Monday, April 9, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Captain America (1990)

The Captain America movie from 1990 was SUPPOSE to be a theatrical release but instead it was released direct-to-video..
I liked that this film parts ways with previous on-camera depictions of Cap. This film isn't afraid to get its hands dirty as shown by the slaughter of an innocent family in the opening scene and the point blank, on-camera assassination of a scientist. I also liked the slow opening. The film takes its time to set up the story and to develop the feel of the historical era.

The film then quickly accelerates to Rogers receiving the Super Solider Serum and going on his first mission as Captain America. The movie moves as a quick clip.

As for Cap's look... it's okay but really not great. I'll say this - the were very true to the comic book look. The Red Skull looks like a close-up of a lumpy, scarred Red Potato. That is, when the Red Skull is red at all. About 1/3 of the way through the film he gets plastic surgery and his skin isn't red anymore!

There are some neat insider references to the Submariner and Human Torch along the way that strongly suggest they exist in this continuity and are known by the population at large.

The story takes an odd turn when it tries to connect the 1940's action to the 1990's. It does so by using a kid, Thomas Kimball, who Cap saves and then he becomes the President in the 90's. It's a narrative stretch to say the least. We're to believe that the President still carries in his back pocket dark, grainy pictures he took when he was 10?

While many reviewers are down on this film, I actually was able to enjoy it to an extent. Sure, it's full of cheese but it's Captain America... what do you want?

The action isn't spectacular but it's not quite bad either. It's good in concept but sometimes the editing makes things hard to follow. And who wants to see an old president beating up bad guys? We paid to see Captain America, not Air Force One!

In the plus side for this movie in strange connection to A Christmas Story. Both Ralphie's mom and dad have parts in this film!

While not great, it was certainly the best Captain America effort up to 1990.

1LR Review - 12 out of 20 - It's a Glancing Hit!

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