Every recent Marvel movie that has been good to great has each had one big problem. Captain America doesn't have a single big problem. It doesn't have the pacing and running time issues of THOR, it isn't as formulaic as The Incredible Hulk, it doesn't try to cram a dozen new characters and side plots as Iron Man 2 did, and it definitely has enough action to satisfy, something that the original Iron Man couldn't be praised of. Yes, Captain America has problems, but they're all minor problems and don't take away from the overall experience. This means that Captain America: The First Avenger is undoubtedly in my mind, Marvel Studio's best film, so far. This film definitely could of been very cheesy, but Joe Johnston plays every possible silly moment straight, except for the Star Spangled Man sequence which brilliantly cheesy and fun. The tone for a film like this is difficult to pull off, but Joe Johnston nails it perfectly.
The casting of this film reminds of Superman: The Movie, which is definitely a good thing. Sure, Chris Evans has been in a load of superhero movies before this, but he isn't really a well known star, and he's really not known for serious performances, which definitely made him a strange choice for such an iconic role. Hayley Atwell is definitely an unknown to general audiences. But thankfully her and Evans are fantastic together and respectively. Chris Evans for the first time shows what a great actor he is. He brings alot of heart and dimension to the character, but still retains a small bit of his trademark wit and charm. Hayley Atwell is a star in the making(a damn fine one as well,) she really is one of the best supporting women ever in a CBM. Her final scene, where she is talking to Steve over the microphone is beautiful and almost made me tear up. The film also boasts a fantastic supporting cast, like Superman: The Movie. Hugo Weaving is delightfully menacing and cheesy as Red Skull, and at first "cheesy" may sound like a bad thing, but I think it works well, his character seems to be poking fun a bit at the one-dimensional villains of the 40's. Though thankfully he isn't like that the whole movie, because most of the time he is a very entertaining opponent for Cap. Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci are always fantastic and this film is no exception. Jones brings alot of humour to the film and Tucci brings alot of Heart for the short time he is in the film. The Howling Commandos get a good amount of screen time since they all get their shining moments. And finally Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark, though at times his changing accent was distracting, he was great in the role and definitely didn't feel like a pointless character.
THOR set the bar for special effects in CBMs very high and sadly Captain America does not beat THOR but still is very impressive at times. The effects for "Skinny Steve" are breathtaking and Red Skull looks great. But asides from that, the effects are sometimes mediocre.(I honestly chuckled a bit at Bucky's death, the way he was falling to the ground wasn't very convincing.)The set design is some of Marvel's best, you really understand that this is the 40's, unlike X-Men: First Class being set in the 60's. And even though we only see Cap in full costume for 40-50 minutes, every minute is awesome.
Another thing director Joe Johnston nails is the action scenes. From Steve Rogers jumping on to cars to Captain America fighting Red Skull, every action scene is exciting and keeps you glued to your seat.
Alan Silvestri's score is great. The main theme and the Star Spangled Man song are my favourites. And finally I did not see the film in 3D so I have no comment.
So the "big" question is.... Is this new version better than the 1990's version? Of course it is. I thankfully have lost the uncontrollable rage that Green Lantern gave me(Maybe..) It's definitely the best CBM this year and one of the best ever in my opinion. Yes, There are a few minor problems which keep it from being perfect, but no movie is, but it's damn near close. If you haven't seen it, go see it now...