Captain America – Disneycember

Could this possibly be as good as the 1990 movie?? Doug takes a look at Captain America.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. I watched Captain America: The First Avenger last night because I knew this review was coming and seeing it again just confirms my belief that its still my favorite Phase One movie if not my favorite MCU movie overall.

    The story and characters really work and feel solid and they hired really good actors to flesh them out and make them likable and sympathetic, especially the relationship between Chris Evans and Stanley Tucchi and Evans and Hayley Atwell. Plus I’m a total junkie for anything 30s/40s related. The feel and look of the film in the 40s is just simply GORGEOUS and I had a lot of fun with it.

    Joe Johnston did a great job as well and it really shows. He’s still one of my favorite underdog directors and has directed a lot of fun films I’ve grown up with (Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Jumanji, The Rocketeer, October Sky) and I hope he gets some deserved attention.

    The only negative or downside I saw to the film was the ending leading up to him being frozen and found in the present day felt a little forced and I kind of wanted him to stay in the 40s with the environment and characters because they were so much fun. But really that’s an extreme nitpick, which I prefer not to look for any because the movie holds up on its own, and personal preference. At least with the latter, I still get the great TV series, Agent Carter.

    I do acknowledge that Winter Soldier is the better film (as Civil War will probably be too) and had a lot of fun with it as well, but The First Avenger still does it for me when it comes to personal preference and I think its a highly underrated film.

    • Yeah I agree. It was the best Marvel movie till Winter Soldier (I think Avengers is completly overrated).
      The only problem I had with the movie is that they didnt update the Hydra to not such a riddiculous concept. I mean they made captain america work but they couldnt make the villain really work

  2. I do find both Captain America films to be the most complete of the MCU films. They’re also the ones that seem to stand out the most as films. Hopefully Civil War tries to be a Captain America film and not Avenger-lite.

    • If the trailer is anything to go by, it definitely has the feel of a Captain America movie, to me at least, especially with the relationship between him and Bucky. Plus it has that kind of Winter Soldier sort of feel where Cap sticks out a bit in modern time but his values and beliefs still hold firm as he fights for it. Its just that this time, he really has to hold his ground and face the consequences because things are a little more gray.

      Either way, fingers crossed!

    • If they pull off Civil war (and I think they will considering that they used the same writing team for the whole Captain America franchise, including Agent Carter), it will be the first perfect Superhero trilogy. It is certainly currently the best of the franchises within the MCU…well, other than GotG, but GotG has only one movie so far, they had less opportunity to mess up.

  3. I always believed that Captain America was Phase one’s most under rated movies. However, I agree about the villain. The Red Skull is supposed to be the most vile and terrifying of Marvel’s villains and they played him way too safe.

    • Yeah, I agree. I think Captain America is actually the best of all the origin movies (unless you count GotG as one, but I see it more as a team up movie), with the Red Skull being the only weak point. I actually think it is they performance. Hugo Weaving plays him like a run-of-the-mill Nazi. But if you pay attention to the script you realize that this is not what the character was supposed to be. He was supposed to be (and I know it sounds silly) a male version of the evil Queen of Snow White (keep in mind that she is one of Disney’s greatest villain), obsessed over being some more than a simple human, blaming his ugly face for not getting the admiration he feels he deserves and then this guy comes around and does not only have his power, but also looks like the ideal human being. But all those nuances are lost because the performance is very one-note.

  4. I find it amazing how you refer to the 1990 Captain America movie as an 80’s movie. Also, the Reb Brown movies were far more attrocious.

  5. SO, WHATS WRONG WITH ADVENTURE???? God damn, I hate you kids. And they didn’t just “let” Steve Rogers do “something”. He went above and beyond the call of duty, if against orders, and pulled off a bad ass heroic rescue overcoming tremendous odds. Chris Evans is as perfect as Cap as Chris Reeve was as Supes. If only the Superman movie was as good as Captain America. Give this film the props it deserves, not the mealy mouthed “well, I hate to admit this but it was ‘good’, but I’m still snarky and think I’m too cool for school, so I want to make certain I’m saying it begrudgingly” kind of review.

