The Fighting For Freedom
I've been telling all my friends since spring, "The movie I'm looking forward to most this year is Captain Fucking America, bitches!" Yeah, Harry Potter 7.2, Thor, Super 8, and Cowboys & Aliens all looked good, but Captain Fucking America appeared to have it all: a non-jaded superhero, Agent Smith as Der Red Shkull, a WWII period setting, and the director of The Rocketeer (one of my favorite movies of the 90s... seriously). It looked like it was going to be a perfect storm of ass-kickery.
So, now that it's finally out and I've gotten the chance to see it, what'd I think about it? It was damn tasty, I'll tell you what. It was pretty much everything I'd hoped for, plus a little bit more. It was fun, it was filled with death and explosions, the bad guy was one of the most twisted-looking villains I've seen in a long time, and it made me even more eager to see Joss Whedon's The Avengers, which is suckily still about a year away.
But what impressed me the most about Captain Fucking America was its attitude: it was so earnest about telling us puny Steve Rogers' tale — how he was just an asthmatic 90-pound weakling from Brooklyn who wanted to give something back to his country as World War II dragged America and her sons into a battleground that many would never come home from. There's no cheese whatsoever here, there's no sarcasm over Steve's patriotism and his personal need to be better than he is; the whole story is told without any tongue in anybody's cheek, as if it were a war movie made in the 1940s. It's sincere, and you take it seriously because of it. Unlike Thor (which had an elephant's tongue pressing firmly in the side of director Kenneth Branagh's inner mouth) — which was all about a "god" meeting sciency scientists, and a mystical death-armor machine blowing shit up — Captain Fucking America is about a man wanting to fight a real war because all his friends and neighbors have already gone off to Europe to either stop an evil nation from savagely conquering the continent, or die trying. If you add any bit of eye-rolling to that story then it becomes a farce, and then it's not really a Captain Fucking America tale. Heccubus bless you, Joe Johnston, you magnificent bastard of a director, you! So far, you've been able to pull it off twice, what with The Rocketeer and now Cap. And for that I will suffer through another 20 shitty Pagemasters, Jumanjis, or Jurassic Park IIIs, and gladly give you my money for any new movie you shit out for a quick buck in the future... Just as long as you, and only you, are the one to make the inevitable Captain Fucking America 2.
SUPER SPOILERS BEGIN
Okay, so what's Captain Fucking America about? It's about little, sickly orphan Stevie Rogers getting rejected from every enlistment station he tries to pull a fast one over so that he can join his friends and fight against
the forces of good evil fascism, as Hitler tries his damn hardest to subjugate Europe and bring about 1,000 years of the Third Reich!... Well, really it's not so much about Hitler's march into the history books as it is about Johann Schmidt (der Fuehrer's number one science and weapons developer who's gone a little power hungry himself, ever since all the flesh on his skull got burned off in a super science experiment, and then even more so after he acquired the Powers Cosmic in the shape of a little glowing cube). Johann (aka The Red Skull) is trying to use the might of the All Father Odin's Cosmic Cube to power his disintegration weapons and thusly take over the world himself! Oh shit no!
But fear not, because even though tiny Steve Rogers is one flight of stairs away from dying of a heart attack and simultaneous embolism, his determination to stand up for himself and repeatedly try to join the army has garnered the attention of the all-knowing, all-wise Dr. Erskine (the goddamn glorious Stanley Tucci as an ex-German scientist who used to verk vith Johann Schmidt, up until Schmidt made Erskine try his then still experimental Super Soldier formula on him and turned him all crimsony and noseless). Dr. Erskine takes Steve under his wing and helps him prove his worth to the ever awesome Tommy Lee Jones, who happens to be the army officer in charge of picking the candidate to be the first to be given Erskine's finished Super Soldier shots (mixed with American inventor Howard Stark's copyrighted "Vita Rays"). And thusly, Captain Fucking America is born (in the form of Chris Evans' real, epically ripped, 6' tall body... Which despite how unreal it may have looked was NOT a special effect I'm told. Karen said she's studied many online pictures for months to prove it.... Okay, it wasn't Karen, it was me. But DAMN is he ripped!)!
But OH NOES! One of the Red Skull's dickhead followers snuck into the premiere of Chris Evans' hot bod rollout, and killed the lovable Dr. Erskine, taking the recipe for his super formula with him (because nothing speaks of national security higher than one old German scientist, fresh from Nazi Germany, being the only person in the world who knows how to make something as uber-important as a superhero Super Soldier formula). Because of this catastrophe, Steve Rogers will not be the first of a new breed of American troops, he will be the only one ever. EVER.
