Out all the heroes in Marvels' cinematic universe, Captain America is a unique one. Unlike his compatriots, Iron Man and Thor and Dr. Banner, Cap doesn't go through much of a character arc. He doesn't learn a lesson and become a better person for it. It's the opposite actually. He already is a better person, it's important that he DOESN'T change. Just like Eskrine says, "You must promise to me that you will stay as you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man." I do think that is a very character driven film, which might explain why the plot sometimes seems rushed during its second half. The first half is superb, it establishes Steve as a likable underdog, who does the right thing no matter what. He has a good set of morals and he isn't a jingoistic sort of Captain America boasting about home and country. Instead the choice is to emphasize his great humanity, (also present in the comics) Steve is a very moral and upright human being. Surprisingly, Chris Evans is able to convey this wonderfully. He's not like some animated interpretations of the character who give him a booming voice and a boring personality. Chris Evans keeps a human tone. Gentle almost, but still very firm. This is a man of great compassion but also of great resolve. It's refreshing to see this kind of old school hero after many movies portraying dark and brooding protagonists. Evan is perfectly cast and the strong supporting cast isn't to be counted out either. He and Sebastian Stan have good camaraderie, they feel like they've been friends for years. Tommy Lee Jones is enjoyable in, honestly, a role you'd only want to see played by him. Hayley Atwell is strong and sympathetic as Steve's love interest. The growing metaphor of dancing partners is a smart way to watch their romance evolve among everything else in the film. It adds a sincere warmth. When we get to the second half, it gets a little rushed as I mentioned above. But I'd argue it's less about Cap trying to stop the Skull and more about finding his place as a symbol. It comes full circle when we see at the end, a child holding up a trashcan lid (just as Steve does in the beginning, the first of many foreshadowings) with Cap's shield colors painted on it. By the end, he's become that symbol. The film is not perfect, but it is a good one. I'd personally recommend it.
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