Well here comes the last Marvel superhero movie before the mega team up that is Avengers. Captain America is the tale of a sickly runt who, in keeping with the fine tradition of fair play and juicing that pervades American sportsmanship, resorts to potentially life-threatening drugs and radiation therapy to get all buff and manly so he can beat up some Nazis.
Well okay, that’s the cynical view of it. Steve Rogers really is just another kid who wants to do his part, but is limited by a body that simply won’t cooperate. Rogers is not the gung ho shoot em all patriot that some would expect. He is eminently likeable from the moment he takes his first beating to his final heroic act.
The problem with Captain America is not the story, which is a fun-filled actioneer in the vein of “The Rocketeer” or the Nazi-Infested Indiana Jones movies. The problem lies with the lead, who unfortunately comes off as somewhat leaden and dull, especially when compared to his future cast mates. Chris Evans is capable of much more (see Scott Pilgrim for one of his best moments) but here he comes up short, and it does not bode well for him when he must share the screen with Chris Helmsworth, Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johanssen’s leather catsuit.
Evans is almost overshadowed by the multi-ethnic team of sidekicks that is formed to back up the Captain, and by his co-stars Hayley Atwell and Tommy Lee Jones, both of whom appear to carry the kind of charisma that Captain America is supposed to have.
Despite Evans’ substandard performance, the movie is still a fun summer ride. Hugo Weaving turns in another competent performance as the Red Skull, and the special effects are generally well-executed, with the exception of Evans head being pasted onto some poor shlubby dweeb’s body. Evans’ noggin is too big for the poor little guy and he comes off looking like a bobble-head.
I’ll give this one acorn for the story and another for the supporting cast, and a half acorn because I did enjoy it, just not as much as other efforts in the series.
Captain America:The First Avenger gets two and a half acorns out of five.