Yes, the short answer, is that Captain America: The First Avenger is a pretty solid movie. There is plenty in it to anger homeland haters: the movie is accepts as a given that the Nazis are evil, that America is great, and that the latter cannot allow the former to continue. American troops are smart, tough, and competent.Even the little kids in the film show a resolve to not be whiny or victims.
Yet it never goes over the top. This is not a jingoistic film, and the characters are fleshed out pretty well. Sure, it drags in a couple of spots, but makes up for it pretty well by punching the crap out of Nazis all over the place.
The Chris Evans transformation from homonculus to fighting machine is an inexplicable special effect: as critic Roger Ebert said, it is impossible to know exactly what Evans looks like in real life at this point. His role as tiny Steve Rogers, complete with overbite, is utterly and completely convincing. If you don’t see it on the big screen, you may wonder whether it was realistic. It was, truly.
I was looking forward to your review of this movie and you didn’t disappoint. Here are a few thoughts on your thoughts:
1) First of all, I love a good vocabulary word as much as the next guy, but I wouldn’t describe Chris Evans before he was transformed into the Army’s super-soldier (i.e. Captain America) as a homonculus given that they look more like this (which I know from my “Dungeons and Dragons” days):
2) As usual, I think one of the keys to any good superhero movie is the villian, and I think you hit the nail on the head with your description of Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull — “this Red Skull is a physically strong, masterful, action-oriented tough guy who openly mocks Hitler for being too much of a pansy.” It doesn’t get much better than Hugo (who has now been in two summer blockbusters — he was the voice of Megatron in Transformers 3). I’m hoping he is back for the Avengers movie.
3) The supporting cast is great — I too loved Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones. I would also add Toby Jones to the list and his “interogation” scene with Lee Jones is classic — just two old greats face to face in a quiet, effective scene that moves the plot forward. It is nice that Marvel can pay for high-quality character actors for the secondary roles (Dominic Cooper is also really good as Tony Stark’s Dad).
4) I’m getting excited for next year’s Avengers movie — let’s both hope for something spectacular!