The best thing about this great movie is that it feels complete. Like the war movies Captain America: The First Avenger is emulating, its story is epic in scope. It makes sense when you consider how long it would take a vaguely impotent weakling like Steve Rogers to not only become Captain America but also wage this whole secret war against Hugo Weaving and German Karl Rove/Toby Jones’s alternate Nazis. It tells the saga of this man and his legacy as a symbol which is exactly what a Captain America movie should be. And all of the comic trappings will just help it dissociate itself from any of the real-world political stuff that would threaten to bring it down. It’s fun, action-packed, sweet, tragic, nostalgic and dignified. Unfortunately for Marvel, that feeling of completeness, for me, would render any sequel unnecessary at best and a cheapening of the franchise at worst. At least, if they were set in WWII again.
Some other random thoughts
The cast is great from snark-free Chris Evans to “sure why not I’ll be in this” people like Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones.
The Cosmic Cube is a suitable stand-in for the Ark of the Covenant as part of the film’s whole Indiana Jones homage.
How crazy is it that there are comics about a character in the universe where said comic character actually exists?
X-Men: First Class is good but maybe this is the best superhero movie of the Summer?
The whole patriotism thing is never obnoxious and conversely the multiethnic soldier stuff never feels like politically correct pandering.
There’s one great bit of kind of insane ultra-violence.
It's got great stuff like this
Making Bucky an adult was a good move. Superhero child sidekicks don’t make any sense except in Kick-Ass kind of stuff where they acknowledge how messed up the whole situation is.
Howard Stark is fine but he outstays his welcome as if to say, “Hey you guys like Iron Man right? Well here’s his dad. CLOSE-UP ON STARK INDUSTRIES LOGO!”
Actually, once again it’s the shared universe nonsense that’s the worst part of this movie. There’s just so little of it this time fortunately that it doesn’t noticeably detract and most probably won’t even notice.
Also, 3D continues to be dumb. I actually had to break my “no 3D movie” streak for this one and all I got was a lighter wallet and unwanted shields coming at my face.
Thor Kirby (courtesy of a friend of mine) sayeth, "Your move Whedon"