Captain America: The First Avenger

Marvel's most patriotic superhero delivers the goods in this big-budget blockbuster...

The final part of the foundations for next summer’s superhero 'battle royale' The Avengers are set with the arrival of Captain America: The First Avenger. Directed by journeyman filmmaker Joe (Jurassic Park III) Johnson, the film is a surprising treat, mixing gung-ho WWII action with plenty of superhero spectacle. Chris Evans does excellent work in the lead, and Hugo Weaving proves an enjoyable foil as the diabolical Red Skull.

Picture: While Captain America... isn’t necessarily the best looking superhero flick to hit Blu-ray, that’s down to the intentional look of the film rather than any technical deficiencies with the 1080p encode itself.

The filmmakers have conjured up a rather subdued aesthetic style for the film, in an effort to lend the film some period authenticity. As such, colours tend to be rather muted (often favouring a sepia tone) and fine detailing (while definitely present) isn’t as pronounced as you might expect from a modern blockbuster. But none of this should really be taken as a criticism. The disc’s AVC 2.40:1 encode is technically perfect, with no obvious digital issues such as artefacting, edge enhancement or sharpening.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: While some might be a little disappointed by the film’s visual performance, nobody could ever say the same about the Blu-ray’s audio.

Captain America... explodes into action with a thrilling DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack that catapults you into the heart of the action. Whether it’s a chase through the streets of Brooklyn or a battle with the Red Skull’s special forces, the audio mix is continually  surprising you with its dynamic use of the full speaker setup and utterly convincing steering.  Given all of this, it’s hardly surprising that the mix also packs a hefty punch when it comes to the LFE effects, accompanying all of the on screen action with some truly vigorous bass.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: If the disc falters anywhere, its with the bonus features. They’re no bad per se, just not as ‘super’ as you might expect for a filmof this ilk. The director, director of photography and editor kick things off with an extremely technical commentary, which feels a little dry at times. Following this is the second of the Marvel One-Shot shorts featuring SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson, four deleted scenes (three with optional commentary), six behind-the-scenes featurettes (running a meagre 46mins in total) and a brace of trailers (including an early promo spot Joss Whedon’s  The Avengers). ThisTriple Play Blu-ray release also includes a DVD and Digital Copy of the film.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: Marvel Studios delivers another heroic Blu-ray platter.

Paramount Home Entertainment, All-region BD/R2 DVD, £25 approx, On sale now