scrawny body before his metamorphosis.

Atwell makes her entrance by punching an insubordinate soldier in the face and she embraces her role as the gutsy love interest with fervour, sparking smouldering screen chemistry with Evans.

Action sequences are orchestrated with aplomb, including a daredevil descent into a moving train.

Director Joe Johnston has an arsenal of state-of-the-art digital effects at his disposal to spruce up the old-fashioned ideals in Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s script. However, there’s something rather charming about the underlying themes of self-sacrifice and valour.

Rating: 3/5.

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