CAPTAIN AMERICA isn’t the most compelling of superheroes. For me at least. Maybe it’s because his super powers aren’t really clearly defined (he’s super strong…and?). Or that his powers just aren’t that interesting. Maybe it’s because his back story isn’t that worthwhile. He was a stand-up guy with a big heart, but tiny body, who got an injection to be buff. There’s not much adversity there. Really, if he didn’t use guns he would be most like Batman, but at least Batman has psychological problems galore. Maybe it’s because I come from a generation separated enough from that era that I’m just not into all this patriotism.
Those thoughts aside, the movie itself ain’t too shabby. It’s a kind of pulpy action goodness that we haven’t seen in a while. The story may not be the strongest, but the action is solid enough to make that not an issue. But, like with most every origin story, it moves a bit too briskly to really settle in with the characters. And, really, much of Captain America running around doing what he does is montaged, or told from the point of view of others, or just generally downplayed. I had the same problem with IRON MAN, we just don’t get much time with the character in focus really kicking ass.
Chris Evans is always solid and charming and charismatic, and he brings that to the table here. But it’s not a performance to write home about. Hell, if he was replaced in future films it wouldn’t exactly be a loss. The other performances, however, are much better. Hugo Weaving makes a fantastic villain, in case you needed a reminder since the MATRIX trilogy. He plays the crazy as a focused crazy, and nothing bombastic. Not an iconic performance, but a great one nonetheless. Stanley Tucci is always fabulous, but is in the film too briefly. And, of course, Tommy Lee Jones is a standout as always. I sometimes think they don’t even give him lines, he just feels the scene out and ad-libs from there. I wish he would do more comedy (comedy that’s not MIB 3).
So, while fun enough, it’s certainly not going down in history as anything amazing. Seems the best super hero movie of the summer this year was THOR. And, while THOR was good, it wasn’t anything spectacular either.