Captain America is the greatest superhero ever created. Oh, he may not be the most popular anymore and the hip kids may snicker at his patently jingoistic attire and gimmick. They’ll probably complain that he’s a dinosaur better suited to an earlier time when good and evil were easy to tell apart.
And you know what? They’re right. He is a relic. He’s a throwback to a time when men said what they meant and meant what they said. A time when you took the fight to scumbags like Hitler and didn’t have chickenhawks, socialists, and fifth columnists hamstringing our boys at every turn.
He risked everything to transform himself from a guy too weak to otherwise serve his country for a chance to be a super soldier. For all he knew, he wouldn’t survive what was known as Operation Rebirth. But even when he was still a gimpy average Joe, we knew that he was a hero. Why? Because he volunteered.
He wasn’t drafted. Didn’t get tricked. Wasn’t bit by some fancy bug. He wanted to help his country any way he could, just like millions of other Americans did when the time came to stand against unchecked aggression from those who would destroy our way of life.
All this is an attempt to give some context to Albert Pyun’s Captain America which everyone and their Commie brother insists on dumping on. If you didn’t know any better from what people say about this film, you’d think it was the worst thing since the Bubonic Plague!
I’ll grant you that it didn’t have hundreds of millions behind it to make it look really sweet. So some of the action sequences involved Cap being chased through the woods by some skanks on motorcycles or Cap eluding bad guys on a bicycle. A real hero makes do with what a given situation allows!
There’s also a lot of carping about some of the alleged problems with the story. Sure, I was somewhat taken aback to find that the doctor who didn’t write down the information about the super soldier serum did in fact keep a diary that revealed the Red Skull’s real name, but there’s probably lots of people who keep personal journals, but don’t write anything else down. Hell, I write movie reviews, but I’ve never made a grocery list in my life! I’m guess I’m full of plot holes, too!
Then there’s the Red Skull’s scheme! Um, what was the Red Skull’s scheme again? Oh yes, something about a brain implant and the President.
I think it all had to do with some pending environmental legislation that the President was proposing. The Red Skull apparently had learned his lesson after having John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated that it was best to just control someone rather than making a martyr out of them.
The critics will of course moan about whatever it was that the Red Skull was up to as not making a whole lot of sense. Well yeah! He’s a crazed super-villain!
He has to wear a gallon of flesh-colored putty to cover up his horribly disfigured face! He strapped Captain America to a rocket and then chopped his own arm off when Cap wouldn’t let go of it before the rocket was launched! A guy who wasn’t insane would’ve tried something a little less drastic than that, like kicking Cap in the nuts, before amputating an appendage! Are we really going to hold this dude to some kind of normal standard when it comes to ingenious/nefarious plans to take over the world?
On his first mission, Steve Rogers saves the White House and ends up frozen in Alaska for fifty years. When he thaws out, he heads back home to look up his old girlfriend. Oh, you can bet the critics hated that part of the movie, too! Why is Steve Rogers wandering around all confused in the 1990s and not in costume? Because he’s a freaking human being, you dirtbags!
As much as I admire Cap, I won’t B.S. you and tell you that his movie is great. It isn’t. In fact, I’d have a hard time describing it as good, or kind of good, or even okay. I’d probably go with “not as hideous as it’s made out to be” or maybe even “almost not as bad as you could hope for given the circumstances.”
Cap seems on defense during the middle part of the movie which is really ill-advised since it’s not even the Red Skull who’s harassing him, but the Red Skull’s un-superpowered daughter and some goons!
Cap also gets saddled with the ugly daughter of his old girlfriend who is for some reason played by the same actress who played his old girlfriend. And perhaps, strangest of all, Cap pretends to get carsick twice in order to steal a couple of cars!
Still, given the shortcomings, I found myself jacked whenever Cap was in costume slinging his shield around, thumping bad guys, and best of all when he and the President of the United States of America teamed up to defeat the Red Skull at his Italian fortress!
A lot of people probably have a problem with the fact that all of this is done completely without irony. What you need to realize is that this is basically a Golden Age comic book come to life! The Golden Age of comics wasn’t exactly known for subtlety or depth, especially Cap’s publisher, the Marvel forerunner known as Timely.
Throw in the surprising appearance of Carla Cassola from Lucio Fucli’s The House of Clocks and a couple of real bad Southside Johnny songs and the movie becomes a can’t miss. Besides, every American should see the scene where the Red Skull is taunting Cap about what a clownish symbol he is that no one cares about and Captain America simply replies, “I care.” Yeah, if ass kick had a color, it’d been red, white, and blue.
© 2014 MonsterHunter