Looks like it’s going to be a good opening weekend for everyone’s favorite star-spangled superhero.
Marvel’s film adaptation of “Captain America” is getting warm reviews as it opens in American theaters. Here’s a brief sampling of what they’re saying:
Slate’s Dana Stevens:
“Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger (Disney/Marvel) provided one of the best sensations I’ve felt at the movies this year: the pleasant shock of expectations reversed. Captain America isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s a solidly crafted, elegant adventure movie that held my attention from start to finish and sent me out into the street energized instead of enervated. I didn’t think any comic-book blockbuster could get through the scar tissue that’s built up around my heart. This year alone we’ve already had The Green Hornet, Thor, X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern—movies that have run the gamut from bad to less-bad to really-not-so-bad-in-parts-all-things-considered. But Captain America serves as a reminder of why we started plundering comics for story ideas in the first place: because they’re great sources of American populist myth, in addition to being rollicking good fun.”
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir:
“Maybe we’ve just reached the midpoint of a sweltering summer, when Popsicles start to seem like the apex of the culinary arts. Maybe I’ve been beaten down to bargain-basement expectations by a season of relentless superhero-action spectacles. Maybe I passed out after the air conditioning failed during the New York press screening of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and what I’m remembering is just the collective hallucination of a bunch of movie geeks locked in a 90-degree sweat box on 42nd Street. Be that as it may, “Captain America” is exactly what the third week of July needed: a curiously fun, surprisingly imaginative and unashamedly old-fashioned yarn of skulduggery and adventure.”
The New York Times’ A.O. Scott:
“…This origin story, directed by Joe Johnston and starring Chris Evans as the square-jawed, shield-throwing, red-white-and-blue Captain, is pretty good fun. The succinct judgment of my 15-year-old screening buddy was “Better than ‘Thor’ or ‘Green Lantern,’ ” and while that isn’t saying a lot, it may be saying enough. “Captain America,” based on a character that first appeared in Timely Comics, a precursor to Marvel, in the early 1940s — the era of Batman, Superman and other old-growth, popular-front superheroes — has a winningly pulpy, jaunty, earnest spirit. “
The LA Times’ Kenneth Turan:
“If you’ve seen more than one Marvel Entertainment film, survived the standard cameos by Stan Lee and the obligatory appearances by Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, you would be more than forgiven for feeling you’ve seen enough. “Captain America: The First Avenger” is not the film to change your mind, but it does have something the others do not: Chris Evans in the title role.
Evans has gone the Marvel route before, playing Johnny Storm/The Human Torch in a pair of “Fantastic Four” movies. But as Steve Rogers, a weak young man who gets turned into the husky Captain America by a dose of Super-Soldier Serum, this part brings out an appealing earnestness and humility in the actor that is certainly not business as usual in the comic book superhero genre.’
The Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday:
“Evans brings just the right amount of confidence and aw-shucks modesty to Rogers, who surely counts as the most appealing Marvel hero, starting out as a 98-pound weakling (achieved by some clever computer imagery and body-double work in “Captain America”) and winding up as a superbly chiseled super-soldier whose heart still goes out to the little guy. Director Joe Johnston has surrounded Evans with a wonderful cast of supporting players, including Stanley Tucci as the German doctor who turns Rogers from puny to magnificent; Hayley Atwell as a comely British military liaison named Peggy Carter; Dominic Cooper as millionaire inventor Howard Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man’s dad) and the scene-stealing Tommy Lee Jones, who nails the movie’s most amusing lines as the crusty Col. Chester Phillips.”