Captain America is one of the most iconic and popular superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is a patriotic soldier who fights for justice and freedom with his shield and his team of Avengers. But how did he become the super-soldier that we know and love? What is his backstory and what are his powers? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and more by reviewing the 2011 movie Captain America: The First Avenger, which tells the origin story of the Marvel hero.
Captain America: The First Avenger is the fifth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first one to feature Captain America as the main character. It is set during World War II and follows the journey of Steve Rogers, a skinny and weak young man who wants to join the army but is rejected due to his physical condition. He gets a chance to prove himself when he is selected for a secret experiment that transforms him into a super-soldier with enhanced strength, speed, stamina and agility. He then becomes Captain America, the symbol of hope and courage for America and its allies against the Nazi threat.
In this blog post, we will review the plot, the characters, the themes and the trivia of Captain America: The First Avenger. We will also give you some tips on how to watch it online or on TV. If you are a fan of Captain America or Marvel movies in general, you will enjoy this blog post. Let’s get started!
The movie begins in 1942, when Nazi officer Johann Schmidt, also known as Red Skull, leads a raid on a Norwegian village to find a mysterious artifact called the Tesseract, which contains an unlimited source of energy. He plans to use it to power his advanced weapons and create a new world order under his command.
Meanwhile, in New York City, Steve Rogers is a frail and sickly young man who wants to enlist in the army to fight against the Nazis, but is repeatedly rejected due to his health problems. He meets Dr. Abraham Erskine, a scientist who works for a secret project called Operation Rebirth, which aims to create super-soldiers for the war effort. Erskine sees Rogers’ courage and determination and chooses him as the first candidate for the experiment.
Rogers is taken to a secret facility where he meets Colonel Chester Phillips, Peggy Carter, a British agent, and Howard Stark, a genius inventor and industrialist. He undergoes a series of tests and injections that enhance his physique and abilities. He emerges from the procedure as a muscular and powerful man, but also retains his good heart and morals.
However, the experiment is sabotaged by a Nazi spy who kills Erskine and steals a sample of the serum that was used on Rogers. Rogers chases him down and recovers the serum, but not before the spy reveals that he works for Schmidt’s organization called HYDRA, which has broken away from Hitler’s command and has its own agenda.
Rogers is hailed as a hero by the public, but he is not allowed to join the front lines by Phillips, who thinks he is too valuable to risk in combat. Instead, he is assigned to perform in propaganda shows as Captain America, wearing a colorful costume and carrying a shield with an American flag design. He becomes popular among the civilians, but feels frustrated by his role.
He gets an opportunity to prove himself when he learns that his best friend Bucky Barnes, who joined the army before him, has been captured by HYDRA along with other soldiers. He decides to go on a solo rescue mission, with the help of Carter and Stark, who provide him with a new uniform and a new shield made of vibranium, a rare and indestructible metal.
He infiltrates a HYDRA base in Austria, where he frees the prisoners and confronts Schmidt, who reveals his true face: a red-skulled monster. Schmidt explains that he was the first subject of Erskine’s experiment, but the serum deformed his appearance and amplified his evil nature. He also shows Rogers the Tesseract, which he uses to power his weapons and vehicles.
Rogers escapes with the prisoners and returns to the Allied base, where he is welcomed by Phillips and Carter. He also forms a team of elite soldiers called the Howling Commandos, which includes Bucky and other freed prisoners. He leads them on several missions to destroy HYDRA’s bases and weapons.
During one of these missions, Bucky falls from a train and is presumed dead. Rogers is devastated by his loss, but vows to continue the fight. He learns that Schmidt has a massive plane called the Valkyrie, which he plans to use to bomb major cities around the world with Tesseract-powered bombs.
Rogers boards the plane and fights his way to the cockpit, where he faces Schmidt again. He manages to damage the Tesseract’s container, which causes it to release a powerful blast of energy that disintegrates Schmidt and opens a portal in the sky. Rogers takes control of the plane and tries to steer it away from populated areas, but realizes that there is no safe way to land it. He contacts Carter via radio and tells her his plan to crash the plane into the Arctic Ocean. He also confesses his feelings for her and promises to take her on a date when he returns. They share a heartfelt goodbye before he plunges the plane into the ice.
The movie ends with a scene in the present day, where Rogers wakes up in a hospital room that looks like it is from the 1940s. He realizes that something is wrong when he hears a baseball game on the radio that he attended in 1941. He runs out of the room and finds himself in Times Square, surrounded by modern buildings and people. He is greeted by Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., a covert organization that deals with superhuman threats. Fury tells him that he has been asleep for almost 70 years and that he has a lot to catch up on.
- Steve Rogers / Captain America: The main protagonist of the movie. He is a brave and noble young man who wants to serve his country and fight against tyranny. He undergoes an experiment that transforms him into a super-soldier with enhanced abilities. He becomes Captain America, the leader of the Howling Commandos and an ally of the Avengers.
- Johann Schmidt / Red Skull: The main antagonist of the movie. He is a Nazi officer who leads HYDRA, a rogue faction that seeks world domination. He was also a subject of Erskine’s experiment, but it turned him into a red-skulled monster. He uses the Tesseract to power his weapons and vehicles.
