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'Captain America: The First Avenger' doesn't disappoint

By Doug Wright | Posted - Jul. 22, 2011 at 7:27 a.m.

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After the disappointment of the "Green Hornet" and "Green Lantern," super-hero and comic book fans can look forward to a movie that doesn't disappoint this weekend with the arrival of "Captain America: The First Avenger."

Chris Evans stars as poor Steve Rodgers who has been picked on his entire life and detests bullies of any stripe. Determined to do his part in the fight against fascism, Steve tries again and again to enlist during the early years of World War II but is rejected again and again; everything is working against him, from asthma to his physical stature. Not working against him is his determination and good heart. That's what Dr. Abraham Erskine notices during yet another attempt to enlist.

What Steve doesn't immediately appreciate is that he's been selected to participate is a top secret program to create a legion of super soldiers to offset a diabolic Nazi program that Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci) inadvertently helped set in motion before he escaped to America.

Filmmakers deliver a thoroughly entertaining summertime popcorn movie.

Through flashbacks we see the genesis of the German program and the rise of Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving). He harnesses the power of ancient Nordic Gods to create super weapons that not only threaten the Allies, but even the Nazi Regime itself.

Steve emerges as the prime candidate for the first injection of the experimental serum because of his unmatched courage and goodness. But when the moment comes and the procedure is concluding, Nazi spies sabotage the effort, leaving America with not a legion of super soldiers but only one.

What does Uncle Sam do with just one? He's put in tights, labeled "Captain America," and sent out on War Bond tours. But soon the opportunity arises for Capt. America to prove he's more than just a costumed fund raiser; he could be the person to thwart the evil designs of Johann Schmidt.

With a good old dose of flag waving patriotism and all American action, filmmakers deliver a thoroughly entertaining summertime popcorn movie. Weaving the threads together that will ultimately create the Avengers, this film delivers some intriguing moments of insight including the introduction of Tony Stark's father, Howard. Dominic Cooper stars as Stark Sr. and you can see where Stark Jr. gets his aplomb.

There is a sputtering attempt to inject a love story with the lovely Haley Atwell playing a member of the top secret program, but it just doesn't get traction. Special effects artists deserve particular credit for the amazing transformation of Chris Evans from the classic skinny weakling to muscle bound super-hero.

From the modern day discovery of a mysterious plane where we first see the iconic Captain America's Shield to the moment where Steve Rodgers is introduced into the 21st Century, "Captain America: The First Avenger" really delivers.

Rated PG-13 only for sci-fi violence, "Captain America" gets a solid 3 stars.

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Doug Wright


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