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Salinger treats it seriously
Dando8310 September 2000
Unfortunately, this is not the Marvel movie that will endear you to comic book movie adaptations. However, I think Salinger gives an honest performance as the title character, even if he spends more time out of costume than in. For whatever reason, the Red Skull is made Italian, rather than German, but it didn't bother me as much as it did some other viewers. For being a B-movie, Captain America is tolerable. Watch it first, before you make any judgements. You might be able to suspend your disbelief long enough to enjoy it.
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A Disappointment
ReelCheese5 September 2004
Superhero movies are again a hot property thanks to the big screen adaptations of Spider-Man, X-Men and Superman. As such, many film buffs who know little or nothing about Captain America have no doubt been picking this one up at the video store. Too bad nothing but pure crapulescence awaits them.

Where to begin? The movie has a dim look to it; the acting is second-rate; and the action and battle scenes are few and far between. It will disappoint most die-hard comic book fans, perhaps as much as those silly 1970s Cap films were. On a positive note, the action scenes aren't awful when the viewer finally gets to them. As well, the characters stay pretty true to their illustrated roots, and kids aren't going to be nearly as fussy as adult moviegoers about this one.
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Comic fans beware.
Squonk5 January 1999
I've never read a Captain America comic book. But I don't have to to know that any fan of the comic won't be too pleased with this film. Matt Salinger does his best with a lousy story. Captain America doesn't even finish one mission before he's frozen in ice, only to be thawed out 50 years later. The Red Skull is the villain, but in most of the movie he looks like a guy with acne problems. However, we do learn that the Red Skull had a hand in the JFK assassination. How Oliver Stone missed that lead is beyond me. The Captain's super powers seem to be limited to throwing his shield and faking car sickness. On the positive side, at times the film does have the feel of a 40's serial. I would've liked to see that carried out, but the film never decides whether to be serious or kind-of-corny. Instead it just ends up being boring.
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An early failed attempt to start the MCU
benjaminweber15 January 2018
This is something that is often overlooked about this film. A couple of throw-away lines of dialogue between the future president and his friend after spotting Cap strapped to a rocket indicate there may have been plans to start the MCU with this film, as two other Marvel characters are directly name-checked. Sadly, these plans were put on hold, due to this disaster that involved Cap stealing cars by feigning car-sickness, walking away from the car, then running back and driving off when the driver went to check he was okay. Other than a few laughable moments like this however, this film is extremely dull. It's worth watching if you're a die-hard Marvel/Captain America fan, or a lover of bad film, but otherwise don't bother.
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Captain America: About on par with the 1979 outings
Platypuschow23 December 2017
Captain America returns after over a decade on the shelf with a shiny new shield and somewhat less ridiculous costume but is it any less cheesy?

Well, yeah but it's no better.

Captain Americas origin story is told and after thawing out he goes after his nemesis the Red Skull.

Much like the 1970's movies Cap is in civilian clothes for the vast majority of the film which I find a strange decision, the action sequences aren't as frequent but a tad more realistic.

Costing over 10 million this was considered a big deal but despite a star studded cast this was actually somewhat of a bore and the leading man seemed out of his depth.

Outside of the modern Cap movies I'd recommend the 70's movies over this or the 1944 classic.

The Good:

Red Skull actually looks quite good (For the brief moments he's in it)

The Bad:

Matt Salinger is such a goofy looking guy and the mask just makes it worse

Incredibly boring for an action film

Things I Learnt From This Movie:

Marvel actively declaring one of their heroes is inferior to a DC one seems a bit foolish
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Batman Has Nothing To Worry About
aesgaard411 March 2001
You really have to be a fan of............oh what the heck, this movie just plain stinks! The costume looks horrible, too many liberties were taken with the characters and the plot lurches forward badly. It basicly starts out with a few minutes in one place, a few minutes in another, a few more get the idea, and then all these separate incidents gradually and slowly lead to one single plot. MST3K's Pod People was easier to follow ! Few good things about this, Matt Salinger looks enough like Steve Rogers should, but is hampered by the lousy script and implausible plot. The culture shock he has returning home after too many years is done fairly well, and the Red Skull seen at the top of the movie reminds me of a cross between Freddie Kruger and Jason Voorhees. This movie could have been so much better set entirely in WW2 with the opening scene of Hitler screaming at his generals, "I could make that bellboy a better leader than any of you !" That is from the mythos of the comic book. After the opening credits, we should have seen the process of Rogers becoming the hero who goes on to fight the Red Skull, who through most of the movie should have been spoken of and referred to, but not seen. This movie needed that sort of impact, the indication of the sort of evil the Nazis represented, but as it is, it's just one big car wreck on the "to-do" list at MST3K.
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This is the Best B-movie i've ever seen!
Hypno-219 May 1999
You can't take this film too seriously. Like almost every straight to video movie. Its a B-movie! i mean come on the only thing that didn't make it a b-movie was a sex scene and they probably cut it out. The film had the feel of an old forties flick. The plot was pretty insulting though but it did capture some horrors of WW2 maybe not very well but somewhat. it was an insult ot all Cap fans to have Cap basically screw up his first mission. The Red Skull only looked decent in ONE! count it ONE Scene. The rest of the film he looked like a freak! please come on people HES THE FREAKING RED SKULL!!

