Chris Evans brings a surprising amount of humanity to a character that, in the wrong hands, very well could not work. He plays the character with his heart on his shirtsleeve and holds nothing back. Markus and McFeely really understand his character and are the writers behind all 3 Cap movies, as well as the last two Avengers films. They were tasked with bringing this character to life and, man, they just get him. The first half of the movie is committed to getting to know Steve Rogers-the man and it is time well spent. You fall in love with his character because he embodies the virtue of goodness. In fact, it is his character journey that works best within this film. Whenever the film strays away from him, the movie becomes a bit more problematic.
Joe Johnston directs this film and he was a good choice. He really captured the period piece setting and makes the film an almost sister film to his 1991 film The Rocketeer. He uses some stylish pulpy film techniques that really sell the atmosphere of the era. Not everyone goes for this vibe and this film is in fact hit or miss with some people, but I find this to be one of the best Marvel origin films and better than the much loved sequel. The Agent Carter character is a big reason as to why that is. She is my favorite side character in all of the MCU, and Hayley Atwell is captivating as her. Also putting in some fine work are Stanely Tucci, Dominic Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones and Sebastian Stan. If you are comfortable with action taking the back seat to a solid character study of a man who is just looking to do some good in a world that is looking hopeless, than this is a great film to choose.