The darkest times are upon us in an otherwise fun, event-filled, and growing Marvel Cinematic Universe. To celebrate the coming release of Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War," where two ideals will come to a head, let's reflect on the "marvellous" films that this studio has put together. I will be going in order from 2008 - 2015, ending with thoughts and predictions for "Captain America: Civil War." These will be minor reviews and more of a re-evaluation of my thoughts on these films, how they hold up now, and how well they connect/impact the films that came after. Here we go.
WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS THROUGHOUT!!
Part 5: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
After Iron Man, Captain America is a very close second in fandom. Chris Evans had experience before this, in playing the Human Torch, but that did not go very well for him as fans a critics responded negatively to both the 2005 and 2007 "Fantastic Four" films, both in which he played that character. Here, we meet the final recruit for "The Avengers," Steve Rogers, but what is so interesting about this film is that it took place back in the 1940's. Exploring a skinny young man who is recruited for the military and experimented on to become the super-soldier we all know now as Captain America, this, although not the best film in this universe, is definitely one of the most interesting ones.
Now, as a huge Marvel Cinematic Universe fan, it was nice to see a much more evolved villain, rather than someone else who had been exposed to the same thing in order to fight another version of himself. No, this film takes the time to set up the villain of the Red Skull. While doing that, we also meet Tony Stark's father from the past, which works very well into this particular story, making it a much more seamless connection than say, "Iron Man 2" or "Thor." Also, the love interest here packs huge dramatic heft once the climax of the film happens, which leaves you on the edge of your seat. Peggy, played very well by Hayley Atwell (who now has an entire television show based around her character, in "Agent Carter"), I really bought into the chemistry between Atwell and Evans. This film tells it's story and sets up the bigger picture, better than most of the films before thus far. This is a very, very enjoyable origin story and I can easily revisit more than once, but what is the best part of this entire film?
The Marvel end credit scenes have always packed a huge punch with fans, leaving them gasping and needing more, or simply standing up and cheering at the reveal of a new character. This is the only film in this entire universe that did not have a post-credits scene per say, but rather a trailer. This end credits scene was meant solely for the big screen and nothing more. Hardcore fans knew that going into this film, there would be an ending that sets up "The Avengers," which would follow in less than a year from this films release, but what they got was much more exciting. A quick teaser for "The Avengers" film itself, played for the entire world to see. The first time you ever see more than one superhero on screen at the same time. I am not included films like "Fantastic Four," "The League of Extraordinary Gentleman," or "X-Men" films. Yes, there were even more than that in which I did not mention, but separate films that have all been enjoyed, coming to a head for a huge team up? Who wouldn't be excited from that?
Grossing just over $370 million dollars at the worldwide box office, these numbers still were nothing to write home about, even though they were still undeniably impressive. "The Avengers" would inevitably be the kick these films would need though, as the second film, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," would go on to gross more than double it's predecessor. This is world building if I have ever seen it and watching this universe grow from the very beginning was a blast. At this particular moment in time, the credits rolled, "The Avengers" was teased, and the anticipation was growing and growing. Bring on "The Avengers!"
Review By: KJ Proulx