Because of his rareness, the US government is a little reticent to actually let the schmo go into real life combat, where people might actually shoot at him and stuff, so they dress him up (in his original comic book 1941 outfit), call him Captain Fucking America, and put him front and center of the war bonds drive, where he dances with hot Rockettes-like ladies, sings cheezy propaganda songs, and still has to lie awake at night and worry about his friends' lives over in the combat zone in Europe, and what terrifying, tangible, and terrible dangers they must be facing at any given terminal time! Conserve recyclables! Loose lips sink ships! Remember Pearl Harbor! Kilroy was here! We did it before, and we can do it again! Try Lucky Strikes™ brand cigarettes! Lucky Strikes™, they'll make you have a lucky day and a lucky night!..... Whoa. Flashback.
Then, after one fateful USO show in Italy, where he's supposed to cheer up the troops in his gay little vibrant costume, Steve gets booed off the stage in favor of more dancing girls by an audience of soldiers who've just been whooped by a battalion of the Red Skull's personal troops, hand-picked for his HYDRA division. Steve has had enough of his personal dance-monkey show and convinces a hot British agent girl and Howard Stark to fly him over enemy lines and let him (single-handedly) rescue all the POWs that the Skull has captured for his experiments.
Then Captain Fucking America proceeds to kick all kinds of Nazi ass as he bashes in heads, kicks Nazi HYDRA agents in the teeth, and saves several hundred Allied prisoners (along with stealing a shit-ton of the Skull's super secret disintegration ray guns) before returning to base, just like a good Super Soldier should. Tommy Lee Jones is all like "No WAI! Fuckin' shit dude! I want to have your babies!" as he then sees how fucking awesome the Cap is, and makes him the star player on his team for taking down all of HYDRA's labs and bases that the Skull has operational throughout Western Europe. Awesomesauce then becomes the flavor of the day as the Cap leads his newly founded team of Howling Commandos on a destructive rampage all over the continent up until the big final showdown with the Red Skullfucker himself aboard a giant flying wing whose Cosmic Cube-powered weapons Schmidt is determined to use to vaporize the American Eastern seaboard. Just how did Odin happen to misplace this ultra power source on Earth like that in the first place? Whatever, on to the grand finale!
Well, unless you've never heard of Captain Fucking America before (shame on you!), it comes as no surprise that the Cap succeeds in stopping the Skull, but finds that unless he ditches the super jet quickly (while still above the Arctic Ocean), he'll kill possibly thousands of innocents once it reaches civilization on its auto-pilot flight path. So the good Cap takes the plane for one final swan dive just after promising the hot British agent girl on the radio that he'll meet her for a dancing lesson in a week.
The next thing we see is the world celebrating V-E Day, kids running around pretending to be Captain Fucking America, and then Steve wakes up in a room that looks like something straight out of the early 1940s, with a baseball game playing on an old timey radio. A dame then enters his room, but Steve realizes that something's wrong (the game on the radio was one he actually went to in 1941), beats up some men in dark suits, and runs out of the building he's in only to find himself in 2011's Times Square. That's when Sam Jackson's Nick Fury walks up, tells him "At eeeeease, soldier," and informs Cap he's been "on ice" for close to 70 years. Steve looks thunder struck, and when asked if he's okay he informs Fury "I'm late for a date."
Then after the credits BAM! The Avengers mini-trailer, where we see Thor, Cap, Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Agent Coulson, and Tony Stark all together looking totally bad ass. Amen.
SUPER SPOILERS OVER
Yes, it wasn't a perfect movie (I'd have liked to have seen more of Cap in his prime kicking all kinds of unholy HYDRA and Nazi ass as the last half hour seemed a bit rushed), but the good far, far outweighs the not perfect. The feel of the movie, the costumes, the performances, the special effects (seriously, puny 90lb Steve looks real... Scarily real), and Elrond as the Red Skull... It's all so beautiful! And it was also Stan Lee's best cameo yet. ("I thought he'd be taller...")
On top of that, the music really helped this flick find its wings. It's all trumpety, triumphanty, Rocketeery, and Back to the Futurey, in an amazing way. Composer Alan Silvestri finally gave a Marvel superhero his own theme music that's memorable (not quite on par with Elfman's Batman, or John William's Superman themes, but it's loads better than anything in the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, or the Incredible Hulk movies). It really sets the mood for the last great age of heroes (meaning the average soldier in WWII, not the last great age of SUPERheroes... that would be Claremont's X-Men run).
