CAPTAIN AMERICA (1990) – Film Review

During World War II, an American soldier named Steve Rogers (Matt Salinger) undergoes experiments to become a super-soldier, Captain America and foils Red Skull’s (Scott Paulin) plans but winds up frozen until 1990. He awakens and sets out to destroy Red Skull.

Today, we are incredibly lucky and blessed that we are able to watch almost all of our favorite superheroes in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe on the big screen and because both franchises have been going on for such a long time now, it’s easy to take them for granted. After all, it seems like we get at least two films in the MCU alone every single year, so it kind of feels like something to expect at this point.

Not only that, but the MCU has been branching out and exploring the possibilities of television with content such as the wonderfully weird WandaVision and now the bold spy-thriller The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which deals with the legacy of Captain America we know from the films of today.

But back in the day, 1990 to be exact, Captain America wasn’t the most beloved Marvel hero at all. Quite the opposite as a matter of fact, and it’s all thanks to Albert Pyun’s Captain America movie.

Courtesy of 20/20 Vision, Columbia TriStar Home Video, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Because this is an old 90s superhero flick, you would probably expect there to be lots of corny action scenes and while there are a few hilarious ones along the way, the majority of the film feels more like a romantic drama than an actual superhero adventure. There is far too much time spent on Steve Rogers instead of Captain America.

This wouldn’t be too big of a problem if, during this time, they tried to flesh Rogers out and make him a character that we all love by the time the credits roll, but that’s not what they do. It’s just him chasing this girl and adjusting to life in the present day with no development along the way.

Plus the scenes with Rogers finally as Captain America aren’t really all that good either, mainly because actor Matt Salinger comes across as extremely bland and uncharismatic. We all love Chris Evans’s portrayal of the super-soldier today because he is incredibly charming, funny, and remarkably badass whenever he needs to be. The exact opposite is the case with Salinger. For the entire duration of the film, he feels out of place and it almost seems like he didn’t really want to do this movie in the first place.

And the editing here is one of the most atrocious things these eyes have seen in a while. There is one fight scene in particular here that is genuinely mind-numbing it’s so bad and poorly done. Not because the fight scene itself is horrible (which it is), but because of the number of jump-cuts that are used in the span of about thirty seconds.

In all honesty, I was watching this film hoping to find something in it that I would like or appreciate, but I couldn’t come up with anything redeeming about this nightmare of a superhero movie. Let’s all just be happy that we live in a day and age where Captain America and all of his friends are getting the right cinematic treatment and we aren’t still getting movies like this one.

Overall Grade: F

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Cast: Matt Salinger, Ronny Cox, Scott Paulin, Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin, Francesca Neri, Michael Nouri, Kim Gillingham, Sven Medvešek, Melinda Dillon, Carla Cassola, Wayde Preston

Directed by: Albert Pyun

Distributed by: 20/20 Vision, Columbia TriStar Home Video, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Release Date: December 14, 1990

Running Time: 97 minutes

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