- Peggy Carter: A British agent who works for Operation Rebirth. She is a strong and smart woman who helps Rogers throughout his journey. She develops romantic feelings for him and shares a kiss with him before he crashes the plane.
- Howard Stark: A genius inventor and industrialist who works for Operation Rebirth. He is Tony Stark’s father and one of the founders of S.H.I.E.L.D. He provides Rogers with his new uniform and shield, as well as other gadgets and vehicles.
- Colonel Chester Phillips: The commander of Operation Rebirth. He is a tough and pragmatic soldier who initially doubts Rogers’ abilities, but later respects him as a leader and a hero.
- Dr. Abraham Erskine: The scientist who created the super-soldier serum. He is a kind and wise man who sees Rogers’ potential and chooses him for the experiment. He is killed by a Nazi spy after completing the procedure.
- Bucky Barnes: Rogers’ best friend since childhood. He joins the army before Rogers and becomes a prisoner of war by HYDRA. He is rescued by Rogers and joins his team as one of the Howling Commandos. He falls from a train during a mission and is presumed dead.
- The Howling Commandos: A team of elite soldiers who work with Captain America to fight against HYDRA. They include Dum Dum Dugan, Gabe Jones, Jim Morita, Jacques Dernier and James Montgomery Falsworth.
- Nick Fury: The director of S.H.I.E.L.D., who appears at the end of the movie to greet Rogers in the present day.
The movie explores several themes, such as:
- Heroism: The movie shows what makes someone a hero, beyond their physical abilities or appearance. It emphasizes that heroism comes from one’s character, values and actions. Rogers is a hero not because of the serum, but because of his courage, compassion and selflessness. He always stands up for what is right and protects the innocent, even at the cost of his own life. He inspires others to follow his example and fight for a better world.
- Patriotism: The movie also explores the concept of patriotism, or love for one’s country and its ideals. Rogers is a patriot who believes in the American dream of freedom and democracy. He fights against the Nazis and HYDRA, who represent tyranny and oppression. He also respects and allies with other countries that share his values, such as Britain and France. He wears the American flag on his costume and shield, but he does not use it as a symbol of superiority or aggression, but rather as a symbol of hope and unity.
- Power: The movie also examines the effects of power on people and how they use it. The super-soldier serum is a source of power that can be used for good or evil, depending on the person who receives it. Erskine warns Rogers that the serum amplifies what is inside a person, so a good person becomes better, but a bad person becomes worse. This is shown by the contrast between Rogers and Schmidt, who both receive the serum, but use it in very different ways. Rogers uses his power to help others and defend justice, while Schmidt uses his power to harm others and pursue domination. The Tesseract is another source of power that Schmidt seeks to exploit for his own benefit, but ultimately destroys him.
Here are some interesting facts and trivia about Captain America: The First Avenger:
- The movie was originally titled The First Avenger: Captain America, but it was changed to avoid confusion with other Marvel movies that had similar titles, such as Iron Man 2 and Thor.
- The movie was released in 2011, which marked the 70th anniversary of Captain America’s debut in comics in 1941.
- Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, initially turned down the role three times before accepting it. He was hesitant to commit to a long-term contract and to deal with the fame and pressure that came with it. He was convinced by Robert Downey Jr., who plays Iron Man, who told him that it was a great opportunity and that he would regret missing it.
- Hugo Weaving, who plays Red Skull, wore prosthetic makeup and a mask to create his character’s appearance. He also wore contact lenses that made him partially blind during filming. He said that he found the experience uncomfortable and exhausting, and that he did not want to reprise his role in future movies.
- Hayley Atwell, who plays Peggy Carter, did most of her own stunts in the movie. She also accidentally punched Chris Evans in the face during their first kissing scene, which was kept in the final cut.
- The shield that Captain America uses in the movie is made of vibranium, a fictional metal that is extremely durable and can absorb vibrations. It was also used to make Black Panther’s suit and claws in the Marvel movies. Vibranium is said to come from Wakanda, an African nation that is ruled by Black Panther.
- The movie features several references and connections to other Marvel movies and characters. For example, Howard Stark is Tony Stark’s father and one of the founders of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the leader of the Avengers initiative, Bucky Barnes becomes the Winter Soldier in later movies, Arnim Zola is a HYDRA scientist who works with Red Skull and later transfers his mind into a computer, and the Tesseract is one of the Infinity Stones that Thanos collects in Avengers: Infinity War.
How to Watch
If you want to watch Captain America: The First Avenger online or on TV, here are some options:
- You can stream it on Disney+, which is a subscription-based service that offers access to many Disney-owned movies and shows, including Marvel movies.
- You can rent or buy it on digital platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies & TV, YouTube Movies, iTunes or Vudu.
- You can watch it on cable or satellite channels that have rights to air Marvel movies, such as FX or TNT.
- You can buy it on DVD or Blu-ray from online or physical stores.
Captain America: The First Avenger is a great movie that introduces one of the most beloved superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It tells an engaging and inspiring story of how Steve Rogers became Captain America and fought against evil during World War II. It also sets up the stage for future Marvel movies and events. If you are a fan of Captain America or Marvel movies in general, you should definitely watch this movie. You will not be disappointed!