March 1942, Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) is in search of an artifact that will help him control the war but more so, the world. Every man in America is out to serve their country but for one man in particular it doesn’t seem possible due to his size and medical issues. Uncle Sam wants every man to enlist now but after five tries and several lies, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) doesn’t have a chance in hell of fighting for his country. His best friend James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes has always stood by his side but can’t help him fit into the uniform either. One evening while on a double date at the ‘World of Tomorrow’ Steve meets Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), originally from Germany but now Queens who takes a chance on the little guy from Brooklyn and stamps him approval into the military.
Steve Rogers never liked bullies mainly because due to his size he was always bullied his entire life but still holds in his heart the true understanding of right from wrong, good from evil. A trait admired by Dr. Erskine and the reason for his approval into the military. It is amazing the actual CGI effects implemented in these opening moments with Steve Rogers as a slim little military man which plays out quite comical during his training, later leading into the transformation of a much larger and brawnier Captain America. Powers supplied to him under the supervision of Dr. Erskine with the help of Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) have enabled him the opportunity to escort Hitler into the gates of hell. No longer the helpless gerbil training under the command of Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) but rather a true soldier with a lot of extra abilities thanks to a serum supplied by Dr. Erskine. The same serum taken by Schmidt during a Nazi experiment but due to complications we discover that underneath that rugged exterior is the gruesome and diabolical ‘Red Skull’.
Of course where would a comic book adaptation, super-hero movie be without the love interest and there is one in particular. No it’s not Colonel Phillips but rather Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) the Colonels right hand woman. She assists not only the Colonel but also Captain America who happens at first not to be a perfect soldier but rather always a perfect man. Once a boy but now a man and treated as a lab rat made into a dancing monkey, Captain America suits up in his proper attire and becomes an army spokesperson selling bonds that help buy bullets for the military forces. That is until 1943 in Italy when he hears that his best friend is captured and held prisoner by a Nazi division called Hydra led by Johann Schmidt and helped by his sidekick Dr. Armin Zola who has created weapons of mass destruction with the help from the powers held within the artifact.
When Captain America rescues nearly 400 prisoners from the grasp of the Red Skull he not only receives a valor of honor, forms a small group of men, Timothy ‘Dum Dum” Dugan (Neal McDonough), Gabe Jones (Derek Luke), Jim Morita (Kenneth Choi), James Montgomery Falsworth (JJ Field) and a few others which include his best friend Bucky, but Steve Rogers finally learned the meaning of Fondue, thanks to Stark. Shield in hand, men by his side, he battles the evil powers and ultimate killing weapons of the Red Skull as they all fight to destroy all of his hidden weapon facilities. In the process not all of them return to fight another day.
Revenge in mind and the goal to destroy the Red Skull, Captain America knocks on his front door so to speak in the fashion of the Trojan horse. The Red Skull has created a massive army with weapons that will disintegrate anything in its path and Captain America and his team have but one chance to save the day and of course America from complete annihilation. In the end, Captain America has made the unselfish and honorable choice to save the world, missing his dance with the woman he loves yet waking up to a whole new world face to face with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) as a soon to be new member of the Avengers.
Everything about this film was truly amazing as it grabs you by the collar pulls you from the audience and into a 3D experience of the patriotic era during the times of WWII. Great direction, visual effects, writing that envelopes an understandable dialogue between all the characters as it develops them as well, dynamic score and a brilliant job by the cast especially Chris Evans who plays Steve Rogers and Captain America with heroic integrity making him seem real yet iconic at the same time, all helping to achieve one of the best Marvel films to date. Tommy Lee Jones is truly brilliant giving his character the sense of authority yet a soft side laced with a touch of humor that plays well against the other actors. The beauty in the film, Peggy Carter, takes on the role as one of the guys able to kick ass like any tough military man but yet on the opposite side able to reveal her feminine side as the love interest to Captain America that in the end emulates one of the best heartfelt tender moments in a Marvel film. Maybe not the best but certainly one of the best! This must see film of the year contained a huge cast and crew and all played a part in making this a must see of 2011 but thanks to Hugo Weaving he was able to play a villain that truly knows the art of evil making his character both fearless yet fearsome as the Red Skull out to take over the world. God bless America and all the parties behind making a Marvel Comic into one of the best adaptation for the big screen that pays homage to our troops of past, present and future. Written and absolutely enjoyed with three and half paws, almost four, by Jon Patch.