My love for Captain Fucking America began back when I was 6 years old. I fucking LOVED that really cheezy, cheap, and shitty 1960s Cap cartoon (that they aired over and over again through the early 80s on low-budget UHF stations across the country). "When Captain America throws his mighty shield! All those who chose to oppose his shield must yeeeeild!" I loved it so much that I was always Captain America when the neighborhood kids played superheroes and supervillains (well, that and I was the only kid with a round sled that could be used as the Cap's shield). It was all fun and games until that time I threw my mighty shield at Madame Hydra (aka Jenny Sloan from three houses down) and it CRACKED her right in the goddamn nose (that sled-shield was huge, and pretty damn heavy). Blood everywhere. America turned on me that day, my friends.
Well, at least my parents turned on me, but a serious grounding didn't hurt my love for the patriotic Super Soldier at all. On the contrary, when I found out that one could actually hurl a shield-like object at a person/bad guy and actually do some serious damage, well, fuck! That just made the man all that more real to me. (My childhood was really fucked up. Seriously, I was living in my own little world for a long time... In fact, I still kind of am.)
Then I waited, waited, and waited for Hollywood to give us a Captain Fucking America movie that the legend deserved. Instead we got that holy-shit-it-should-have-been-aborted 1990 flick starring an Italian Red Skull in the shittiest movie mask since Rawhead Rex. I was soooo disappointed by that thing that I was kind of glad that they never attempted another Cap flick until now, over 20 years later. And my GOD, by the guy who gave us The ROCKETFUCKINGTEER!... I truly wish I could have seen this movie when I was 7 years-old.... Ahhhhhhhh, geekgasm over. Now to clean up my mess and put this review to bed.
The Good DR. DAVE
You'll never find it in any official government documents (due to my dishonorable discharge for making sweet, sweet love to aliens found in New Mexico in the late 1940s), but I was originally part of the army's official Super Soldier project that this Captain America movie was based off of. Confound it! It really chaps my ass that they give credit to some turncoat Nazi scientist in this movie instead of to us good ol' red, white, and blue-bleeding scientists of the US of A! Harumph!
As I was saying, it was a dark time for us Allied scientists; the Nazis were pushing us around all over Europe, and the Japs were keeping our crematoriums busy in the far East. So I got together with Einstein (Not Albert, but Joe, my barber) and came up with an idea on how we could use a certain chemical compound I had recently invented, inject it into some soldiery types who were just itching to fight the Axis Powers — even if they were puny little kids who could barely throw a grenade 5 feet — and then zap them with some vita-gamma light ray things to make them perfect killing machines.
Well, the government loved my idea, and moved me and my fledgling lab out to the American Southwest to compete with those Manhattan Project assholes to see who could come up with a more destructive and viable weapon sooner. I already had mine done, so I just lived off the government cheese for a couple of years, hiring saucy prostitutes as my "lab assistants," and stocking my full wet bar in my underground bunker with the finest liquors of the world. But when I caught wind that the A-bomb a-holes were almost done with their project, I called all the generals up in order to put on a demonstration of my experiment. They flew out that afternoon.
So before everybody's eyes I strapped this 105lb weakling with a heart murmur to a table, injected him with my special Super Dave Cocktail, and then proceeded to blast him with a variety of lights that stimulated the chemicals and turned him into a human machine of death!
The experiment was a COMPLETE success! That little weakling burst from his bonds, began frothing at the mouth, picked up a chair and proceeded to beat the ever living tar out of everybody in the confined space of my operating theater. (Well, except for me. I knew to lock myself into that vault of 3-foot reinforced steel and concrete before the light show was over.)
In the end, despite the fact that I provided the newly created Pentagon with the most destructive berserker soldiers the world had ever seen, they frowned upon the fact that 2 admirals, 5 generals, and at least 20 other officers were slaughtered in the Super Dave Soldier's debut. They also told me that forcefully injecting LSD, an early form of crack cocaine, and 16,500mL of caffeine into a 105lb boy's heart, followed by 10 minutes of trippy lights and psychedelic colors force fed into his eyeballs, does not constitute the making of a Super Soldier. I told them that yes, his heart exploded 5 minutes into the bloodbath, sure, but he didn't stop killing our men until 20 minutes after that. Surely that was good for something.
Apparently it was. They allowed me to make about 40 more of my Super Soldiers, and they apparently handed them out as pages and gophers to a bunch of politicians they didn't like very much. Well, the point of the story is that I helped the war effort, and I did it my way, just like good ol' Frankie would've done if he wasn't out the whole war due to the clap.