The allied forces are in a fierce battle with Nazi Germany during the second world war. Both sides are desperate for a secret weapon to gain an edge. The Americans have a drug that enhances the good and bad qualities of a person.
Scrawny kid Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is selected to be transformed into a bulked-up super-soldier, a.k.a. Captain America. The Nazis have Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), a.k.a. Red Skull, as their version.
Rogers' patriotic heroism is one-sided and gets tiring quickly. At one point he defends a propaganda film at a cinema, only to have an "unpatriotic" ruffian give him a beating. I get it - Rogers is an American hero. We don't need a constant reminder.
Visually, the film is spot on. The retro feel and less saturated colour scheme places it in line with the period it depicts. The CGI team did an incredible job turning Evans into a skinny kid. Other than Batman's, I can't think of a better live-action costume.
But, on the whole, sky-high expectations did little to raise the ambitions of the filmmakers.
Don't get me wrong: this is not so much a below-par film as it is a disappointment. You expect more from something that's been 70 years in the making.