Tin Man sorry to say but you insult Dean knootz by comapring his work with this garbage. its a B-movie! i've seen worse really. the acting was ok i suppose but the script didnt go anywhere and had more plotholes than the streets by my house.
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I'm just glad he wasn't a surfer dude or a crusading D.A.
comic20717 April 2004
Like many Cap fans, I eagerly waited for the Captain America film and was disappointed when it went direct-to-video. When I finally saw the video, I was disappointed with the story. I did like the physical acting with Cap in costume, and I think that was the one true thing about Captain America. Rather than rant on about what was wrong, let me tell you Hollywood scripters how to do it right;

1. The first movie must spend a great deal (if not the whole movie) in WWII, where his legend will start. No urban legend in the 21st Century.

2. Steve Rogers is a NEW YORKER! He kept his optimism despite losing both parents to disease (alcoholism, pneumonia) during the Great Depression. Even in the new millennium, he loves listening to big band and 40s music and anything that sparks such nostalgia. He's still a BROOKLYN Dodgers fan.

3. What the hell was that with the plastic ears?! (Sorry, had to get that one out.)

4. Get that shield was way better than not having one in the serial (a gun?) or a clear one in the TV movie.

5. Don't forget that the costume has a star on the front *and* back.

6. If you make the Red Skull (most likely villain) Italian again, so help me...

7. I wouldn't mind seeing Bucky, but you can do like the Ultimates storyline and have him non-costumed in the war if it'll help. But please don't make Cap's costume like the one in the Ultimates (either version).

8. Don't try to combine love interests (Bernie was the girlfriend during the 1980s, Sharon was the girl in the 60s and 70s, but it was wrong to make them mother and daughter.).

9. I gotta say it again...don't make him an urban legend like Batman! Captain America was created to be a symbol and INSPIRE American public and forces as a response against the Red Skull. He can't do that if he's skulking the shadows.

Thanks and good luck.
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What could have been the start of a potentially great franchise
DarthBill20 April 2004
Half-way decent adaptation of the classic Marvel comics character, which many people either love or hate. Most of the half-way decency the film has it derives from star Matt Salinger, the son of over-praised asshole writer JD Salinger. In a role that could have been made comical or just plain bad by many other actors, Matt manages to imbue the character with an authentic feeling of sincerity similar to what Christopher Reeve gave to Superman and often missing from other actors in superhero films. Had this film been left with a bigger budget and gotten a big theatrical release it could very well have made Matt Salinger a star, or at least establish his name and allow him some leverage to pursue other roles in bigger projects like Helen Slater after the endearingly classic disaster "Supergirl" (1984). Actually I think both Dolph Lundgren and Arnold Schwarzenegger, respectively, were both considered for this role, but it's just as well that they didn't get it, seeing as how their accents would have worked against them playing this "All-American" hero. Although Arnold's name on the picture might have gotten it a theatrical release instead of going direct to video (a similar fate befell Dolph's "The Punisher").

After Steve Rogers gets pumped up by the super soldier serum he becomes Captain America and gets into a disastrous first mission that ends with him getting his ass kicked by the Red Skull, who straps him to a missile pointed at the White House. Cap narrowly manages to cut off the Red Skull's hand and wrecks the missile so that instead of hitting the White House it lands in the Arctic and freezes him there, but not before he is spotted by a little boy who grows up to be President Ronny Cox. When Cap thaws out, he finds that much has changed while he's been gone, like his old girlfriend and her now adult daughter. He also finds out that the Red Skull is still alive and still out to conquer the world. Naturally, Captain America catches up with the Red Skull and beats the crap out of him in turn ("Stop calling me your brother!") before saving the world.

