Originally Posted by Kevin Roegele
The first half is a good, if somewhat shallow, character piece where we see Steve's progression. Unfortunetly all the effort gone into giving Steve a character arc has meant all the other characters are extremely 2D, and 1D in many cases (Tommy Lee Jones playing Tommy Lee Jones).
The second half is just a mess of forced drama (Bucky dies? We don't even get to know Bucky or see him very much), lame romantic sparring (the fondue stuff was awful) and the usual crowbarring in of Avengers material - in this case, the completely unneccesary addition of Tony Stark's dad, who even happens to fly planes into warzones-! It ruins the suspension of disbelief. Why not have Bruce Banner's dad in there too? And Hawkeye's? Hell, why don't you just run a message at the bottom of the screen throughout the entire movie saying, "Avengers, coming 2012!"
Another problem is the action scenes are forced in because they need to be there, rather than occuring naturally in the plot. I guess that's the advantage of a WWII setting, there is always a battle to be had when audiences demand it. But there's no build up to these fight scenes, and they're not very exciting (Hydra vehicles blow up one after another). Cap and his friends never look remotely in danger as they take out one Nazi after another (sorry, not Nazi, I mean Hydra agent...don't want to possibly offend the German audiences, do we? Hydra are much worse than Nazis, really!).
You may say, so what if the action isn't great, the movie is about Steve Roger's journey. It is about that. But if you've ever read a Jack Kirby Captain America comic, they are the most thrilling, action-packed, rollercoaster-rides you'll ever find in a comic. The fight scenes in those comics are intense and spectacular. Cap doesn't just fight Nazis, he launches himself at them and fights three or four at once. These stories are full of cliffhangers, end-of-the-world scenarios, dramatic rescues and deadly peril. And absolutely action packed. Captain America: The First Avenger, is none of those things. The movie even looks static and slow compared to Kirby's work.