Directed by: Joe Johnston
Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell
I wasn’t really expecting much out of this movie. As a pessimist, I expected the worst, fearing that Chris Evans would play Cap as too goofy or like a douchebag like he played the Human Torch in those awful Fantastic Four movies. The best thing about being a pessimist is that it’s a wonderful treat when you’re disappointed.
Steve Rogers is a man who lost both his parents overseas during WWII, but he keeps getting rejected for service due to his incredibly weak stature. A defected German scientist has developed a “super soldier” serum and decides to test it on Rogers, as he believes strength of muscle isn’t as important as strength of character, which Rogers already has in spades. The scientist is shot by an agent of HYDRA, a high-tech division that used to be with the Nazis, led by the Red Skull. Since they can’t have an army of super-soldiers, they turn Rogers into a propaganda machine, as the brightly-clad Captain America. He soon gets tired of just appearing in movies and to sell war bonds, and when he learns that his good friend Bucky Barnes has been captured by HYDRA, he goes out as a one-man commando to free him and the rest of the captured Allied forces at the base. The rest of the film is him trying to defeat HYDRA before the insane Red Skull can use the power of the Cosmic Cube to take over the world.
They did a great job at keeping all these characters very close to the source material, while still mixing and matching them (for instance, Cap leads the Howling Commandos during the film, instead of Nick Fury as in the original comics) and putting them into an entertaining action film. It’s not a war movie at all, being very superhero-ish with the guy fighting all these dudes in gas masks with laser guns, it’s more that it just happens to take place during a war. I was also really impressed by the fact that they took most of the action sequences during the war and put them in the middle as a montage, instead focusing more on character development mostly out of battle, while still having a good stream of cool action. It’s a little slow to start, and there are some cheap action movie cliches throughout, but overall it was a really entertaining popcorn flick, and I highly recommend it.