Encapsulated Cinema Explores Captain America’s Storied Cinematic Past

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Captain American (1990)

If ever there was a comic book movie just begging to be remade, Albert Pyun’s hypnotically awful 1990 superhero blunder “Captain America” is it. Powered by a script laden with peculiar dialogue and serious leaps in logic, this devastatingly poor adaptation of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s iconic series offers little in the way of intentional entertainment, especially once the audience gets a good look at do-gooder Matt Salinger in his awkwardly patriotic costume. The story follows the exploits of gimpy pipsqueak-turned-strapping freedom fighter Steve Rogers as he attempts to thwart the evil misdoings of his genetic equal, the hideously deformed Red Skull (Scott Paulin). After several scenes of misplaced drama and hokey sci-fi mumbo-jumbo, the good captain awakens from a decades-long slumber in a chunk of Alaskan ice, only to find himself thrust into yet another cornball scheme perpetrated by his perpetually scheming archenemy. Pyun’s approach to the material is innocent enough, allowing Salinger and crew to play into the whole gee-whiz mentality of the original comics. However, the director’s penchant for quick cuts and sloppy action completely derail this ill-conceived train as soon as it leaves the proverbial station. “Captain America” is, of course, entirely enjoyable, but it’s definitely not a good representation of Marvel’s beloved franchise. I love it to death, but that’s because I adore Albert Pyun’s work.

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