Captain America the First Avenger. Why did we decide to start with this one and not Iron Man? Well this one takes place first. If you are going to follow the universe as it goes why not go episode by episode in the universe's own order.
Now I have always been a huge Captain America fan so when they announced they were going to do a Captain America movie I was beyond excited. When Chris Evans from the Fantastic Four movies was cast I'll admit I was a bit worried. Those movies weren't as bad as people like to say they are but they weren't really all that great either. This could be the end of Marvel right before the Avengers was to come out.
Boy was I wrong! Now I know a lot of people like to give this movie shit but I really don't see it. I have always found it enjoyable. It's a fun period piece that captures the heart of the character. The movie was written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely while Joe Johnston stepped in to direct it.
The film opens up in present day as people come across Steve Rogers frozen. How did this happen? What does it mean? Well you have to watch the movie to find out. Or well, have read any Marvel comic since the 60's. It isn't long before we come back to the modern time and see how a weak Steve Rogers keeps trying to sign up for the Army but he is too sickly. His best friend, Bucky is getting ready to ship off to war. We are also introduced to Howard Stark, Tony's father.
Steve is found out for falsifying his records. Dr. Abraham Erskine offers Steve a chance to make a difference in the war. The chance to become a solider like he always dreamed off. He has the spirit of one. Not long before this he fought a guy in a movie theater because he was being rude. That's who he is. What kind of man he is.
Across the world the Red Skull is looking for artifacts left behind by Odin and company. He is hoping that it will give Hydra the power it needs, not to help the Nazis win but to take over the world themselves, by passing the Nazi's altogether. For his efforts he finds the Tesseract and it works better than he could ever have hoped.
Next we are introduced to Agent Peggy Carter. For the next few months we will be talking a lot about her. After all she currently has two seasons of a TV show as well a short film. Not to mention her being in the next Captain America movie, Age of Ultron and Antman. She's everywhere! And we love it!
The training is hard, more so for Rogers than anyone else because he is a small sickly kid. But we quickly learn that while he may not be the strongest or most fit he is smart. He has a way of thinking outside the box. The general doesn't like Rogers but when he tries to prove that he won't work he inadvertently proves that he is the only man for the job. Steve Rogers will become the first of many super soldiers.
During the car ride to the site of the experiment we see the birth of the budding romance between Peggy Carter and Steve Rogers. It takes a step up after the experiment succeeds and he comes out as a big strong man instead of the weak sick kid who went inside.
Dr. Erskine is killed, Rogers and Carter chase after the killer and catch him but not before he kills himself. Meanwhile Hitler sends some of his Nazi's to tell the Red Skull that he has over reached and that Hydra is being shut down. Red Skull doesn't take the news well and has those officers killed. Hydra is no longer part of the Nazi's they are an evil all to themselves now.
The Serum that gave Roger's his strength is gone and he is now one of a kind. The general told him he was useless to the cause and they left him alone. They turned him into a propaganda machine, that was why his uniform was created all colorful and they gave him his shield. It wasn't to fight it was to sell war bonds. The real soldiers did not like him, while they were fighting and dying he was just singing songs and talking a big game. He was useless.
He finds out, incorrectly that Bucky has been killed in action so Steve Rogers finally decides that enough is enough and jumps into action, with Carter and Stark at his side.
What is one of my favorite parts about the movie, we meet the howling commandos. Minus Nick Fury, because in the movie verse he isn't immortal. But Dum Dum is there and what could be better than that? Hell if I know!
Cap quickly frees everyone, even finding a very alive Bucky. He also comes face to face with the Red Skull for the first time. As do we when he finally takes off his mask and shows us his red Skull. The Red Skull escapes and Captain America gets Bucky out of the crumbling building alive.
Tommy Lee Jones has always been an incredible actor. He pays the General who hates Rogers and that should be enough to make you not like him but you always find yourself liking him. Even when he dresses Carter down you still see the honorable man behind the actions.
How can we forget the one and only Stan Lee! He has cameo in this film as a man in uniform waiting on Captain America to accept a reward. Now while Stan Lee had nothing to do with creating Captain America, that was Joe Simon and Jack the King Kirby. Now that isn't to say Stan Lee had nothing to do with the character. His first writing assignment for Timely Comics, the company that would one day go on to become Marvel comics was on a half page text story about the character. It was called Captain America foils the Traitor's Revenge in Captain America Comics #3. He also brought Captain America into the modern Marvel universe in Avengers #4 when the Avengers find him frozen in ice much as he is at the start of this film.
The general starts to put together a team to help Cap but he instead brings on the howling commandos. Carter walks in on a girl kissing him and their quick romance comes to a halt. He also finds out that Carter and Stark have nothing going on, a rare treat for a womanizer like Stark.
Cap finally gets his circular shield that Peggy then shoots, Oh there is trouble in Paradise. It isn't long before Cap takes his howling commandos out on the town so to speak and they start kicking hydra ass. How do people not love this movie? I don't get it.
Cap and Bucky make it inside the train holding Zola. During the fight Bucky is tossed from the train and everyone believes he is dead. More on him in Winter soldier. After losing his best friend Cap still manages to capture Zola.
Captain America fights the Red Skull's men and ends up getting himself captured. Now I love this movie and don't want to nitpick, but there are some bad CGI shots in this fight, like when he throws the hydra guy in the air. You could have done better Marvel. Anyways, back to the story! The Howling Commandos jump in and save Cap, tossing him his shield. Things are heating up!
Cap and Peggy share a kiss just before he jumps onto the plane that the Red Skull is flying off in. Now this is really paying tribute to the comics. In Avengers #4, Captain America's story is retconned to say that Cap and Bucky were holding onto a plane that went down over the ocean and that is how Cap became frozen. They use that same plot point in this film. This is what makes the MCU so amazing, they stay so close to the comics. It is almost as if the comics are coming to life off of the page.
On the plane Cap and Red Skull fight it out. Red Skull is sucked away, is he dead? Who knows, I don't think so but maybe. Cap calls Peggy and they say their goodbyes as he crashes the ship into the ice. Dying a heroes death because that is who Captain America is. A hero.
He wakes up in a room with a nurse who looks a lot like Carter. A baseball game that he has already heard plays on the radio. It is clear that something is amiss. He breaks out of the room and finds himself in present day New York city where he meets Nick Fury.
Unlike the rest of Marvel's movies, this one doesn't really have a post credit scene. It instead has a trailer for the Avengers. Over all I really love this movie. Is it the best that the MCU has to offer? No not even close, but it is a great great film!