So, I’m biased. Captain America is my favorite Marvel Superhero. He’s probably my favorite comic character, period. I love Captain America, the character, it’s something that goes back to my childhood and it began at a time I barely remember. Here’s how bad it is, when I’m down I sometimes think back to The Infinity Gauntlet. There we have Captain America, the hero with no powers at all, standing toe-to-toe with the godlike villain Thanos. In the face of certain death, Captain America doesn’t flinch. That motivates me. It’s my anti-drug. Sometimes my anti-life equation. Just trust me, I love Captain America.
I’ve quietly anticipated this movie since it was announced. Honestly, I’ve anticipated the movie for two decades. I remember as a teenager when I plotted out (and, in some cases, acted out) every detail of my ideal Captain America film. I’ve been excited and terrified at the prospect of seeing this. The Marvel films have been good but spotty. We’ve had two great movies (Thor and Iron Man) and two that were just okay (The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2.) Given the Marvel track record, I was a little worried. Captain America deserved more than The Incredible Hulk treatment. Captain America is Marve’s Superman, it deserved…well, the Richard Donner Superman treatment, not the Superman Returns treatment. Please, not the Superman Returns treatment.
Did we get a Richard Donner Superman?
Well, not really. But it wasn’t bad!
The first Iron Man movie is a little thin and formulaic but Robert Downey Jr is so good that it transcends the standard fare of the genre and becomes something great. Picture the first Iron Man and take away Robert Downey Jr. That’s sort of what we have here.
We all know Captain America’s origin (a testament to how good an origin it is.) Steve Rogers is unfit for service. Through some technological tinkering he reaches the peak (really, far beyond the peak) of human capability. The (arguably) steroided up Captain America isn’t great because of what he can do but because of who he is. Marvel has pounded it into our heads that Steve Rogers’ has a faultless moral compass, that he’s good down to his core, that he’s pH neutral and all that. This movie does the same thing but manages doing it without making it hokey. Steve Rogers is a better person than I am. And that’s what I love about him. Bravo, Marvel, for getting that point across in the movie without making us sick.