The Marvel Universe has many heroes in its wheelhouse, the most popular of the bunch being Spider-Man, but I believe the one that the studio truly always wanted to be their go to guy was Captian America. The character was based on numerous real life failed projects that were worked on during WWII. On the German side of the story there was a lot more fiction conjured up by creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, but overall they did base their origins in what actually happened, or at least what both scientific divisions of the Americans and the Germans wanted to happen.
Joe Johnston is a director that has worked on a lot of big budget films meant for summer openings. From The Rocketeer to Jumanji to Hildalgo and eventually to this weekend’s release of Captain America: The First Avenger. So when you see this film it isn’t hard to see where his ability to meld the 40s style America into an action movie setup. However, unfortunate for him most of the action sequences that are reduced to montages of Capt. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) running through fields of HYDRA soldiers as he and his team fight their way closer to Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving). With all of the action summarized in Rogers being able to brush off all of the regular people that populate the battle field the rest of the film remains unimpressive.
The film definitely tried its best to win me with it’s pretty well articulated setup for the first half of the film of how Steve Rogers, this tiny guy from Brooklyn, became Capt. America and eventually the superhero that we all know he is. It wasn’t without its ups and downs but at the same time it failed to engage me at all. So once the setup was complete and Rogers was ready to head out into the field to show that he was the real deal the film continued to just disappoint me scene after scene after scene.
What bothered me the most was the general style of action that was used. While I understand why the action scenes were done this way, it just didn’t appeal to me at all. Whenever Rogers was fighting anyone the camera would basically speed up his movements, because he’s super powered, and I’m not sure how much of it was done digitally or how it was processed but it made Evans look like he had a CG counterpart doing the action for him on screen and that was probably my least favourite thing about this movie.
A hero is only as good as his villain. While Johann Schmidt, The Red Skull, is a great villain this movie failed to really show why and due to underwhelming confrontation between the two our hero never really felt special (much less super) at all.