The guy playing the Skull is ineffectual, but he's got a nice looking daughter. Again, the real saving grace here is Matt Salinger's sincere performance as the title character, but even that can only do so much against a weak script and boring villains. Still, I enjoyed this film and I feel that fans deserved a chance to see this in theaters. And now I hear that Brad Pitt wants to play Captain America! Oh the shame...
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Exceptionally AWFUL!
covington_c6 August 2019
Acting... horrible! Latex rubber cap suit... horrible! Plot & story... horrible! There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this pos movie! The 70's Nicholas Hammond Spider-Man movies are even better!
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An embarrassing, sad, and quite funny for the wrong reasons representation of the Nomad
Olicosmic23 May 2019
I think it's safe to say that times for the first avenger were immensely different back in the late 70s-early 90s, as instead of being the kick-ass superhero we know and love today, he was always known for having a pretty bad record of being represented, as nobody really understood how to translate the comics into movies and TV shows quite yet. This film, however, really took the cake, as this is not only the worst representation of Captain America, but also one of the worst films ever made. It's almost unfathomable how many things the film makers got wrong, because this is genuinely bad in every conceivable way, which, at least, does offer some unintentional humor. The acting is cheesey, the casting choices are pretty bad, the make-up and costume designs are extremely laughable, the story is padded, stupid, and lacks any cohesion, the script is bland at best, the action scenes are completely ruined by unnecessary editing, the pacing is extremely wonky, there are plot holes everywhere, the few special effects that are here are poor, and the overall tone of this film is completely counterintuitive to the subject matter of the film. Seriously. Just about everything about this film is atrocious, and while that all may sound terrible, this is still a funny movie to watch, as everything is so misguided and extremely awful, that this film is truly so bad, that it's good. So, in that aspect, I do recommend this film to anyone who wants a good laugh, as the amount of garbage this film has, it offers that and then some, and never for the reasons the film makers want you to. At the same time, this film may come off as nothing more than an insult to Captain America fans, as this really has nothing going for it. In that aspect, it's probably best to just avoid this entirely. There's a reason why this wasn't shown in theaters. At the end of the day, this is an embarrassing, sad, and quite funny for the wrong reasons representation of the Nomad, which can be enjoyed with the right mindset. Still, though. There's nothing of value here whatsoever, so you would lose nothing if you skipped it.
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Shield your eyes from ever watching this film! It's really, really bad. Unless, you like torturing yourself.
ironhorse_iv4 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The reasons why, are very clear. This low-budget action film is one of the worst comic book movies ever made, and that's saying a lot. Loosely based on the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name by writers-artists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. The movie tells the story of Captain America/Steve Rogers (Matt Salinger) having to save the President of the United States, Thomas Kimball (Ronny Cox) from the evil arch enemy, Red Skull/Tadzio de Santis (Scott Paulin). Without spoiling the movie, too much, this film was infamous for a lot of big changes, they did with the comic book characters. First off, they change where Steve Rogers, used to live. Anybody, who readt comics books, know that the place, where Rogers grew up has always been the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. However, in this version, it was turn into Los Angeles, California. It was really jarring to see, Steve Rogers as a California Kid. Not only did that not help, but being played by the son of fame author J. D. Salinger made it worst. Matt Salinger was very mediocre as the lead. He has this puzzling look to him, as if he doesn't know, what he is doing. He really didn't do much, in the film, besides, looking confused, running away, badly fake-acting sick, and stealing cars/bikes. Plus, he really didn't had any chemistry, with his co-stars, at all. He was very stale. Another big change from the comics, is how they handle, Steve Roger's love-interest. While, the character of Bernice Stewart (Kim Gillingham) is a composite of Bernie Rosenthal and Peggy Carter from the comics; this new character never, share much screen time with Rogers to establish, their relationship. It really didn't seem, like they were supposed to be in love. Instead, the movie quickly, tries to force down, the love relationship with her daughter Sharon Cooperman (Also played by Kim Gillingham). Like Stewart, her character is based on a comic book character of Sharon Carter. While Kim Gillingham makes a somewhat alright female lead. She was a bit annoying at times. In the end, the worst change, these filmmakers did to the Captain America lore, was with the villain of the piece, Red Skull. Instead, of being an evil German Nazi agent and Hitler's successor named Johann Schmidt. They made Red Skull, Italian, and a tragic figure named Tadzio de Santis. Don't get me wrong, I know that adaptation have to change a few things to make it, work with the movie format, but doesn't it seem, a bit odd, to see Red Skull, not being a red skull for most of the film. I understand, they didn't had the budget for the Red Skull make-up, but couldn't they bring back, his original look, back toward the end. After all, isn't Red Skull being Red Skull, what I came here to see. Anyways, it was also odd to see that Skull was not able to conquer America, even with Captain America's absence, during most of the film's timeline. It doesn't add up. Not only that, but I really can't buy that Red Skull, couldn't get his hands on a Nuclear missile quicker, despite working for Military–industrial complex for years, before Captain America suddenly woke up. It doesn't make sense. Anyways, another problem with this film, is its tone. It's really gritty in certain scenes and way too lighthearted in others. It really feels unbalanced. Plus, it doesn't help, that the film feels foreign than American. It didn't help that most of the film was filmed in Yugoslavia and most of the supporting actors sport a European accent. If you thought, that was bad, then you haven't watch the action. Every action scene in this film was very badly edited, or too slow & dull to be compelling. It even had the nerves, to film in deep pitch black, where nowhere saw, what was happening on screen. To make it, worst, Captain America's weakness is also show to have some imbalances. A good example is how Captain America can easily get knock out by a soda, but not by a car. I guess, his weakness, only begin to affect him, when it convenience to the plot. Also, how did he survive the missile blast, and not freeze to death in Alaska. Better yet, how did, they find him in the middle of nowhere!? This movie had way too much, unrealistic conveniences, and Deus ex machina moments to make this film, seem somewhat real. Its reasons like this, is why 1990's 'Captain America' is disappointing. It's a movie, that too embarrassingly over-the-top and stupid to be seen. No wonder, why it was never given a widespread US theatrical release, & went straight to VRS/cable TV in 1992 after some financial delays. However, it was given a limited theatrical release in late 1990 in the UK, where the majority of audience kinda dislike it. I can understand, why. This wasn't the version that director Albert Pyun and writers, Stephen Tolkin and Lawrence Block wanted to put out. After conflicts during the production process, the studio altered the movie quite heavily and the final cut didn't have much in common with Pyun's original version. Furthermore, the scheduled theatrical release was postponed several until the movie was released direct-to video in 1992. In the end, this superhero movie turn out to be mostly boring. Yet, there is a director's cut, out there, and it's not any better. In the end, go see 2011 film, 'Captain America: The First Avenger' over this. That would entertain you. Overall: I really can't recommended this movie. It's not one of those, 'It's so bad, it's good' type of a movie. It's just bad. A really bad, bad film.
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So Bad It's Good
Topher00710 August 2001
This is one of the great bad movies of all time. The thought that someone even made this movie makes me laugh. I love it. Don't look for any greatness here just dumb dumb fun. A movie to laugh at not with. This movie had such a cult following that although it's not listed here, and I have yet to see it, there was a Captain American 2. I really must get my hands on that.
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There is no God!!
spiggyspic2 April 2005
As the planet whirls toward the devastation of floods and earthquakes, famine, disease and war, I will remember the horrible onslaught this movie defacated into my memories and nightmares. This... "film", will utterly lower your I.Q. It is an assault on your intelligence and dignity as a human being. The Red Skull is not even the Red Skull!! It's the Red Skull after plastic surgery to make him look human. I wonder if there is a category of movies that is BELOW low budget. If even ONE actor in the movie could act, this film might be able to pass for a piece of crap. When all is done and I lay on my death bed, I know these are 2 hours of my life I will never get back.
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For fanboys and girls only.
Elijah_Chandler21 December 2004
First of all, who knew that famed reclusive J.D. Salinger even had a son, let alone a B-Movie actor son? That's right, the actor who plays Steve Rogers/Capt. America is Matt Salinger, son of the aforementioned author of "Catcher in the Rye". About the movie though. I wouldn't rate this as a horrible movie, but it sure wasn't good. Salinger did an OK job as the Cap but his acting prowess wasn't quite good enough to pull off the 50's guy coping with the 90's lifestyle the script called for. And the Red Skull? How do you mess that up?! He's one of the scariest freaking villains in all of comicdom, how could you go wrong? Oh, buy making him a Caucasian Greek mob boss, that's how. I would only recommend this film to die hard fans of the cap or true movie geeks. I happen to be both so I made myself find some good qualities (but it was really, really hard).

