Action, Adventure

Captain America (1992)

0 Comments 02 September 2011

Captain America (1990)Re-released In 1992
21st Century Film Corporation
Theatrical Release: December 14, 1990
Home release: July 22, 1992/August 23, 2011
Director: Albert Pyun
Rated PG-13

Review by Adam Bielawski

Every comic book fan will most likely love this movie from 20 years ago. The 1990 Captain American film was fun to watch but I hate to mention that half way through the movie my attention was on other things.  At first glance I thought this was a made for TV  movie.  However the PG-13 rating made me do some snooping and discovering quickly in IMDB that this was originally released as a theaterical feature back in 1990. If this movie was release ‘as is’ today, it probably would be rated G.  How times changes.  In addition, Marvel Comic great, Stan Lee, helped produced this feature.  For the 1990s I would expect a bit better from a theatrical feature.

Our hero is Steve Rogers played by Matt Salinger, who becomes Captain America, a young man during World War II who volunteers to join a special top secret experimental program for the creation of a super soldier. However that is not where the movie beings. Our story starts some years earlier in 1936 during the rise of the Nazis and Mussolini’s Fascist Italy, a program was underway to create a super soldier. The chosen youth for the experiment is kidnapped while his family is gunned down.  Now our scene takes us to a lab where the young boy is prepped by the Nazis. An objection is voiced of using a boy by one of the scientist; the Nazis answered the woman scientist with guns blazing. The project continues as Mussolini and the Nazis are eager to see his new youth as super human. However the experiments have not been finalized and some of the lab animals have no skin and rather gruesome looking; the project continues and the young boy is transformed to a red figure, who becomes the Red Skull.

Years later during the height of World War II, the United States themselves are working on the same idea of a super soldier or a garrison of human soldiers.  Our first volunteer, Steve Rogers, now is set to be the first in the experiment.  Just before the initial start, Rogers meets with the surviving scientist thought to be dead by the Nazis, of the original experiment. Dr. Vasellia is that scientist now working with the Americans to help clean the wrong she did back in Italy. The experiment is a success. One of the ambassadors at the testing facilities is a Nazi and finally guns down Dr. Vaselli for her treason to the motherland. With her death, all the secrets of how to create the super soldier go with her to the grave.

The US Army takes no time to send Rogers on his first mission. He is sent to Europe to destroy the evil of the Nazi creation the Red Skull; however things don’t go as planned.  The Red Skull gets the better of Captain American and sends him on a joy ride on a rocket that is aimed in destroying Washington, D.C. Another young boy sees the rocket fly over and notices a face of a man on the rocket, this boy many years later will again remember, but as Thomas Kimball President of the United States. As the rocket flies towards the Capital, Captain America is able to move the guiding mechanism on the rocket which  sends him to the Alaska and is frozen in time till pulled from the ice in the 1990s.

This is where the movie for me takes a turn for the worst; it’s kind of like when the television series of Wonder Women hit present day, it stopped being that interesting. The theme in the movie started with the United States patriotism, then moved into something else. The continuity of the movie became a schism of trash. World War II is a fascinating historical subject because many are still alive and it impacts us directly: those who lived, those who know soldiers from the time, those who escaped terror stricken Europe, we all have ties even 65 years later. This Captain America movie hits some damn agenda on environmentalism, even the credits roll something on the EPA. I just wanted to throw my drink at the TV. Thank God that I did not see this at the show.  What a way to bastardize a superhero movie.

Moving on, the movie plot now is in present day, in this case 1992 or 1993. The agenda is environmentalism and the evil is corporate greed, just like 2011. Now guess who is the evil corporate mogul? With some plastic surgery it’s the return of the Red Skull. The Red Skull has been behind the deaths of historical dogooders such as of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, etc. In another part of the world, in Alaska, Captain America is revived by accident, who in turn saves us from the Red Skull.

Notable actors in this film are Ned Beatty, singer Ronnie Cox, and also the co-stars from the classic film “A Christmas Story,” Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin.

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