Going back in time to when James Cameron first invented the third dimension, I have only tolerated 3D movies for one reason and one reason only: The opportunity to experience what it would feel like to have Captain America throw his shield into my face. Now, with the release of Captain America: The First Avenger, I have accomplished this one strange goal I had, and can return to my two-dimensional world. Was the experience worth it? It was about what I expected, except I got to keep my teeth. Which was nice. But beyond the getting hit in the face with a shield, what did or didn’t I like about Captain America? Glad you asked. Here’s a handy list that I helpfully arranged for you. WHAT I LIKED • Chris Evans. Most people’s reaction to Chris Evans being cast as Captain America was “Chris who?” Others was “The fire guy from those terrible Fantastic Four movies?” Mine was “That guy from Sunshine?” Because I watch weird movies. But if you have trepidations about the guy wearing the blue suit and winged hat, rest assured the guy does a perfectly adequate job, even when his head is being photoshopped onto the body of a 90-pound 12-year-old boy at the beginning of the film. Maybe it was completely different in the 2D version of the film, but at least in the 3D, you’re too busy seeing 2D images at different levels of depth to notice that hey, that’s really weird-looking. • Hugo Weaving. While it would be nice if this guy could just once get a role that wasn’t a comic book villain, he still does as great a job as anyone could ever hope for from a guy with a red skull for a head. What I’m saying is he is about a thousand times better than that guy who played Skeletor in the He-Man movie. He’s that good. • This Feels Old-Timey, Daggummit. The makers of this film did a cracking good job making this movie feel like it came from the period it depicted. It has the feel of the old time serials, which shouldn’t be to much of a surprise given that director Joe Johnston also did The Rocketeer. Of course, he also directed The Wolfman and Jurassic Park 3, yet he didn’t make this movie suck ass, so maybe it should be a surprise. • Bucky! Every time I read Bucky was going to be in this film, I cringed, picturing something mirroring Chris O’Donnell in the Joel Schumacher-directed NippleBatman films. But it turns out, this is one of the rare times where a Hollywood film rewrites what was in the comics and the reaction is “Oh, thank God.” Instead of being a wisecracking 10-year-old boy sidekick like in the comics, Bucky is Cap’s same-aged, non-wisecracking, not-sidekick. Sure, he still bites it in a non-ambigious, totally going to come back to life kind of way. But he’s not a little boy! I don’t have to be weirded out by my superheroes anymore! • Superhero Movie Not About A Superhero. I love Captain America. I really do. But let’s face facts. Brother ain’t a superhero. He’s a weak little kid who, thanks to science, gets turned into a really muscley guy. Then, with costume on, his one superpower is he uses a shield to keep from being shot. Yet in the comic books, you think of one guy who could never possibly be beaten in a fight and it’s Captain America. Same in the movie. Once he gets jacked, you never once consider the possibility during the movie’s running that Captain America’s kryptonite is bullets, knives or falling off really high places. He’s just a man, but you don’t really ever think that because he’s too busy chasing down cars and punching submarines (Yes, punching submarines). Thanks for keeping Captain America super despite him not being super. WHAT I HATED • More Nazi Punching, Please. I hate jingoistic crap. I really do. But starting out, Steve Rogers is a scrawny little runt who wants nothing more than to get into the Army and start punching some Nazis right in their Nazi faces, FOR AMERICA. Then he gets all ‘roided up and he’s all set and what happens? He ends up fighting against Hydra with his own specially-appointed squadron of men (Howling Commandos, hells yeah!) in some sort of secret war that isn’t even really directly connected to World War II. I don’t have any real problem with Hydra per say, but I have about as much real-life contempt for them as I do for Cobra. Whereas Nazis, man, do I ever hate those assholes. Come on, Cap. Put a boot in their asses. It’s the American way. • The 90-Year-Old Virgin. Marvel doesn’t seem to like love stories all that much, which I guess isn’t all that surprising for a company that makes comic books primarily for boys. But still, let’s recap. Thor – dimensionally separated from his true love in the end. The Incredible Hulk – can’t be with his true love because he’s a big green monster. Iron Man – can’t be with his one true love because she’s Gwyneth Paltrow. Ew. Now we have Steve Rogers, who we are explicitly reminded over and over has no ability to relate to women whatsoever. And when you’re not being told this, he’s proving it by carrying a photo in a locket of a girl he’s not even dating. Cap, seriously. Don’t be that guy. And even when he still manages to win her heart with his goodhearted galootedness, what happens? Frozen in ice for seventy years before he could even get to second base (assuming first base is a half-second kiss like the kind you’d give to your sister.) That’s right. Captain America has never gotten laid. No wonder he wants to fight Nazis so damn much. WHAT I’M MILDLY AMBIVALENT TO • Fighting, Fighting, Fighting, Fighting, Fighting Round the World. The action was good, what little there was. For a comic book movie, there sure was a shortage of fighting scenes and an abundance of scenes with people talking about their feelings. But when people weren’t being all emotional, the fighting was really good. So good, in fact, that I wanted to step outside the theater and hit someone over the head with my plastic Captain America shield. • That Night I Spent in Traction. When choosing the person you’re going to hit over the head with your plastic Captain America shield, try to choose someone equal to or less than your physical size. That, or hit them hard enough to knock them out. Which is pretty hard, considering your weapon is plastic and all. • The Avengers, Ready to Avenge Some Shit. Yes, the Avengers trailer afterwards is all shades of awsome. It is also really short and told me nothing, other than I have to wait another ten months for it. Boo, movie. I want to watch you now. And thus was Captain America: The First Avenger. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, I give it a grade of “Go watch it.” You’ll have a good time, and best of all, popcorn. Also, that shield flying in your face will be totally worth the wait. Trust me.