Film No 36 (2014) : Captain America, The First Avenger

Captain AmericaLast night I was watching Piers Morgan interview Bear Grylls. It occurred to me whilst watching “Captain America:The First Avenger” with my son this afternoon, that Bear Grylls may actually be Captain America. Not that the Captain sleeps in a camel carcass or shits on his camera crew (you need to watch the interview), but he does possess an impressive musculature and displays an extraordinary knack for surviving the dangers of the Arctic. I didn’t hear Bear mention his all-defence vibranium dustbin lid, but I expect he does keep one hidden away on his London houseboat.

Captain America, played by Chris Evans (not to be confused with the other Chris Evans, geeky host of ‘The One Show’), is called upon to save mankind when a megalomaniac villain (Johann Schmidt – Hugo Weaving) harnesses the power of the Tesseract to create weapons of mass destruction. As part of the Scientific Strategic Reserve project, Captain America is infused with a magical scientific serum (it looks a bit like blue WKD) which floods his body with ‘vita rays’ and gives him the superpowers he needs to take on the baddies. Set during World War 2, with the Nazi party as a backdrop, the film is action-packed and full of special effects. Hayley Atwell is the personification of cool as the officer Peggy Carter, the Captain’s love interest. There are some fabulous one-liners and a schmaltzy sub-plot as Captain America goes all-out to rescue his best buddie, fellow soldier ‘Bucky’ Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Dominic Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones also star.

There were parts of the plot which were a bit unclear to me, specifically the destructive capabilities harnessed by Schmidt when he gets his hands on the Tesseract. I’m sure someone says that he has created the weapons by harnessing the power of thought. That may or may not be what the script says, but that is the interpretation I prefer. This is purely for the reason that I can see many positive applications for such a weapon. The thought of obliterating the whole of the BT helpdesk staff just by silently cursing from afar, is tempting.

Captain America has been around as a Marvel comic books character since 1941. I have no doubt he has entertained and inspired generations of young and not-so-young kids, and ‘The First Avenger’ will clearly continue to keep the superhero alive.

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