Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on October 2011

© 2010 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2010 Marvel Entertainment, LLC and its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

Boy, I sure hope The Avengers, coming up in 2012, is a really good movie, because I’m getting tired of all these set-ups (The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor). This one’s firmly in the “not-as-bad-as-some” category, and a period piece to boot. It’s 1941, and this 90-pound wimp (a digitally dis-enhanced Chris Evans⎯the Human Torch in The Fantastic Four), after being repeatedly rejected in his attempts to enlist in the army and go fight Hitler, is noticed for his perseverance, passion and patriotism, and given the mad scientist treatment (it’s a comic book) to emerge as the hunky (and now kind of boring) title super-soldier. Apparently Hitler is now not deemed nasty enough, so he instead goes after a rather theatrical, dastardly uber-villain named The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving). The rest is a veritable checklist of superhero-film components (action set pieces, big battle montage, clever one-liners and inside jokes) but these are solidly crafted if you’re not yet superheroed out, and the film’s got style and heart. Good supporting case includes Tommy Lee Jones, Sebastian Stan, Heyley Atwell, Dominic Cooper and Stanley Tucci.