Who would’ve thought that Marvel’s final superhero origin movie leading up to next summer’s ‘The Avengers’ would be the best yet? Holding ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Thor’ in such high esteem, I sure didn’t. It seems like after several attempts, Marvel has finally perfected the formula.
‘Iron Man‘, ‘Thor‘ and ‘Hulk‘ all suffer from the exact same narrative flaw common to superhero origin stories: The first two-thirds of each movie is all back story, while the final act features a last-minute villain for our new hero to defeat. ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ tells a fantastic origin story that perfectly blends with a solid plot, and gives the hero a proper villain to fight.
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a 90-pound asthmatic who’s been bullied his whole life. Despite losing every fight, he has never stopped standing up for himself. So, when America gets bullied by Nazi scum, he feels the need to step up and fight against the Führer and his forces. But Steve is too small and has too many health problems. Only when a secret science division of the military notices Steve’s ambition and integrity, is he finally accepted into the army to participate in a super-soldier experiment.
With the help of genetic alteration and unprecedented technology from Howard Stark (Iron Man Tony Stark’s father), Steve is transformed into the military’s bulky, perfectly chiseled one-man army, Captain America. Working for a pre-S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, Cap must hunt down and defeat evil Nazi defector Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) before he can use an out-of-this-world power to destroy America.
A big area in which ‘Captain America’ surprisingly succeeds is its script. From the writers of the atrocious ‘Chronicles of Narnia‘ flicks, I hardly expected ‘Captain America’ to be as well-rounded and strong as it is. Not only does the screenplay feature comedy, romance, drama and lots of stylized action, but it has the most heart out of any superhero comic book movie to date.
Before seeing ‘Captain America’, I looked forward to it simply because it was a Marvel movie. I expected to like it – not love it. So imagine my surprise when I walked out of the theater feeling like I had just seen the best Marvel superhero picture to date. It not only furthers the quasi-reality believability that has been present so far, but adds a whole new level of connection between the audience and the characters. If anyone calls ‘Captain America’ flat, they’re just wrong. The only flat thing about it the film is the 3D conversion.