Too short, too unfit, too ill for military service, all Steve Rogers wants is to join up and serve his country in fighting the Nazis. He has been picked on all his life, but refuses to back down, once you start running, he believes, you’ll never stop. When Dr. Abraham Erskine discovers this desire he begins to pull strings and gets Rogers into the army, into a special, experiemental unit, to be precise. Soon Rogers is no longer too small, or too unfit, he is in fact a super-soldier. Although what can one man do? Well, propaganda. He is sent off touring the states in an effort to try and persuade the public to buy war bonds. And then, on to Europe to entertain the troops. But they aren’t interested in his performance, they want to see the girls. Rogers, however, is very interested in the news that this is the 107th, the very same unit his best friend joined, but of Bucky there is no sign. Rogers decides that he has had enough of Captain America the stage hero and decides to go in and rescue the missing soldiers.
But you don’t really need that back story do you? I mean, we’ve all heard of Captain America, the superhero who fought the Nazis, right?
But of course, in this film he actually doesn’t really. Because while yes, World War II is going on, the bad guy here isn’t Hitler, instead he is Hugo Weaving’s Johann Schmidt, or Red Skull. The head of the Nazi’s science and research unit, Hydra. Hail Hydra, as they parrot, annoyingly. He is about to launch his own campaign to take over the world, including launching attacks on Berlin as well as the Allies.
Unfortunately the film suffered, in my opinion, from having a too invincible hero. Captain America never feels in danger. He is never really threatened. And if I, as a viewer, can’t worry, even a little, about the main protagonist of an action film, then the action isn’t going to be very engaging. Or at least it isn’t to me. And part of the problem is that the action often wasn’t integral to the story. A lot of it is a montage of Cap heading off into various battles. And so, as a viewer, we know that that isn’t going to result in serious harm to Rogers. And some aspects of the action threw me out of the film. The scenes where they run along the top of a train, for example, there is no indication of the wind resistance or even any difficulty in doing it.
So I wasn’t all that impressed with Captain America. But it isn’t all bad; it is an entertaining action flick. And all the actors do their jobs well. It is a fun, if mindless way to pass the time, but it is no X-Men or Iron Man. Still there are some good bits, and I’m not sorry I went. And it does leave me looking forward to seeing The Avengers when it comes out.