If I were to sum up Captain America in a quick line it would be the following.
It’s the adventure movie we all wanted Indiana Jones and The Crystal Skull to be.
And I don’t just mean the fact that both Indy and Cap have a habit of punching Nazis but just the whole feeling of the film.
Let me explain.
You can trace the major film loves of my life to a weekend spent with my dad when I was little. He rented a Laserdisc player along with Star Wars, Superman I and II and Raiders of the Lost Ark and forever did those films dominate my tastes.
The thing I’ve always carried with the Indiana Jones films was the sense of adventure they had. It’s a mix of amazing stunts, a fairly simple but well crafted story and just the right amount of humor.
And Captain America had all of that AND punching Nazis (or Hydra…whatever).
The story was solid. It was everything you wanted out of an origin film. Just enough of the origin but still plenty of action. It FELT like Captain America for me. Captain America also had a great score (and in the middle of it, this awesome Alan Menken musical number) that just helped add to the overall feeling of adventure.
It’s weird in some ways to introduce that concept of feeling when talking about film but it’s true. Captain America just felt like it should. Thor felt like Thor. Ghost Rider…felt like Nic Cage hamming it up to pay for a castle.
A lot of that has to do with director Joe Johnston. While he isn’t a high-profile “nerd” director, the feel of this film wasn’t Johnston lucking out. He also has the underrated The Rocketeer and not surprisingly a bit of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles on his résumé. It’s obvious Joe knows how to do adventure and in the 40’s time period but now he’s been given a great budget to do it with. All of which worked out very well.
As for casting, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Chris Evans was one of two things I liked about the Fantastic Four films (the other being Michael Chiklis) and I also found him to be a good casting call in Scott Pilgrim. But it’s Captain America where he just seems to be the perfect fit. The only thing that seemed a bit out of place was the CG for skinny Steve Rogers. While most of the time it was rather well done, there was the occasional spot where his head seemed way too big for the rest of him.
Hugo Weaving was great. While The Red Skull isn’t in the movie nearly as much as you might think, Weaving worked well as the villain. I’m curious if we’ll see him again in The Avengers.
Speaking of which, yes, we get a sneak peek at The Avengers…about a minute’s worth. I’m not going to spoil anything but I think the look of the characters definitely gives hints on what the storyline will be.
Now for the real reason you came and waded through this review.
Is it worth your money?
With all of the other films I’ve seen this year, it ranks pretty high on my list, this is including non comic book related fair as well. As for solely comic based films, right now for the year, it’s tied with Thor, maybe even beating it.