(out of 5)
More superhero fun from the Marvel universe, this time with the added charm of wide-eyed nostalgia for a bygone era. Scrawny, undersized Chris Evans (made diminutive thanks to some very impressive visual effects) is tired of losing fights and women to bigger, stronger men and, despite constant rejection, keeps trying to sign up to go overseas and fight the Nazis. When a mad scientist (Stanley Tucci) approaches him to be a test subject for a new treatment to super size humans, he immediately signs up and is transformed into a speedy, brawny action man who is then relegated to mascot status on a USO tour. Thankfully there’s a big bad German villain out there, in the form of Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull, and he is trying to take over the world with a magical nuclear device, giving our hero a chance to exit the wings and shine on centre stage. This last entry in The Avengers series before the 2012 combo pack film is one of the most pleasurable to watch, thanks to Evans’ winsome personality, a pace that never lets up, terrific production design and fun action sequences. The characterizations are all attractive and charming without pretentiously veering into melodramatic detail, and the visual effects are terrific.
Directed by Joe Johnston
Cinematography by Shelly Johnson
Produced by Kevin Feige
Music by Alan Silvestri
Production Design by Rick Heinrichs
Costume Design by Anna B. Sheppard