an actual Avengers movie for next year. Given the unevenness of the movies so far, whether it will have been worth the effort remains an open question.
On the nose – that’s the phrase that producers use about a screenplay when it telegraphs its intent all too clearly. In this case I use it to mean that this Captain America is about as sincere a recreation of that “aw shucks” all-American hero as one could seriously get away with in these post-modern, "Glee"-inflected times. Chris Evans shaves his oversized, well-oiled chest to give us a hero whose superpower seems to be male modeling and who gets in the requisite necessary beefcake shots (though clearly not enough to keep my interest in this movie). He smiles, jogs, and acrobats his way with affable enough likability through the film, though the plot that surrounds him feels like tissue paper manufactured solely for the purpose of his tearing gleefully through it.
Benjamin Button: here, it just seems like the actor’s stepped in front of fun-house mirror.
Once the real beefed up Evan emerges, the story gets some legs (literarily), thought where it decides to go is hopelessly uninteresting. Some manufactured nonsense with Hugo Weaving as a Nazi spin-off (why not the real thing?) whose creation mirrors that of Captain America. Though the parallels could be interesting they are not explored: instead, we get a Force Ten from Naverone attempt to storm into the Nazi lair for the purposes of nabbing some “Warehouse 13”-like artifact whose abilities are never really explained. To say we’ve seen all this before would not be quite true because even in the most uninspired Indiana Jones flick we’re treated to a plot with more going on than this; Captain America exposes us to a new low in uninspired filmmaking.
Only Evans and his – ahem – “acting talents” gives this film any interest.
It’s a shame, really, especially after an entertaining Thor earlier this summer. Clearly we might have gotten a much better Captain America film than this, if only our luck with screenwriters and directors had held firm. Let’s just hope that for the Avengers movie, Marvel decides to lead with its A team.