Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Captain America (1979)

Captain America is a 1979 made for TV movie that was released on CBS on the day I turned two years old (not that I remember it!).
The actor who played Steve Rogers / Captain America in the film, Reb Brown, comes across as being really mellow. In fact, he barely shows any emotion at all! That's probably what they were going for, to attempt to bridge the gap between Cap's traditional military origins and the anti-war crowd. Rogers is a soft-spoken, reluctant hero that basically has to be dragged into being a superhero. Instead of the Super Soldier Serum, Rogers receives his powers from the FLAG serum that saves his life after an attempted murder. The name "Captain America" comes from a nickname Roger's father had since Rogers isn't actually a Captain at all!

This film is perhaps best remembered for the kooky reimagining of Cap's. It actually takes a significant amount of time before Rogers gets into his full, final Cap uniform.  The shield's white ring and blue area are replaced with clear ones and Cap is able to use it as a windshield on his motorcycle. Cap's wings are painted on his motorcycle helmet. Essentially, Cap is completely focused on his motorcycle. He's more Evil Knievel than Captain America!

Cap action is more slapstick than combat. He spills oil so the bad guys slip. He knocks out a bad guy with car exhaust, not his shield. Basically, stuff any ordinary guy could do without superpowers. Yawn.

The villains are common gangsters/terrorists - no super villains. But somehow these thugs have gotten their hands on a neutrino bomb! What do they plan on doing with it? Not blackmail - they're just going to blow up a city. Beyond that, we don't get much in the way of an explanation as to their motives. Sounds ridiculous but I think that was probably three seasons of 24!

Probably the worst thing about this movie is how boring it is. Between Roger's monotone voice, the vague villain motivations, soft music, unnecessary scenes, lots of exposition, and really slow buildup to actual Cap action this film just seems to drag on and on.

1LR Review - 9 out of 20 - It's a Miss!

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