"Uncle Sam Wants You!" the posters insisted on wall after wall during the 1940s, but what if you were just too scrawny, too weak to pass the physical and join the military to fight for your country? That's the dilemma faced by Brooklyn weakling Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), who has gotten used to being bullied, but is remarkable for his willingness to endure any pummeling so as not to seem a coward. "I can take this all day" he says in one scene early in the movie.
Enter German-American scientist Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci), who picks Rogers to join a squad of men he plans on turning into enhanced super soldiers for the US Army. Rogers struggles through the training but shows he has tremendous courage and the proverbial heart of gold and when it's time to test out Erskine's serum -- with a little help from Stark Industries and Iron Man grandfather Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) -- it's Rogers who is picked to go first.
Rogers emerges from the Frankenstein-like machine ripped and ready to defend his country, able to run lightening fast, swim deep into the water and with other terrifically enhanced capabilities. Helpful for fighting Nazis, for sure. Except Erskine's previous experiment was for the Germans and the result is the insane Johann Schmidt and his alter ego Red Skull (Hugo Weaving). Good guy, meet bad guy.
I really enjoyed Captain America: The First Avenger, actually. It was a fun story with lots of heart and a terrific visual style that helped transport us back to the mid-40s. If you enjoy comic book films, it's a good weakling-to-hero journey too and while it has its flaws, Cap's a good guy and I'm glad he's on our team!