Gee, what a waste of money. I was unfortunate enough to catch a viewing of this, uh, film on its opening night. And I honestly had high expectations. But, not unlike Thor, it fell very VERY short.
Here are a few of the problems I had with the movie.
1. No development. With EVERYTHING. No character development, no plot development, and no emotional development.
2. Mediocre acting. Enough said.
3. It was too over-the-top. And this is coming from a Batman Begins/Dark Knight fanatic. Red Skull was a seriously lousy villain. He was more laughable than frightening, especially his cheap looking face.
4. The plot itself. I was honestly looking forward to seeing Captain America fight the Nazis, not HYDRA. And the dumb Hydra salute made me gag. I also wasn't sure what was going on at times. The magical "cube" (Transformers knockoff?) wasn't settling with me. I expected this to be more about WWII itself, not some stupid mystical idea that was more sophomoric and typical than interesting and captivating.
5. The technology. This was the WWII era. And there were little reminders everywhere that said, "Hey! It's the 40's!" But then... Hydra's, uh, "ray guns" for lack of better terminology were somewhat thrown at us. I didn't like it. And the likely hood that a bunch of drunks with 40's weaponry could survive such combat.
6. The romance. Ugh. You can integrate a romantic subplot in a "superhero" movie and do it well, I've seen it done (Spider-man 2, The Dark Knight). But this was much too Thor-esque. I'm sorry, let me specify. You could see the chemistry between Steve and Peggy right away, but it just kind of sat there until, all of a sudden, love! And, of course, with romance comes automatic romantic tension. Blonde kisses Steve. Peggy gets mad/jealous. Wow. Didn't see that coming.
7. The "theme". Red Skull believing he's so god-like. I liked the idea. And I figured it would destroy him in the end. Hubris often does. It simply wasn't explored enough, and it really didn't end him. I was left wondering whether it was a good idea to introduce it in the first place.
8. And so we've arrived at Red Skull's death. This was TERRIBLE writing, an asinine story component. You know, when you watch a movie like this, and come to accept that it's mostly just raw superhero element, you want the HERO to kill the BAD GUY. That's a formula we've seen from box office hits to Scooby-Doo. But no, this film neglected even THAT. All Red Skull did was look at and hold the cube, and he burned. What a let down.
9. Captain America's sacrifice. Ah, sacrifice worked so well in The Dark Knight! And it almost worked here. Corny scripting ruined the moment. After Red Skull's demise, Captain America had to get the militarized aircraft far away from the USA, so its weapons wouldn't kill people. So what do you do? Nose dive into the ice caps. Naturally. Well, I guess it was "his choice".
10. The ending. Well, it was necessary. And it was okay. I could live with it. UNTIL Steve chose to utter, "I'll be okay. But I had a date." or something to that effect. More corny scripting.
11. Hey, all faults aside, at least we had some good old action to keep the grin on our faces. Nope. The action was thrown wayside. The taking down of every Hydra facility was just clips of Captain America shooting a gun or jumping his motorcycle. That, along with generic and easily forgettable scoring.
Only a few funny moments and the fantastic CG "scrawny Steve" got this to three stars. Please, stop comparing this unexceptional film to things like Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Dark Knight or any of the greats. This film was average at best. Marvel Studios is not preparing well for The Avengers. Based on this and Thor, I certainly am not stoked for its debut.
Thanks for reading!