|Two words: rubber ears.|
World War II is in full swing, and every able-bodied American man is joining the armed forces. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is not able-bodied --- he's been deemed 4F and is the personification of the old Charles Atlas ads --- but he keeps reapplying for the Army in the hopes that he will allowed to squeak through and risk his life, like all the other men. After all, if every man he knows, including his buddy Bucky (Sebastian Stan), has the right to go to war, why can't he? This perseverance catches the attention of Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci), who selects Rogers for an experiment. He is allowed to train with some elite soldiers for the right to receive a highly experimental treatment and (possibly) become a new breed of soldier. Through his positive attitude, bravery, intelligence, and perseverance, Steve Rogers was selected for the experiment, which took a man that looked like this:
|Judging from that scientist's gaze, Rogers grew more than muscles.|
While the experiment was a success, Erskine was assassinated by a sneaky Nazi, taking his secret super-soldier formula to the grave. I wouldn't have thought that a government-funded program would allow one person to keep all the secrets exclusively in his noggin, but origin stories are funny like that, sometimes. Seeing that he is the only result from a very expensive military program, Rogers is not allowed to fight in the war; instead, he is forced to put on a gaudy costume and promote war bonds as Captain America.
|Captain America: sellout|
|Is this the future?|
A lot of people were skeptical when Chris Evans was cast in the iconic (and fairly humorless) lead role of Captain America. Since nobody has ever seen Sunshine, where he has a dramatic role, the fear was that Evans would be his goofy, sarcastic self, a la Ryan Reynolds. I am happy to say that Evans did a good job in the lead role. He was brave, earnest, and loyal; he basically took all the heroic parts in a war movie and rolled them up into one character. Hugo Weaving was suitably dastardly as Red Skull; I don't know if I would say that he out-eviled the Nazis in this movie, but he came close. His character's grand scheme didn't make a ton of sense to me, but everyone agreed that he was insane, so I'll let that slide. I wasn't the biggest fan of his red-faced makeup --- I would have gone for a bumpier, burn victim look --- but I thought they did a good job with the makeup that implied that his Hugo Weaving face was a mask.
|Odd...why didn't Weaving have a romantic interest?|
Director Joe Johnston has a tendency of making movies set in the past, oftentimes romanticizing the idea of heroism, which actually makes him a pretty good fit for this film. The goal of this movie was to make Captain America look cool and give him a grand enough task to make him a legend in this prequel to theMarvel super-hero movies that are set in modern times.
|Hmm...that's a good start, but too subtle.|
|...although, the chaste bit might have been her doing.|
As much as I liked a lot of this movie, I had some small complaints. First of all, this movie has a metric ton of CGI, especially with pre-transformation Steve Rogers. While I think this was done pretty well, there were some moments where the head of Chris Evans didn't seem to fit the body, or where his height seemed inconsistent. Not a huge deal, and it was impressive overall, but I still noticed it. I also wasn't a huge fan of his costume. It looked better than the 1990 movie version did, but I preferred this getup:
But those are minor complaints. This movie is filled with action that, while not terribly plausible, is very entertaining. This film had heart and character, and it made Captain America look cool while fighting with a shield. Oh, and the teaser trailer for The Avengers after the credits was a geeky thrill.
While I was researching pictures for this post, I stumbled across a brilliant blog, titled Hitler Getting Punched. I like when a title explains everything I need to know about a website. Check it out.
I also happened across this officially commissioned painted poster that was given to the cast and crew of the movie:
The Self-Absorbing Man. Pretty cool stuff.