It had to happen eventually. Not all of the summer super heroes movies could be good, and “Captain America” will go down as the worst one this summer. That doesn’t mean you can’t find some enjoyment in the movie.
Set in the World War II era, “Captain America” is a story about a sickly, small young man who, try as he might, cannot find a way to get into the Army to fight the Nazis, or “bullies,” as he puts it. Luckily for him, a genius doctor notices his good character and selects him for an experiment with a super soldier serum that will amplify all of his physical and emotional characteristics in order to make him a lean, mean, benevolent fighting machine. Unfortunately, another used that serum before it was ready, and a super strong, super evil nemesis for Captain America was created: Red Skull.
The movie stars Chris Evans (“Fantastic Four”) as Captain America, Hugo Weaving (“The Matrix”) as Red Skull and Hayley Atwell (“The Duchess”) as Peggy Carter, Captain America’s love interest. Tommy Lee Jones (“The Company Men”) also stars as the Colonel in charge and Stanley Tucci (“Devil Wears Prada”) as the doctor, who both not only steals scenes but injects the only bits of humor the film offers.
All of the summer hero movies thus far are cheesy. And really, taken from decades past where our present day cynicism was (thankfully) lacking, how can they not translate that way? Where Captain America falls short was in not making fun of itself, and not weaving any humor into the story. Think “Iron Man,” another in the Avenger series. A man is kept alive by a magnetic chest device that keeps shrapnel from getting to his heart – for years. With our modern cynicism, this is far-fetched. What makes the audience forgive this 40-year-old plot however, is the humor and attitude the movie delivered with. And from “X Men” to “Green Lantern,” cheesiness is coated with humor in order to make old plots and plot devices easier for the audience to swallow.
To it’s credit, the casting team of “Captain America” did their job well. Evans shines as scrawny, pre-Captain Steve Rogers, and doesn’t falter once he moves into the role that makes him a hero. Not only does Evans do the work to present himself drastically different in a physical sense, he nails the essence of his character. Evans told Screen Star that Rogers is an “incredibly noble, honest, selfless man.” And, though those qualities might not translate easily through the silver screen, Evans certainly makes it happen.
Another high point in the movie is the costuming and makeup. The audience is transformed to the time of World War II by visually stunning wardrobes that span from the women Captain America performs with on stage to the men he battles with on the field.
Finally, this movie saves the best for last. As with all Avenger movies, the scene after the credits is exciting. But this one is the most exciting, and could well serve and the best motivation for seeing “Captain America” all together.