I enjoyed Captain America: The First Avenger a lot. I was not sure going into it that I would like it because the initial reviews were not that stellar, but it really was quite entertaining. I would not say it was the best movie of the summer, but it is definitely worth seeing.
There are a few spoilers here, so I advise you to proceed with caution.
The first thing that stood out to me in the movie was that it was funnier than I expected it to be. There is very little humor in any of the trailers, but there is a lot of humor in the film. I am not saying it is a comedy, but there are some great one liners. I do not know why I was so surprised by this, but I was, and I it was one of the things that made me like this film as much as I did.
In terms of performances, Chris Evans was excellent. I especially enjoyed him as "mini Steve," if you will, before they turn him into Captain America. The guy who is small in stature but has a huge heart and twice the courage of any normal sized man. I had seen Evans in other projects and enjoyed his acting, but I was happily surprised to see a more emotional side. Stanley Tucci was also fantastic, but that is pretty much to be expected. Actually, in thinking about this post, I looked up on IMDb how many acting awards Tucci had won and I was shocked to see how few of the big ones he actually had. I think he is great in whatever role he takes on and deserves to be recognized for that more often than he is currently.
There were also a number of other roles that were very well played. I knew that Sebastien Stan played Rodger's best friend, Bucky. However, I was happily surprised to also see Neil McDonough, Derek Luke and Kenneth Choi as fellow army friends. I also knew that Dominic Cooper was in the film, but did not know that he was playing Howard Stark, Tony Stark aka Iron Man's father. All of these were happy surprises from actors that I always enjoy. Of course there was also Hugo Weaving and Tommy Lee Jones, but I tend to get more excited about the random smaller roles.
In terms of plot, I liked that the movie was about Captain America and his mission. It was not about the romance between Steve and Peggy. They alluded to their romantic interest, but it was not a focal point. They also did not spend too much time on the death of his best friend. You see how the death affected him, but they did not linger on the subject for too long. Those are sometimes the things that make films more convoluted and confusing and I was happy to see that it did not happen with this film.
To be honest, my only issue with the movie is during the scene where he gets turned into the super soldier. He goes into the capsule with pants on and the procedure makes him at least twice as big as he is originally, yet the pants still fit perfectly. I do not know why it bothered me so much, but it really did. Although, I suppose, if that is my only real complaint, then it is not so bad :o)
The movie was left open-ended in preparation for The Avengers (have I talked about this at all?) and, as with all the other Marvel movies, make sure you stay until the very end of the credits. You will see the first glimpse of next summer's big film. If you have seen Iron Man or Thor and enjoyed it, then I definitely think you will enjoy Captain America as well.