Marvel have been cooking up some good films this year with the intelligent X-Men prequel and the surprisingly entertaining Thor. Captain America is next in line and arguably has the biggest hype out of this years superhero releases. Can the World War II super soldier bring forth the magic of comics to the big screen?
The story of Captain America is a simple one. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a scrawny guy who wants to fight in the war. Unfortunately he has all sorts of physical problems which keep getting him rejected. After visiting a convention of the future, a scientist helps enlist him to the force as he sees Steve’s kind nature which is an endearing trait for his master plan. The master plan is to create a super soldier, capable of incredible feats and thus Captain America is born. Captain America must use his powers to stop the evil Nazi science organisation, HYDRA, which is controlled by the evil super human Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) who has a bad case of skin problems. HYDRA have discovered a power capable of wiping out countries in mere hours; a race against time begins! The story is simple yet does the job to provide plenty of action and threat. With the simple plot Captain America should be able to fall into a vortex of epic set pieces and crazy fights, yet it doesn’t.
The core problem with Captain America is that it spends far too much time building up very little. The pieces of the plot are laid out fairly early on and once Steve becomes Captain America, there are no surprises and new developments till the final heart wrenching moments. Secondary characters aren’t built up much at all, scenes relating to character troubles later come across as anti-climatic rather than upsetting as no attachments have been made. The bad guys always seem to be struggling too, they never seem to be in a winning position as Captain America blitzes through with his shield and mighty fists. This destroys any tension the film attempts to provide and the main red-headed villain Schmidt doesn’t have any time to shine. You’d think a film with a superhuman protagonist and a superhuman antagonist would lead to an amazing fight scene as the two collide. Instead the films great climatic battle ends on a depressingly dry note. So many missed opportunities which could have been built into the plot if they just cut the faff.
The film screams of missed potential on every level. It’s beautiful to look at and stuffed full of promising story promise, but ultimately ends up going for a dryer less interesting route of gun battle after gun battle with incredibly awkward sexual tension between Captain America and the lovely Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). It still an entertaining summer flick with a rather excellent final scene, yet it could have been so much more. Also the montage was proper Team America ‘f’yeah!’, thankfully no fist bumping. Captain America is beyond that.