As for those of you who share my affinity for comics and bad movies but can't seem to get their hands on this gem, I can only tell you that it's been out of print for more than a decade now and your best bet is to find it at the next comic con in your area or at a flea market that sells bootleg tapes (ditto that for the Fantastic Four movie from '94).
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Lukewarm, but nostalgia gets you
Dock-Ock22 August 2001
I remember when this movie came out in 1990. It was released in Cannon Cinemas in Great Britain. Captain America himself was there on the opening night handing out shields,flags and a big ol' slice of moms apple pie. I was expecting typical Cannon material, cheap and cheerful, and looked forward as the movie started. Then the lights went out, the movie started and i had to sit through 90mins of the most uninspired trash. The problem lies first and formost with the script. It has awfull dialougue weak characters and worst of all no humour. How can we laugh along with the movie if there are no laughs?. Albert Pyun is the best director to be expected for such a project, both Cyborg and Sword and the Sorceror were half decent, but he has a really difficult time handeling this movie. Aslo, Mat Sallinger is TOO bland as Captain America. Maybe if Cannon had forked out for someone like Dolph Lundgren or Miles O'Keefe [both had worked for Cannon before], we'd have sympathised with Cap more. Worst still is Scot Paulin as The Red Skull. A character as unbelievable as that needs a little humour. Just as Frank Langella was a good choice as Skelator in Cannon's earlier Masters of the Universe, Paulin is bad. Thank god for Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, who just about rescue this poor film from dying. Also there is half decent special effects and a good version of Caps suit, sheild. Overall though, a disappointment. Possibly the most unrememborable film in history
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Ah... It's not that bad...
cLoNe9 August 1999
The movie is quite bad, but not that bad. It has its good moments. If it plays on cable TV and you have nothing better to do, it's a nice way to waste a little time. Captain America deserves a better treatment, but what's done is done...
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No. it's so bad it's good. enjoy it to laugh at it.
subxerogravity6 August 2016
I'm confirming it is lame. It suffers from the same issues as the 1994 Fantastic Four, but unlike FF I can give it a, it's so bad it's good stamp (And I'm very happy about that).

