For many people the name of the character alone might make their skins crawl, let alone its tagline: “when patriots become heroes”, but one should keep in mind that the fictional superhero Captain America was created during the second world war. A time in which the global war efforts of the United States were internationally uncontroversial and parodies like Team America: World Police did not exist. It is during this historic period that most of this latest movie adaptation takes place.
We follow Steve Rogers’ struggles in the American army and his transformation into Captain America. The main villain in this Joe Johnston directed movie, the Red Skull, is convincingly played by Hugo Weaving, of Matrix fame, and the protagonist Captain America by Chris Evans. His entertaining transformation from a frail man to a superhero is aided by a defected German scientist, an excellent role by Stanley Tucci.
Captain America does not take itself too seriously and is luckily not without humor and self-deprecation. After his transformation the Captain is turned into an entertainer for troops abroad, a role which quickly loses meaning to him. Hence, his foray into the forefront of battle driven by an additional strong personal objective. Good supporting roles are given by Tommy Lee Jones as army colonel and Hayley Atwell as strong female officer. The movie’s ending hints to a sequel, and of course to the upcoming Avengers movie.
As with any super hero movie, good and bad are portrayed as rather black and white in Captain America. Despite its fine execution: good cinematography and well paced dialogues, it doesn’t feel like this movie has a whole lot to say of its own, which is something we’ve gotten used to thanks to high quality film adaptations of Batman and Spiderman.
My main observation is that Captain America feels to run-of-the-mill and doesn’t add anything to the established genre of superhero movies, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it comes expected. Hence, If you like comic book heroes and are into a light “popcorn” movie with plenty of action, then you will find Captain America entertaining. If you want anything more than that, you’re probably looking in the wrong place.