The director of the Rocketeer delivered another fun period piece with Captain America. The movie had heart and was a good time, another solid hit for Marvel. The Marvel movies have been really good about distilling comic book characters down to some simple thematic elements, in this case, “I don’t give up and I don’t like bullies,” and highlighting them for an entertaining hour and a half.
I had two problems with the movie:
1) Every once in a while I would get this awful feeling about what this movie was saying about war, something about the comic-book-cleaning-up of WWII and it would bother me. I can’t tell you when exactly this occurred or what exactly in the movie brought it about but something about 4-colorization of WWII bothered me in film in a way that it never has on paper.
*** The second problem has spoilers so if that is a problem, stop reading. ***
2) The ending was a problem. Here’s this 4-color character in the middle of modern Manhattan, having just been lied to (for his own good, he is assured) by the very government he gave up his life to protect and we never get to see him overcome his shock long enough to deal with it.
That was just where things got good. I wanted him to go find out what happened to Agent Carter. Shit, I wanted him to find an elderly Agent Carter, 90+ years old. That needed to happen. I wanted to hear about her hunting Hydra and Nazi agents in South America and I wanted to see that she had moved on but still missed that scrawny private she saw transform into a super-soldier something terrible.
Without that closure, by denying that emotional beat in the story, the whole movie is just a colorful and well wrought trailer for the Avengers movie.
P.S. Yeah, I wanted to see him digest the Vietnam War, Watergate, the JFK assassination, Iron-Contra and 9-11 but I can wait for the sequel, especially if they tie-in the Winter Soldier arc and we get to see Captain America process the modern era.