Captain America is a pretty easy comic to adapt to the big screen, it's just an action adventure war movie about a guy who sometimes wears a mask. They did take some liberties with the character that make my Fanboy radar point up, but it's superficial.

Steve Rodgers is now a boy from Southern California who has polio and offered himself up to the super soldier experiment headed up by a woman who escaped from the Nazis (The idea of a woman creating the star spangled avenger was cool, not enough female brainiacs in the comic book industry ).

Shortly after Steve Rodgers becomes Captain America the doctor is killed making Steve and The Red Skull the only one's like them. After stopping the Red Skull from destroying the White House he is trapped in Ice for 60 years and wakes up having to stop the Red Skull, who has formed an underground crime unit that basically is Hydra without saying it,again.

Proving how well Cap works as an action movie, Matt Salinger who plays Steve Rogers, wearing some sort of padding to make it look like he's got more than he does, barely wears the cartoonish suit they made for him (of course wearing the uniform makes him Captain America, duh)

It's got that 80s swagger to it. The Red Skull has his daughter do all the heavy lifting for most of the movie with her small army of rich Nazi brats who drive the fastest cars and wear the hottest fashions but more than capable with the guns.

They took some liberties with The Red Skull's origin too, I think this was to save money and film the entire movie in Italy (I'm also guessing that certain places in Italy look more like Southern California than New York City)

I am being harsh on the movie because I've grown to like the character more now than I ever did when I was a kid and saw this, but like I expressed before, the movie does have a so bad it's food quality that makes it real enjoyable.
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Best film variation of a superhero yet!
Tin Man-51 May 1999
Many critics have panned this film, and I think it's a sad fate for such a well done and thought-out movie. It doesn't rely on over-the-top special effects and overblown action scenes. Instead, this is a thinking man's superhero movie, focusing on the power of the characters to show what true heroes are.

Captain America and the Red Skull are counterparts, both representing the pride of their countries, America and Germany, respectively, back in WW2. Both have been shot with a super-serum which transforms them into world-class athletes. They fight, Cap loses and is tied to a runaway rocket, which crashes into Alaska. He is preserved there until the 1990's, when he get resurrected and he realizes Red Skull is still alive and healthy, because the serum has allowed him to last this long. He is responsible for the deaths of several historic figures, including Robert Kennedy, John Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. And his next target is the newest U.S. president. Cap must stop him before it is too late, and at the same time, he must come to grips with the fact that he is in a strange new world and everything he has ever known in gone forever, and that if it hadn't been for him failing to defeat Skull the first time, many people would still be alive.