    Hmph…. Kids….

    • That was actually a part of the movie I missed before that I realized while watching it last night. Steve disobeys orders for the greater good and risks his life to do so and that really adds to his character and makes him feel like a 40s hero and a classic hero which I totally love and miss in a lot of movies today. (I’m 26 so classify me as a kid).

    • He never said there was anything wrong, he actually likes The Rocketeer, and the whole point of this was that it defied the expectations since Captain America -like Thor- is a difficult property to approach. The only thing he even had a problem with was Red Skull. This wasn’t some arm-twisted concession of quality but a “Wow! I’m impressed” bit of praise.

    • He never said there was anything wrong with adventure. I’m not sure what you’re expecting here, other than the stuff about the villain this was an almost entirely positive review.

  6. I do like this Captain America. To me big part of draw is that this takes place during WWII instead of during modern days. Not everyone likes that but I do. Sure Winter Soldier was even better with it’s blend of superhero movie and spy movie that does not stop me from liking this one as well.

  7. If you would have told my thirteen year old self that “Marvel will make movies about All their characters. But your favourite films won’t be about Spider-Man or the X-Men, but Captain America” I would have laughed in your face.

    But it’s true. I was prejudiced about the Captain (I thought he was just a stupid flagwaver) but after reading some stories where he guest starred and reading up on wikipedia I grew a lot of respect for the paragon.
    And I love the first and second Captain America movies. Both great films, but so different.

    This first one I felt was, like you said Doug, a bit more like an old-school matinee adventure. Alá Great Escape, Dirty Dozen or Indiana Jones but with Superheroes. And it was done so well and was so entertaining.

  8. Your critique about the villains rings so true. It especially rings true in the phase 2 films. The Mandarin, Malektih, Ronan, Ultron…they were all handled kinda bad.

    • Malekith was so uninteresting a villain that he might as well have been played by a cardboard cutout. The score for Ex-Doctor Who stars playing Marvel villains stands at Eccleston: 0; Tennant: 3 bajillion.

      • Karen Gillan did pretty good in Guardians of the Galaxy, but she was a side villain.

        And I’ll be fair, Eccleston seemed to have been trying, but he wasn’t given much to work with. I don’t even know what his motivation was.

  9. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Yeah I don’t really remember much about red skull now that I think about it just except that he was menacing and evil and I liked hugo weaving’s voice coming though the character and I especially love the ending and I seriously can’t wait till you get to the winter soldier that movie was way better than this one and I loved that movie(it might be my favorite of the phase 2 of marvel leading up to age of ultron). Until next time,can’t wait till you cover marvels the avengers like most of the commenters p(awesome)!!!

  10. You pure American moviegoers are too critical more than often than not.

  11. But really you’re never satisfied Doug! and not just you, I always sort of knew that, but for good major blockbuster movies with these “old cliches” you really are too critical, but that’s probably where the entertainment comes from when you’re not the Nostalgia Critic. By the way I am convinced in my mind and heart that most of us Russians on this Earth are not critical by nature or do not criticize anything much by nature, as if to say since the birth of Russian Federal Democracy, Russians now have the right to speak out criticze any of the arts, cinematic, performing, or otherwise it’s just we don’t usually do that, except for one blogger guy in Moscow, Russia who goes by the online name of Bad Comedian E.B. initials, the only one I know who criticzes his own country’s state-run film-studio movies and their creators and actors involved. check him out on YouTube and if you won’t understand much of what he’s saying, well then learn Russkiy Yazik.

