Captain America, 2011, USA
This is a superhero film… with a twist. Instead of taking place in the modern day, this film takes place during World War II. As someone who has been fascinated by that time period for years, I was very eager to see it.
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is short, skinny, and sickly. He’s also desperate to defend his country. After being rejected by the army numerous times, Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) chooses him for a special project. He is injected with a serum that makes him stronger, and exaggerates his personality. In other words, he becomes more courageous and more compassionate. Steve becomes Captain America, and, at first, he’s forced to perform at war bonds fundraisers and troop morale boosters. But when the unit containing his best friend, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is captured by the evil Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), Steve must actually become Captain America and rescue the soldiers.
I really loved the first half of the movie. It was funny, and Evans makes Steve Rogers very likable. At the middle point, there is what appears to be an ending to the movie. I was just waiting for the credits to roll at that point, and never really recovered after that. As a result, the second half felt like it dragged a little bit. It felt repetitive.
Another great thing about the film were its connections to other Marvel Franchises. Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), Tony Stark’s father, is a supporting character in the film. It was nice to see what their relationship was, knowing that Steve Rogers and Tony Stark would be working together in the “present”.
I enjoyed the film, but I do think it’s the weakest of the three Marvel offerings this summer.
The rest of the post contains spoilers for the end of the movie:
I really didn’t like the fact that they brought Captain America to the present. I understand that they need to do so for The Avengers, but why not do it off screen? I hate that any sequels will now have to take place in the present. I don’t want to see Captain America fighting in the Middle East. I want to see him fighting Nazis in World War II. They could have brought him to the present at the end of a trilogy. Viewers of The Avengers don’t need to know how he was brought to the present right away – only that it happened at some point in the film timeline.
I just think there was a ton of potential for more stories taking place during World War II. The setting was the most intriguing part of the film. Now that it is gone, Captain America feels like any other superhero.