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Captain America: The First Avenger

Entertaining, but more a prelude than a full realized narrative

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A fluid storyline, nifty action sequences and great scenery are the high points of summer's latest superhero offering. Chris Evans does a good job portraying Steve Rogers/Captain America as he clashes with our enemies during World War II -- though it turns out that Hitler is the least of our worries. The Captain takes on an even more power-hungry Nazi named Johann Schmidt (a.k.a. The Red Skull) -- masterfully played by Matrix bad guy Hugo Weaving -- who is determined to wipe out the entire world, including his fellow Berliners. While Joe Johnston's actioner is entertaining, it's not without some problems, particularly in articulating Rogers' new skill set. The 98-pound weakling is given a serum which makes him bigger, stronger and faster, but without any obvious extra-ordinary powers. (He carries a shield and uses a gun on occasion: Couldn't anyone without a serum?) Mostly Captain America serves to set up yet another component of next summer's Marvel Comics epic, The Avengers. Screens in 3-D in some theaters, but the few effects aren't worth the extra charge for the glasses.

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