  12. My sister and I liked this one alot, because they do alot of WW2 things and we equate anything with our grandmother’s generation as awesome. Maybe it’s the can-do attitude she always had that makes us equate that with people growing up in the 30’s and during WW2. So in his first chase scene when he think she has to save a boy the villian threw in a river, and the kid goes “I’m okay, I can swim!” made us think of our grandmother. Funny analogy but that’s why I liked this film so much. Oh and Captain America is fun too 😛

  13. Thor as I’ve said was all pomp and flash and lens flares, but story and plot wise as well as acting, it’s a mess you can’t even call it a story, or an adventure, or a complete anything it was just a bunch of half though through scenes edited together with wooden performances and looks pretty. Lets be honest Green Lantern sucked really bad but at least it doesn’t fail in the most basic aspect of telling any story what so ever and that is telling the story, which is why it’s leagues better than Thor because Thor couldn’t even tell a story that couldn’t be summed up in three short statements. Back to this movie though I will agree the Villain didn’t bring much to this movie however the rest of the characters and the story telling brought enough to more than make up for it. It’s story is complete, it’s plot is developed, it isn’t wishy washy about anything, the characters put themselves heavily into the characters, well except for Fury at the end, and it’s a legitimately good movie, easily one of my favorites and one I recommend to people. Now again I haven’t seen Ant Man, however as par for the course with the Disney Marvel movies everything just seemed to go down hill and get worse from here.

  14. I liked this movie a lot; more than the sequel certainly, because Winter Soldier was darker and more serious. At least that, though, didn’t have ‘Dark’ in the title (unlike Dark World… and The Dark Knight… and Into Darkness…) only a reference to the darker months of the year.

    Captain America: The First Avenger was just a fun _sincere_ adventure romp. I love that!

  15. I’d be curious to know what any *real* WWII vets thought of this film. Joe Simon, the co-creator of Captain America, died the year this came out, but lived long enough to see it and reportedly liked it.

    It’s also interesting that Nostalgia Chick described him here as more of a “chaste, sensitive artist”, instead of the traditional heroes you would’ve seen during this time.

    • My grandpa is a WWII vet, but I don’t know if I’d be able to watch it with him. I don’t think their house has a DVD player.
      Plus, he’d probably just fall asleep.

  16. I liked Captain America for the most part (certainly more than The Incredible Hulk and Thor), but there is one major problem I have with it which, oddly enough, the movie itself is kind enough to hang a lantern on. When Cap complains about being sidelined from the real war and being used solely as a recruitment tool all I could think was, “I’m with ya buddy.” A whole lot of the propaganda stuff could have been cut and still gotten the point across. Still, can’t dislike a movie too much that features Tommy Lee Jones eating a steak in front of a vegetarian.

    • I like the exchange he has with Zola.
      “Where did it come from?”
      Actually, Tommy Lee Jones was just magic in that movie. Why isn’t he on Agent Carter?

  17. Yeah, I really liked this movie but something about where the movie ended rubbed me the wrong way, like that final line “I missed a date.” I don’t know. I know it’s odd but something about that pissed me off. You could go off with a better note than that. D:

  18. I think the key is they’re embracing the core of the characters, but making them human as well. With Captain America, they hit the notes on the character with two lines of dialog. The first was about not liking bullies no matter where they come from the the second was about just being a kid from Brooklyn. Even the car ride where he points out to Peggy all the places he’s been beaten up plays into that. He’s brave, he doesn’t back down, he wants to help, and he has humility. It’s a little corny, but it acknowledges that and still shows there’s more to the character than that.

    The thing I think you have wrong is that he’s not really naive. He knows how things work. He lived through the Depression and WWII. He’s seen the worst of society and humanity. He just believes that you fight for a better world.

    I agree that outside Loki, the Marvel villains have pretty much been generic threats. However, I’ll take that if the heroes are front and center, but also treated with respect. Look at the 80’s & 90’s Batman films where the villains outshine the main character and/or he’s treated like a joke. When I think of those films, I think of the design of Gotham, Jack Nicholsan’s Joker, Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, and Bat-Nipples.

  19. The Red Skull is pretty much the most evil villain in history. Yes, he could have been more evil. Captain America is so classic, I knew this would go well. I mean, almost none of the early Marvel movies were decent. The original was Howard The Duck, of course. I disagree, I think the makeup’s great.

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