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CAPTAIN AMERICA (1979) - Awfully Good Movies - Reb Brown Marvel Comics TV Movie

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05.01.2018

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With the Avengers celebrating 10 years of the MCU by holding an INFINITY WAR this weekend--a war to which EVERYBODY came, judging by that opening weekend--it’s time for Awfully Good Movies to look at the auspicious cinematic beginnings of the very first Avenger himself in the 1979 TV movie adaptation of CAPTAIN AMERICA! As you know from our review of this flick’s sequel two years back, the Cap is played here by Reb Brown, who is nothing short of a legend for us fanatical viewers of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (“Brick McLargehuge!”). But as much as Mr. Brown may look like a cleancut representation of the American ideal, that certainly didn’t stop the executives at CBS from dicking around with his origin story so much that they’ve basically turned him into a low-rent Six Million Dollar Man (the 500 Thousand Dollar Man, if you will). Now Captain America has come to the 1970s instead of the 1940s, and Steve Rogers is now a slacker hippie who just got out of the Marines instead of the famed American soldier that punched Red Skull in the hole where his nose used to be. Also, Steve happened to have had a secret agent dad who liked to dope himself with a superserum of his own design that helped him defeat the bad guys with superpowered muscle. Now some government scientists want Steve to continue his dad’s legacy, and you know we’re in trouble when our hero rejects this offer of superhuman strength...just so he can continue driving aimlessly around the country in a blue van. You see, this is Captain America remade for the mellow 70s, baby. He’s a lover, not a fighter. Who needs memorable villains or interesting plots when you’ve got endless scenes of Steve Rogers driving around on hills testing out his new flag-colored motorcycle? To paraphrase David Byrne, the first CAPTAIN AMERICA TV movie is a superhero film where nothing ever happens, and now you know why I decided to review the sequel before I decided to do a review for the first one.

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