The couple behind me laughed like a pair of hyenas.
I rarely anticipate films from their trailer, since they're always built of the same boring elements. Captain America didn't interest me anymore than "Crocodile Man" would, the flashiness put me off. This time I was fascinated, because the trailer started with showing our hero, Steve Rogers, as a weakling with no power except determination, chosen because "a weak man knows what it is like to be strong". "This sounds smarter than movies," I thought, "maybe it's something I'll appreciate seeing."
I was unfamiliar with the mythos, unlike my dad, but didn't care, since the film was likely to make its own continuity anyway. The writers were intending one thing: not a deep, huge philosophical film, or a parody send-up, just a GOOD re-imagined Captain America. From that perspective, they delivered excellently.
"Captain America's" characters were built into roles, and each with amazing screen presence. Tucci's Dr. Erskine was my favorite, a benevolently warm doctor, knowing where a true Captain's strength lies. Peggy Carter was also a standout, and I think the key to her success was how official she behaved. Knowing she took her job seriously lent an extra weight to her words, and her relationship with Steve felt natural rather than forced, even if it's obligatory. The audience LOVED the Howling Commandos, and I too was delighted to see those cheery standouts from the prison were going to stay with us to do more awesome things. (Jim Morita stole my screening. My guess is there were people with me actually from Fresno.)
What made the film SPECIAL was the dialogue, and good dialogue is rare in movies these days' movies, every conversation a laborious series of statements and pauses, leading to something philosophical. "Captain America"'s feels like conversation, and very funny conversation. While I've enjoyed films like Nolan's "Inception" and "The Dark Knight", their rigidly solemn tone feels like the first thing to suck the life of them, if their characters and ideas weren't so compelling. "Captain America" WAS funny, so it felt alive.
The film succeeded in making an enjoyable "Captain America" film, but my only complaint was the plot's speed. What I thought was the 2nd act, the attack on Red Skull's base, was the end. "Captain America" isn't more than backstory, but what a backstory. Do see it.