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Klavan On The Culture

Captain America Versus the Unmentionable Enemy!

August 1st, 2011 - 7:00 am
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The new film, Captain America:  The First Avenger is tons of fun. The first half—the origin story and the Captain’s maiden mission—is wonderful.  The second half is a little over-plotted and rushed, but it’s still a pleasure. The ending is smart and exciting.

I found a couple of politically correct irritants along the way, but nothing major. I’m heartily sick of the idiotic scene in which a petite woman decks a full-grown man with a single punch. I’m not sure why selling war bonds through patriotic showmanship should be depicted as a cynical business (as here and in Flags of our Fathers). And while I’m delighted to see some of our talented black actors get work in a left-wing industry that too often ignores them, a touch of historical verisimilitude about contemporary race relations would also be nice.

But, you know, whatever.  This is a good and good-hearted movie, patriotic without being jingoistic, and whatever PC burrs got under my saddle were smoothed away by the climactic exchange between Captain A and arch-villain Red Skull:

Red Skull:  I have seen the future, Captain, and there are no flags.

Captain America:  Not in my future.

As we in the rest of Team America might say:  F-yeah!

My real complaint, then, is not about Captain America itself but about all the films like it that are not being made. You know what I’m talking about: the films set in the modern day in which brave American heroes and super-heroes take on the defense of liberty against its contemporary enemies, the Islamo-fascists.

I’ve been watching movies for many years now and I believe I’m beginning to understand that the Nazis were not altogether pleasant fellows but, dude, our fathers took that garbage out over half a century ago. Are our soldiers today any less brave? Is our cause any less just? Are the jihadis any less of an adversary to everything in the human story that is good and right and true?

Just so you don’t have to peek at the paper of the student next to you, the answers to the above questions are no, no and no. So why should it be difficult in any way for our filmmakers to tell stories celebrating America’s ongoing fight against the Islamist foes of freedom?

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