If you were to look up 98 pound weakling in the dictionary Steve Rogers’ (Chris Evans – Fantastic Four, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) picture would be there. Frustrated that he is repeatedly refused for military action as his country has entered into World War II, a desperate but patriotic Steve volunteers for an experimental program called Program Rebirth led by Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci –The Devil Wears Prada, The Lovely Bones) that will turn him into a super soldier. The program pushes the body to perform at the limits of human strength and speed. Before he can “develop” other super soldiers Dr. Eskine is murdered by the head of the evil Nazi organization, HYDRA, led by the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving – The Matrix, V For Vendetta)
Once it is realized that he will be the only soldier created by Program Rebirth, the U.S. government begins to use Steve as a propaganda tool. Bringing him across Europe to rouse the troops to cheer on the red, white and blue attired Captain America. The parade across Europe is halted when it becomes clear that there is a Nazi plot underfoot and Captain America becomes The First Avenger for the Allied forces. Teaming up with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan – Black Swan, Hot Tub Time Machine) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell – from television’s The Pillars of the Earth), Captain America is fighting to save his country.
By the very nature of its own name, action films are supposed to be exciting. The action is alone is supposed to be reason enough to justify making the film. This is not the case with Captain America. You would think that it would be impossible to make a boring film based on a popular Marvel comics character that is involved in fighting against Nazis during World War II, but somehow director Joe Johnston (The Wolfman, Jumanji) achieves just that.
The film starts off with plenty of promise and then soon spirals down in flames just like a shot down German Messerschmitt. There are a couple a threads to the story that start off very promising. Steve Rogers change from wimp to super human is cool. The introduction of Red Skull keeps you interested. Plus the HYDRA/Nazi evilness holds your attention. Everything after that just kind of glides along with no ups and downs. Clichés abound. The action sequences are just average with nothing really that will make your eyes bulge.
Chris Evans definitely isn’t to be blamed for the flatness of the film. He constructs a hero who you want to cheer for. Convincing as the man with superhuman strength, Evans gives us a character you want to cheer for. Hugo Weaving is a different story altogether. Now, normally I love Weaving as an actor. From Priscilla Queen of the Desert to the Lord of the Rings films he has done good work. He just doesn’t work in this part. Way too campy and over-the-top to be taken seriously as an evil villain. Not menacing in any way, plus he is not on screen enough to build up that fear factor. The fact that the character is not given enough screen time to make him scary is not Weaving’s fault.
Most of the blame has to be laid squarely at the feet of director Joe Johnston. The pacing of the film is awful and there is no backstory or development (story, character, etc) of any kind. Some of the technology in the film is ridiculous considering it is supposed to be happening during the 1940s.
-Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer
-Outfitting a Hero
-Behind the Skull
-Captain America Origins
-The Assembly Begins