The Red Skull, also, hates what he has become, and Captain America resurfacing represents a part of him he wishes was dead. He therefore takes all measures to make sure Cap is killed. The way they constantly pursue each other is both exciting and moving.

As someone mentioned, this is a great deal like "Forever Young," especially the way Cap comes back to life and finds his girlfriend extremely old. And "Cap" is the better of the two movies. It has a government-conspiracy plot worthy of a Dean Koontz novel, and it also throws in a lot of comic-book silliness. The balance works, and combined with tremendous acting and a moving theme song, "Home of the Brave," I will proudly state that this is the best variation on a comic book super hero that has ever been put to the screen!
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"Captain America" gets way more flack for being cheesy and low budget than it deserves
ersinkdotcom22 May 2013
Before 1998's "Blade," Marvel Comics couldn't seem to catch a break when it came to movie versions of their different properties. In the wake of "Iron Man 3" and "The Avengers," I know that's very hard to believe. There was a serial for Captain America released in 1944 through Republic Pictures. George Lucas executive produced a live-action adaptation of "Howard the Duck" in 1986.

The next few years up to Wesley Snipes' take on the legendary vampire slayer were plagued with low-budget versions of the comic book publisher's characters. Dolph Lundgren's "The Punisher" couldn't even muster a theatrical release in the U.S. Roger Corman's "The Fantastic Four" never officially saw the light of day anywhere, although bootleg copies float around.

21st Century Film Corporation released "Captain America" straight to video in the middle of those two disasters. For many years, the movie was hard to get a hold of and only released on VHS. Shout! Factory released it on DVD and made it widely available to those who sought it out for so many years as a sort of Nerd Holy Grail.

Several years after being caught by Red Skull and left for dead, Steve Rogers is found frozen in the ice and thawed out. He discovers Red Skull received plastic surgery to hide his true identity and is heading up a group of world leaders set on kidnapping the President of the United States for their own diabolical ambitions.

Is "Captain America" filled with cheese? If you judge it from a modern standpoint, of course it is. If you look at it as being a piece of World War II propaganda filmed in the 1940s, you'll find it totally hits its mark. That's the standpoint I choose to view it from.

My only real issue is that we only get about 5 minutes of face time from the real Red Skull. The rest of the film features actor Scott Paulin in flesh-colored make-up topped with scar lines. It's a real letdown for fans of the Red Skull who wanted to see the character the way he looks in the comic books.

I still think that "Captain America" gets way more flack for being cheesy and low budget than it deserves. Is it on the same quality level as "Captain America: The First Avenger?" No way! However, it has an inviting and personal flavor to it that still works 23 years later. Real comic book fans will find value in this adaption and appreciate it for what it is.
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not bad
johnc214114 March 2010
i know many will disagree with me but i thought 1990s captain America is not a bad movie,true it could've been better but so far it fares better then the far as the new one i don't know yet but having seen the serial and the TV movies its better.there's a good cast including Bill Mumy,Micheal Nouri,Melinda Dillon,Ned Beatty,Darren Mcgavin,and Matt Salinger as Steve Rodgers aka;captain America.and character actor Scott Paulin as the red skull.there is some great fight scenes and the shield throwing was done well.and there is a sexy beautiful femme fatale played by Francesca Neri.many marvel comics fans bailed on this movie which bombed at the box office and went to video.the budget was low but the movie is a 7,which means it was not bad,but not great.the forth coming one should be good.i don't want to give away any spoilers but its really worth a viewing.not sure its on DVD yet but i know its on
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Captain America: The True Comic Film
The-Canadian12 May 2005
To many people bash this movie, and personally, I think it is one of the most faithful adaptations I've ever seen from anything to screen for this time period.

THE BAD: The red skull's look at the end of the movie wasn't really all that crappy... it just wasn't the red skull... I have to admit they did take their time to get where they were going in the middle of the movie.

THE GOOD: The good greatly outweighs the bad in this film. Matt Salinger does a perfect rendition of Steve Rogers/ Captain America in his childish "gee whiz" kind of way. The Red Skull's make up in the first half of the film is breath taking, and Scott Paulin (with a great assist from the script) gives more character depth to the Red Skull than I've ever seen in the comics. The opening half hour rushes by with grace, ending with a fantastic battle inside a Nazi stronghold, and the climatic battle between Cap and the skull at the end is also unbelievable. And don't get me started on the "Pull over. I feel sick." parts of it.

