It’s 1942, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has tried many times to enlist in the US Army to battle the oppressive German war machine, but due to his small stature and lengthy list of maladies, he has been rejected every time. That is, until he decides to try one last time and is discovered by Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci) who wants to develop a super soldier. Not surprisingly, Rogers jumps at the chance, undergoing the transformation and is prepared to leap into action. However, before he gets the chance, his program is all but shut down, leaving Rogers to tour with USO and sell war bonds. Despite this demoralizing assignment, he finally gets his chance to shine, and he begins fighting a wing of the Nazi military called HYDRA, led by the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), who is bent on domination.
I thought that the strongest points of the film were the beginning, establishing Rogers’ impeccable, stalwart character, as well as the end when we being to connect the dots to the present day timeline with our familiar Marvel characters. Chris Evans plays his role honestly, not the snarky womanizer that we saw in The Fantastic Four films–which I knew he could do after his great job with Push. Likewise, Hugo Weaving does a predictable superb job as the menacing, megalomaniacal Nazi foe. I enjoyed the film overall. It’s a decent World War II movie that happens to star a superhero. The effects were excellent and intense, and it was often a bit over the top. That’s really my only criticism. It was solid, a well-plotted piece fitting into the jigsaw of the Marvel film universe, calling back to previous films’ mythology over and over again to remind us that we’re moving toward the highly anticipated Avengers film next year.
It’s well worth watching, and just like the previous Marvel entries it’s good clean fun with lots of eye-catching effects, big explosions, and a lot of heart.
3.5 out of 5 stars