All right, so, the Marvel-Avengers-build-up series of comic-book hero movies is great. Agreed. Dudefest History is being made here. No doubt. All the female characters (about 1 main female role per movie, let’s say) are top-five-caliber hotties. Indeed.
Is CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER the best one to come out so far? I think so. Sit down, imaginary dudechild, and let me tell you why: America.
The story is feel-good-rah-rah-American-underdog good. (I’m getting paid for hyphen and "America" use today) Not terribly complicated, but, in my opinion, pretty powerful. It questions, in a fairly unintellectual way, what it means to be a good soldier. Now, this is nowhere near as moral-ridden as FULL METAL JACKET or SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, and does not TOUCH Band of Brothers. But what did you expect? It's rated PG-13. This story has got a superhero and a little bit of 40’s sci-fi to carry it all the way to the America-Is-The-Best Bowl, co-sponsored by Levi’s and Halliburton.
The plot centers around Steve Rodgers (good ol’ American name), a WWII-orphaned weenie that tries repeatedly to enter the armed forces (because he’s American), only to be denied due to his we-don’t-even-know-what-eczema-is-weenie-ism. He lives in Brooklyn, which, in this time period, must have been grittier and less a haven for jobless weenies than today. Fortunately, a German dude (played by Stanley Tucci, let’s make up a hyphenated name for him, like Deutsch-Doktor-Stein) recognizes how much spirit (American-Wild-Turkey-on-your-toothbrush Spirit) Steve has and decides he is a good fit for a fledgling top secret Super Soldier program, that turns regular dudes into behaviorally-normal-physically-mutant-super-dudes. Deutsch-Doktor-Stein senses that Steve is a good guy who knows what right and wrong are, and will not grow morally corrupt due to his immensely increased power. Like, say, a certain country that was launched into super-stardom around the same time period, and has been trying to keep it together after gaining immense wealth & power ever since. Jury is still out on that allegory, though. Regardless, Steve is cured of his weenie-ism (weenie, weenie, weenie) and becomes, strong, humble, and super cute, the best of dudedom. CEO of Charming Inc., Captain Fucking America. The program is destroyed, however, by some German-spy-turd right after Steve comes (unexpectedly for some) out of the process looking like the aforementioned chiseled god. A great chase scene ensues where Steve exposes, to himself and to viewers, that he really did become a baby-saving-super-dude. Deutsch-Doktor-Stein is killed though, so Steve’s the only person that has survived the process, and now must save civilization. Per Cypher in the Matrix: "Jee-zus. What a mind job." Also, America.
Meanwhile the Captain Insano Nazi-German villain (played by Mr. Smith Elrond Hugo Weaving, let’s call him Kapitän-Schmidt-Grüben) is another product of this program - he worked on it with Doktor-Stein, but was such a dick that Herr Doktor defected to America. Added to said dickness, Schmidt-Grüben is greedy and impatient; thus, the Super Soldier Serum effs his face up. He steals the Tesseract, an alien cube of immense power (the object that ties the Avenger series together eventually) and plans to use it to produce a weapon to dominate the world. Kapitän-Schmidt-Grüben is obviously a personification of what happens if the wrong person is given power. He is just a general meanie, bein' a dick all the time. He splits off from the Fuhrer, realizing that his plans don’t-need-no-Nazis and that he serves a higher purpose: himself. Maybe there is a nation allegory for this guy, but I don’t want to get into that shit.
The rest of the story plays out as such: Steve is given the task of being poster boy (Captain America) for the American War effort, because he is too special to be in real combat, which, of course, is total-bullshit. So eventually, when Steve travels over to the front lines and realizes that this war shit is for real and that yes, he is a super-dude, Captain America bursts through his former (and last) weenie-from-Brooklyn-in-tights image to save a bunch of American POWs (including his best friend and non-weenie-Brooklynite Bucky) from behind enemy lines (or as we at Dudefest.com call it, "the American workday"). During the extraction, he meets Kapitän-Schmidt-Grüben, learning that he is also super, but not a dude.
This starts off his role in leading a select group of men running around Europe, shutting down Schmidt-Grüben wherever he turns. The America Rampage (as it should have been called), of course, culminates with a terrific fanfare by staging a final, epic battle between Captain America and Kapitän-Schmidt-Grüben-Berger-Stein (now in his evolved, more-pissed-off-Berger-Stein form). Cap also gets a smooch from his British love Interest before dashing off (called the "American goodbye"); which Tommy Lee Jones, an Army Colonel, follows up with "I'm not kissing you!" Reportedly, said Colonel is now kicking himself for not planting a big wet one on those Angelina-Jolie-sized-full-moisture-smackers of Captain America. America.
I’m not even writing "SPOILER ALERT" for this ending (though I guess I just did): Captain America saves the world by crashing a bomber filled with Tesseract-nukes into the Arctic, and that storyline ends. WHY did he have to die, you ask? What about the rest of the Marvel Series?? Well, Steve Rogers comes to in a hospital bed in 2012 (NOW I get that first scene of the movie). He’s been re-awoken by Nick Fury (Marvel’s character link between all the to-be AVENGERS movies), and it’s now obvious that an AVENGERS movie is coming next, for the good of America.