The new Captain America trailer is out – and it’s not half bad. That is, it’s not half bad despite a director who goes out of his way to assure the world that Captain America isn’t trying to embody uniquely American ideals – he’s just “a good person.” His costume is flag-inspired – but he’s not a “flag waver,” (Just as lobbing bombs on countries *cough*Libya*cough* is not war so long as other liberals say it’s not war?).

The trailer is good despite a studio that changes the title from “Captain America” to “The First Avenger” to make a few extra bucks with Commie-nostalgic Russian thugs.

And the trailer is good despite the fact that all indications are that Marvel has tried to tamp down or minimize any of the Nazi swastikas that would normally accompany the evil The Red Skull (Germans buy movie tickets too!). Besides, imagine the conniption fits the thought police would have come Halloween 2011 if little kids wanted to authentically dress up as the The Red Skull? I suppose the thinking goes that if Marvel makes cool movies with cool villains, and those villains wear swastikas…then Nazism is cool? Or that merchandise geared toward kids would have to mirror the movie?  I don’t buy it, but you know that there were countless hours of meetings over the appropriate depiction of Cap’s World War II nemesis. I’m a little jealous of the guys with that job, I admit it.

The thing that’s sad about Captain America isn’t that it will necessarily be a bad movie – it’s that even if it’s a good movie (or a great movie!) there are those of us who know what it could have been. We’ll know that had the writers and directors not been obsessed with how the world might react to superhero literally and figuratively wrapped in the American flag, it would have shined even brighter.

Chris Evans is on record as saying he modeled his Captain America on an Eagle Scout he knows. Great start. But the movie is Captain America – not Captain Eagle Scout. And while Eagle Scouts generally tend to be very patriotic, upstanding, model citizens, in this instance they are merely pieces of circumstantial evidence in a case where something much bigger is at play. There really is no other country on the face of the earth where freedom, liberty, the rule of law, science, and free markets have fused so flawlessly and produced so much prosperity. Captain America, done right, never rubs that fact in the world’s face, but serves as an inspirational figure. The problem with liberal filmmakers is that they only operate in a strange binary string of thought, whereas you only have the “correct” (i.e., liberal) perspective, or you’re a knuckle-dragging, “flag waving,” jingoist.

Americans should never shy away from standing up to the rest of the world (particularly fear regimes, failed states, and pseudo-socialist poverty pits), that our ideas are superior to theirs. And American heroes should be written to reflect that very same confident-without-being-cocky charm.

I’m looking forward to seeing Captain America at this point, but it’s in spite – not because – of  many of the politically correct minds at Marvel.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

2 comments

  1. Uh oh DE, from what you say here — tamped down bad guys and a generic good guy — this movie promises to be an absolute snooze-fest notwithstanding loads of action.

    I just wrote a piece on Sucker Punch, whose bad guys were so devoid of anything relatable that it was impossible to care whether they lived or died. Villains have to be villainous to create dramatic tension. Remember Darth Maul in Phantom Menace? Me neither.
    http://wp.me/pMW8w-VA

  2. I’m concerned, don’t get me wrong. I think that Nazis are well known enough that even if Marvel tries to use a Photoshop healing brush on history a bit that my mind will fill in the blanks. And if they opt for Captain Eagle Scout I won’t be happy, but perhaps tinctures of greatness will be there. Like I said, the real hurt will come if it’s obvious how great it could have been… At this point it is what it is. I’ll be there on opening night to find out.

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