Captain America (1979)
Article 5459 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Rod Holcomb
Featuring Reb Brown, Len Birman, Heather Menzies-Urich
What it is: Super-ho-hum-hero
To save a young man’s life after an attack from criminals seeking the plans for a neutron bomb, he is given a steroid developed by his father from his own blood that maximizes his latent potential. It saves his life and gives him superpowers which he uses against the criminals.
The success of “The Incredible Hulk” notwithstanding, the seventies were not a good time for television to take on superhero stories, and I think the mentioned series only worked because its premise lent itself to a “The Fugitive” format more than a crimefighter format. Granted, the special effects for TV series may not have been quite up to par yet, but I don’t think that was the main problem. I think there was sort of a glum timidity at work that made it feel like the makers didn’t think people would buy into the superhero concept. Furthermore, it often felt like nobody was really having fun with the idea; in this one, for example, the writing is uninspired, the direction stodgy, the acting bland, and the presentation simply dull. If I were making a superhero movie (TV or otherwise), I would at least have the music during the opening scenes be rousing and exciting; this movie opens with the hero driving around in a van while some anonymous laid-back music plays, the type of music that just seams to scream that not much is happening and things aren’t likely to improve. Quite frankly, the only thing in this movie that I would call “cool” would be the way the motorcycle seems to explode out of the back of the van when it comes into action. The action sequences are nothing special, and the movie probably has a high IVT*. Not recommended.
- IVT is a new term I coined; it stands for Index of Vehicular Tedium. It stands for the percentage of the movie’s running time that consists of footage of vehicles moving around in a non-action scene mode.