Film Analysis: Captain America The First Avenger


I chose to analyze Captain America as the first movie I watch during my Marvel marathon. This is a great movie about Steve Rodgers who wants to enlist in the military but is too scrawny to be accepted. So Steve was chosen to be experimented on to become a super soldier later known as Captain America.

Film Analysis

Film Title
Captain America The First Avenger
Year 2011
Joe Johnston
Genre Action/Adventure/Sci-fi
If you could work on this film (change it), what would you change and why? I don’t think this movie needs any changes but I do think that it would be cool if some of the final scenes in New York before Rodgers leaves, we see future Captain America returning to the past in the background.


1. Who is the protagonist? Captain America
2. Who is the antagonist? Redskull
3. What is the conflict? World War 2/Tessaract
4. What is the theme or central, unifying concept? (summarize in one or two words) Risk taking/ Struggle
5. How is the story told (linear, non-linear, with flashbacksflash-forwards, at regular intervals) Linear
6. What “happens” in the plot (Brief description)? Steve Rodgers (successor of a working super soldier experiment) proves himself as a national hero by saving over 200 men from being captured by Hydra (an organization run by Redskull). Captain America tries to rid of Hydra and their Main power source, The tessaract.
7. How does the film influence particular reactions on the part of viewers (sound, editing,
characterization, camera movement, etc.)? Why does the film encourage such
The movie uses wide shots for all the action scenes and scenes of display to keep the audience on their toes, until the end where they use lots of closer shots to draw in the audiences sadness for the ending tragedy.
8. Is the setting realistic or stylized? What atmosphere does the setting suggest? Do particular objects or settings serve symbolic functions? Well this movie is part of a comic series that isn’t real but is placed in an actual historic war. Some things are real such as the nazi soldiers or the men that are serving and the dancing people back then did. There are also the comic references, items and people that are fictional.
9. How are the characters costumed and made-up? What does their clothing or makeup reveal about their social standing, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or age? How do costume and makeup convey character? Everything is pretty casual 1940s attire aside from:

Captain America-represents the American flag

Redskull: Tight leather clothing to hide the fact that he literally has no skin

German soldiers: wearing nazi uniforms

10. How does the lighting design shape our perception of character, space, or mood? All the lighting seems kind of dull and full of shadows which makes the setting seem simple and older.
11. How do camera angles and camera movements shape our view of characters or spaces? What do you see cinematically? There is a ton of wide shots to show off the hero as a whole and what he can do, which you can’t really see if you have lots of closer shots. Also wider shots help because of him throwing his shield all over the place and having to keep track of it.
12. What is the music’s purpose in the film? How does it direct our attention within the image? How does it shape our interpretation of the image? What stands out about the music? Most of the music in the film are 1940s hits but there also some basic background music behind action scenes but I wouldn’t say that music really affected this film in a positive nor negative way.
13. How might industrial, social, and economic factors have influenced the film? Describe how this film influences or connects to a culture? This film would connect to the soldiers in the military and the hard work and sacrifices they go through every mission.
14. Give an example of what a film critic had to say about this film. Use credible sources and cite sources.Example: “The Shawshank Redemption Movie Review (1994) | Roger Ebert.” All Content. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2015. “I got a sense of a broad story, rather than the impression of a series of sensational set pieces |Roger Ebert.” July 20,2011
15. Select one scene no longer than 5 minutes that represents well the whole film and shows relevant cinematic elements. Write a one-sentence description of the scene and record the time of the scene.Example: from 1:05:00 to 1:10:00.

Explain why you chose this scene.


This is the scene where Captain America finds his shield that he will carry through the MCU forever.

16. In the selected scenewrite a sentence for each of the elements below to justify why this scene best represents the film:
a. Screenwriting: They talk about how girls are complicated and that steve should just be focussing on what gear he needs for his next mission.
b. Sound Design: There’s gunshots which is throughout the whole film
c. Camera Movements/Angles: They pan to show all the weapons while they walk and use cut once he finds his shield that is sticking out just a little too much to where he notices it.
d. Light Setup: it’s a dim room to show age in the setting which is throughout the film.
e. Soundtrack/Score: No music in this scene where music in this film isn’t that significant anyway
18. What’s the socio-cultural context of this film? This one is mainly just consists of WWII and what each sides did to win but this is all fictional and did not really show much culture aside from the music and dancing.

This worksheet was developed with ideas from many IB Film teachers, thus should remain in the Creative Commons

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