MUCH LIKE REAL-LIFE PATRIOTS Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Lance Armstrong, Captain America, AKA Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), needed just a little assistance from science to be his best. Allegedly, of course.
Rogers is an America-loving 90-pound weakling who was 4F during previous recruitment attempts to enlist in the Allies' efforts in WWII—until Rogers takes part in a scientific military experiment that instantly turns the limp zero to beefy hero, all without the aid of a Charles Atlas advertisement. Teaming with zee German ex-pat Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones), and billionaire benefactor—and future daddy to Iron Man—Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper, ironically not Robert Downey Sr.), Rogers instantly goes from pasty nerdling to the glistening six-packed shield-bearer that we know as Captain America.
So marks the first act of the it-doesn't-matter-if-you-like-it-there-is-already-a-sequel-in-the-works Captain America, or in case you really doubt the whole sequel thing, the full title of which is Captain America: The First Avenger. The film basks in the Captain America storyline (which is total nerd pandering) of an everyday schlub (like us) who instantly becomes perfect and ultra fuckable (unlike us), all the while beating up Nazis hell-bent on global domination. Actually, the film's villains are part of a shadowy network known as Hydra, a Nazi splinter organization with S&M-leather-masked foot soldiers, led by Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), who unfortunately resembles a discolored Jim Carey from The Mask. Not only does Red Skull want to destroy his former Nazi bosses (yay!) he wants to nuke America (boo!) and vows to rule a world without nations or flags, which—hold on, let me put on this tinfoil hat—makes him the United Nations.
Captain America aligns himself with a not-too-subtle selection of overtly diverse soldiers. (African American guy? Check. Asian guy? Check. British guy? French guy? Check. A woman. What? Now I've seen everything... I mean, check.) Together they bust some skulls in action sequences that are as loud as they are confusing. And since this generation of Americans doesn't speak German (or Hydraese, or whatever), Captain America and crew were clearly successful in their brave mission.
Plot points and storyline are secondary here—oh, don't act so shocked—as Captain America is just another entry in the great pantheon of moderately enjoyable comic book adaptations that can't hold a star-spangled shield to The Dark Knight, but it sure beats watching Ben Affleck in Daredevil. Now that would be un-American.