OVERALL: One of the best comic films out there, even after seeing some of today's, it's the perfect adventure for the whole family!
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Costume costume costume...
Bykrscout13 October 2001
Say what you will about this movie, the Captain America costume in it and the shield was amazing to watch. the costume designer faithfully recreated the costume and did a wonderful Batman like thing with the cowl. I own the Matt Salinger cowl and tunic from the movie and I assure you they are works of art. The movie? Well, thats another subject. I think if I didnt have pieces or props from the movie it wouldn't seem as interesting to me....but some of the eyeball candy in the movie is worth it. I just despised the physical depiction of the Red Skull...they could have done so much more with the make up...instead it looks like a bad Darkman rendition.
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A re-evaluation of a previous review
Tin Man-514 October 2001
With a new "Spider-Man" movie due out this May, an upcoming sequel to "Blade," and "X-Men 2" to start filming soon, I thought it would be appropriate to review some of the previous attempts that Marvel Comics has made to get their characters onto the big screen. It's no questions that their films have never been as successful as their arch rivals, DC Comics, especially in the nineties. While there was a successful TV Incredible Hulk series in the seventies, a never-released, low-budget "Fantastic Four" flick, and an *ahem* film version of "The Punisher" that is not even worthy of mention, at the end of the day, the only cinematic interpretations of their heroes that are worth commenting on at all are "Blade," "X-Men," and "Captain America."

In an earlier review, written back in my naive, less-educated-in-Cinema-days, I stated that "Captain America" was the greatest super-hero film ever made. This is not a true statement, and it was one I made having not seen the film in a few years, and the flaws were less-apparent in my mind. Yes, there are many flaws in this film: Some of the dialogue is cheezy, many of the characters are underdeveloped, and there is simply not enough time spent with Captain America in costume. However, in the heart of this film there is a very sincere, very respectable tribute to the golden-age superhero, and I feel that the movie is still very much worthy of praise.

Without going too much into detail about the nature of the plot, I will say that it successfully sums up sixty years of comics into one movie. Both the characters of Captain America and his facist counterpart, the Red Skull (brainchild of Hitler in the comics, created by Mussolini and sold to the nazis here) are depicted as much more tragic than in the comics. Both characters are well-constructed and sincerely acted by Matt Salinger and Scott Paulin, and the film is basically a tribute to old 1940's serials with two strong characters taking center stage.

When I say a tribute to 1940's serials, this is exactly what I mean. Every plot point, every character save Cap and the Skull, serve nothing more than to move the story along from action scene to action scene. Many things happen that make little sense- for example, upon being revived in the nineties after being frozen in ice for fifty years, Captain America is found by a conspiracy theorist who has been piecing together his story for years. How does the guy find our hero? He just happens to be driving through Northern Canada and stumbles upon him. Once the Red Skull realizes that Cap is still alive, he determines that the hero must be out to destroy him. Now, Cap has been out of commission for fifty years, and the Red Skull is now a mysterious, Corleone-esque kingpin. In this film, they only encountered briefly in the 1940's before Cap was frozen in ice. Why on earth would Skull jump to the conclusion that hey! Cap is thawed out, and his first objective will be to stop the Red Skull? In another part, realizing that the Skull is hiding in Italy, Cap jumps on a plane fro the U.S. and flies there. did he get on board of that plane? Surely his passport wasn't perserved with him in the ice?

But nevermind....these plot holes, and many like them, are irrelavent to what this film is trying to do: Put our hero in a series of spectacular action scenes and watch how he gets out of them. It is not trying to tell a serious story, it is simply trying to give us some silly, comic-book action in a movie-serial kind of way, and the movie does just that. Our hero is strapped to a German rocket headed toward the White House, dodges nazi villians in Northern Canada, is amazed in some cleverly-written scenes how many American products are made in former enemy lands of Japan and Germany, fights the Red Skull's henchmen in Italy, and finally has an explosive showdown with the Skull himself in the kingpin's castle, where the villian threatens to blow up all of Western Europse with an atomic bomb which he receives from a piano. All this combined with the fact that the Skull is responsible for the deaths of JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King, and now he plans to use a brain transplant to make the new economically-aware U.S. President his slave.

It is impossible to take this film any more seriously than you would take an old serial or a four-part issue of the Cap comic book, and this kind of treatment is exactly what a Captain America movie needed. As a result, the low-budget, occasionally hammy acting, and confusing storytelling only add to the film's effect and heighten director Pyun's well-choreographed action sequences. There is just something grand and, dog-gonnit, patriotic about the President of the United States leaping from a tower in order to keep the Skull from using him in is experiments, only to be successfully caught and saved by Captain America, who is crawling up the wall vigorously. In real life, this would have ripped both their arms out of their sockets, but in this movie, what difference does it make? It's such a well-shot scene!

