Captain America

I'm a sucker for a good origin story, and no recent film better exploits this particular characteristic of mine than Captain America: The First Avenger. It's on my list at #5 right now on the strength of the first act alone. 

I love how the skinny Steve Rogers wants to help, wants to serve, wants to do whatever he can in the war effort, but is repeatedly denied for being too small, too frail, and too weak. I love how Abraham Erskine sees in him the heart of a true hero, and how he puts his reputation on the line to give Steve Rogers his chance.

That said, Captain America has never been on my list of favorite superheroes. He's kind of corny, when you get right down to it. I love my country, but expecting me to automatically extend that love to a dude wrapped in red, white, and blue symbolism is a bit much. 

Captain America: The First Avenger took that concern of mine and dealt with it perfectly. I cannot honestly think of a better way for the filmmakers to handle the patriotic propagandism inherent in the character. They turned it into a brilliant story point, and made it clear that even the most patriotic among us don't have time for propaganda, not when there's a job to be done. 

My complaints with the film have all been bought off by the generous funding extended during the first act. Oblivious villians, stupid plans, dubious physics, and poor fortress construction ("Oh! A determined enemy might use the shape of our bunker as a motorcycle ramp! It's a good thing nobody has invented car-bombs yet! The next fortress will have speedbumps on the ramp, ya?") were among the movie tropes that didn't annoy me nearly so much as they usually do.

You, however, may experience things quite a bit differently than I did. I was sitting right next to a hard-core Cap fanboy whose love for Cap was a tangible aura constantly threatening to turn my popcorn red, white, and blue. Some of that may have rubbed off on me during the show.

Root cause notwithstanding, I had a fantastic time. Stick around through the credits for some teasers about next year's Avengers movie. I'm excited for it now.