Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
|Featuring:||Chris Evans … Steve Rogers/Captain America
Hugo Weaving … Johann Schmidt/The Red Skull
Stanley Tucci … Abraham Erskine
Tommy Lee Jones … Col. Chester Phillips
Samuel L. Jackson … Nick Fury (uncredited)
Richard Armitage … Heinz Kruger
Toby Jones … Arnim Zola
Derek Luke … Gabe Jones
JJ Feild … Montgomery Falsworth/Union Jack
Dominic Cooper … Howard Stark
Hayley Atwell … Peggy Carter
Natalie Dormer … Private Lorraine
Sebastian Stan … James “Bucky” Barnes
|Director:||Joe Johnston—“Jumanji,” “Jurassic Park III,” “October Sky,” “The Wolfman”|
Stan Lee … executive producer
origin of the first Avenger
World War II is at its height and young Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) feels left out. Rejected by the Army five times already for being too frail his enthusiasm gets noticed by military scientist Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) who sees in him the kind of person he wants for his Super Soldier program.
Under the command of the gruff Col. Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones), during basic training he wins the admiration of Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and further reinforces, through his selfless acts, Abraham’s belief that he is indeed a good man.
The experiment succeeds and Steve is transformed into the perfect physical specimen, however a Nazi spy destroys the lab ensuring that he is the last of his kind.
High ranking Nazi Johann Schmidt, aka ‘The Red Skull’ (Hugo Weaving) so named for his facial disfigurement, has found a mysterious cube of immense power. Given to his chief scientist Zola, he uses it to create unheard of weapons that threaten to change the course of the war.
With the ‘Super Soldier’ program at an end and the U. S. Hopes of creating an army of perfect soldiers crushed, can one good man make a difference in a war that literally wears the mask of evil?
Language—Moderate. God’s name is taken in vain three times, mostly “Oh my G_d” and the name of Jesus is used once as an expletive. A**, h*ll and d*mn are uttered twice each and SOB once by my count. A small consolation but the filmmakers clearly did not push the envelope in language compared to other PG-13 films.
Violence—Heavy. This is where Captain America earns its more adult rating. Steve, from within the experimental chamber, is heard screaming from pain during the unseen transformation.
Men fall to their death, are shot, stabbed, set on fire, crushed, run over and vaporized throughout the movie. The main villain cruelly dispatches his victims, you might say condescendingly, reflecting the superior mindset so often associated with the Nazi regime. In one scene the Red Skull kills an old man and his blood splatters on his lapel but he is naturally unfazed.
Sex/Nudity—Minor. Steve once mistakenly thinks the word ‘fondue’ refers to an illicit romance but is corrected later. As part of a War bond tour to raise funds for the war effort, Captain America is on stage surrounded by girls dancing in short patriotic outfits exhibiting minor cleavage. The kisses are tame and nothing objectionable is portrayed.
Steve does not get the chance to live up to the name Captain America until he hears that some soldiers have been captured, including Bucky his one and only friend. He decides to risk his life and possible court martial by mounting a solo rescue mission against orders but he knows he must try. The Word of God describes this level of friendship.
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” Proverbs 18:24.
While in basic training the Colonel remarks to Abraham that he is impressed not by Steve, but by one of the other recruits and says, “he’s big, strong…a soldier,” to which Abraham replies, “He is a bully.” So often we go by outward appearances when it is only the inner man that truly counts. This reminded me of the prophet Samuel who, when sent to the house of Jesse to anoint the second King of Israel picked the wrong young man.
“When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not consider his appearance, or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the Heart” 1 Samuel 16:7.
Steve may not have looked the part but he was smarter than all the other candidates and maybe his humble demeanor had something to do with it for the Bible also says,
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” Proverbs 11:2.
Steve confesses to Peggy that he has never danced with a girl before and admits he, “…was waiting for the right partner.” Harkening back to a simpler and less morally ambiguous time, dancing here is his metaphor for a relationship with the right person that would, of course, end up in marriage. Steve is clearly ‘smitten’ by Peggy but he is too much a gentleman to come out and say anything more outright than this. Though the times have certainly changed, God’s commands to us have not!
“It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and savior, Jesus Christ” Titus 2:12.
The film successfully captures the feel of an era long gone and, despite the material, avoids becoming campy. A refreshing change from the anti-heroes so often served up, Steve Rogers brings 1940’s values and manners to a new generation.
“Captain America” is compellingly told with a fine supporting cast led by Tommy Lee Jones, and I only wish the film was longer. Unacceptable for children under 12 due to the excessive violence and sporadic poor language, I urge consideration of its content before deciding to see this.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.