This said, Cap and Skull are well-developed, and they hold the film together when it threatens to go over-the-top in its comic-book silliness. Cap fights the Skull and fails to defeat him in the 1940's, only to be frozen in ice and thawed out in the nineties, where he learns that, because he failed to defeat the Skull, his arch villian is responsible for the deaths of many historic figures. Feeling he has failed his country, plus realizing his old girlfriend is now old with a family of her own, Cap is a determined, meloncholy hero with nothing to lose. There is a sincerity to the part that Matt Salinger brings, and with his niavity and his boyish-good looks, it looks as if Cap is truly a hero from the 1940's, who has stepped out of his time and into ours and is truly amazed at the changes that have come (though attempts to give him lines featuring old 40's terms such as "Gee-wizz" and "holy mackeral" don't come off so well). The Red Skull watched the slaughter of his family as a small boy in the 1930's, and this tramautizing event that led to his transformation into the monster he now is has bittered him over the centuries. In a film which emphasized overacting, he probably has the sublest role, yet he still has the film's best over-the-top lines ("Assassination isn't worth the trouble. It took two years to find Sir Hans. Three to find Oswald. The King job alone cost us over twenty two million dollars. What do we get for our troubles? Saints. Martyrs to the cause.") Must like Michael Corleone in the "Godfather 2" (though on a much smaller level), in the film's final scenes, he builds himself up as a great, powerful crimelord, but to the viewer, he simply comes across as pitiful.

In the end, "Captain America" is a fun, low-budget, patriotic, feel-good action flick which works in a Saturday Matinee sort of way. While never released to theaters here in the U.S., it made the theaters, perhaps ironically, overseas and, as a result, built the bridge for the bigger-budgeted, more-serious Marvel Superhero movies that came years later and are still to come. Certainly worth watching, certainly worth owning, certainly a tribute to sixty years of "Captain America" comic books.

*** out of ****
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Not bad for its time
chucknorrisfacts9 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Captain America was a 1990 direct-to-video release from 21st Century Films starring Matt Salinger (son of "Catcher in the Rye" author J.D. Salinger) in the title role, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, and Scott Paulin as Cap's nemesis, "The Red Skull".

Sure this movie's ridiculed now, but as a child growing up in the 1990s it was this, or literally nothing. Superhero movies weren't the box office blockbusters they are today, and as such this film was quite the novelty back then.

Now you can walk into any store and find tons of Marvel merchandise, but it was a different story in the early-to-mid nineties. It was a lot harder to find anything Marvel related, but thankfully times have changed and people now see comics as great resources for turning out highly entertaining films. Truly, kids don't know how lucky they have it now.

Sure, this movie had more than its fair share of flaws including transforming Red Skull from the German Nazi of his comic continuity into an Italian fascist for the film version, a choice I'm still puzzled by. Taking two of Captain America's unrelated love interests from different eras and making them mother and daughter in the film also seemed an odd decision, but what seemed utterly unforgivable to me as a kid was the costume designer who forgot to put a star on both the front AND back of Cap's uniform! The one thing they got right on the money was his shield.

Comic fans are an interesting bunch, and I'm proud to call myself one of them, and one thing that drives us all mad is taking liberties with the source material. I think had this movie tried to stay closer to its comic book roots it wouldn't have been criticized so harshly.

Personally, I believe had the filmmakers focused on making this story more of a period piece set in the 1940s during the height of World War II, I think the end result would have been a lot better. It would've given us the chance to see why Captain America was considered an American legend and war hero. As it was, it seemed the screenwriter was more focused on trying to propel the story into what was then present day. I would say that maybe roughly fifteen minutes, if that, takes place in 1943 while the rest of the movie takes place in 1993.

In conclusion, I'd say that "Captain America" isn't a great movie, but it's not that bad, and before you rip it to shreds, try to remember the time period from which it came. A time when comic book movies weren't the norm, and kids were happy to have something like this to watch.

If you're curious to watch it I'd say you probably won't be able to find this on DVD and certainly not Blu Ray, but check around on online auctions websites for used VHS copies, or any other popular video streaming sites where I know it's available to watch for free.

I'll be curious to see Captain America: The First Avenger when it comes to theaters in 2011, with Chris Evans (formerly the "Human Torch" from the two abysmal "Fantastic Four" movies) taking on the mantle of Captain America.
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