I really wanted to like this film, instead it’s just disappointing. So much potential wasted, and the sickening thing is they mock you with montages of the bits you wanted to see. Captain America vs. Nazis with weapons powered by an artefact belonging to Odin, oh and their leader has a red skull for a head – How could they possibly get that wrong?
So Captain America… Where do I begin? What we have here is an origin story, and well, that’s pretty much all there is to this one. You have to wait over 45 minutes before Captain America comes into the story, and just short of an hour to finally bring the action – literally half the runtime is skinny Steve, stage shows, army training, Steve whinging, medical stuff… Oh I almost forgot about the couple of minutes of almost-action slotted in there. Oh but it doesn’t end there, There’s only 3 ‘real’ action scenes in the film – the rest is all montages, and even worse the handful provided are relatively short for a film clocking in at almost 2 hours. It’s the montages that are the real kicker, they’re the parts you wish they’d expanded on instead of the long skinny Steve sections. We get it, he’s scrawny & wants in the army, no need to force it down our throats.
The skinny Steve effect is great, but at times it makes him pop from the rest of the scene, then when he finally gets bulked up it has the opposite effect, almost looking rubbery. It’s nothing too jarring, but certainly noticeable. The effects in general are pretty good, nothing breath taking but they do the job. Definitely an improvement over Thor in that respect.
The acting isn’t bad, it’s actually pretty good. Chris Evans does a great job as Steve/Captain America, playing a surprisingly serious hero unlike when he was in The Fantastic 4. Hugo Weaving as usual is cast as the bad guy, this time as Red Skull. His performance comes across as more hammy than the others, but that just adds to the character – his German accent however wasn’t so great. Others characters worth noting include Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter who could’ve done with more screen time – when I see a woman knock a guy on his ass with one hit I expect to see her do more later on. Sadly that doesn’t happen. We’ve also got Howard Stark – as in Tony Stark’s father, tying this to the Iron Man series.
Speaking of tying the various films together, Hydra’s weapons are powered by an artefact believed to once belong to Odin, tying the film to Thor. Speaking of Thor if you’ve watched it past the credits you can see the tesseract again there.
Looking back over this just reminds me of what the film should’ve been, there’s so much there to work with, but instead it was wasted. This could’ve been the best of the bunch, but instead you’re left with a film that serves as nothing more than a set up for The Avengers. It’ll be in bargain bins before long, but if you’re into Marvel stuff or plan on watching The Avengers then pick it up. It’s not bad per say, just no where near as good as the sum of it’s parts add up to.