July 22, 2011, - 2:57 pm
Why did “Captain America” filmmakers erase all swastikas from the Nazis and mute U.S. Insignia on American Soldiers?
I’m not gushing over “Captain America: The First Avenger,” unlike most other movie critics. The movie was okay. It’s fine. But it isn’t great. And I question just how “American” it actually is. While I loved the first third or so of the movie, the rest is a long, boring, amorphous fight between American soldiers with no American insignia on their uniforms and Nazis who don’t bear swastikas. The barely visible eagle on helmets isn’t the American eagle, but the symbol of the SSR–Strategic Scientific Reserve–division of the Army in which Captain America is placed. The references to the U.S. become more and more muted as the movie goes on.
This Has Almost None of This
I guess this was done to please the Nazi-lovers and America-haters around the world (including most Muslims who continue to make Mein Kampf a best-seller), who might be offended if bad guys actually wore swastikas and the guys wearing “U.S.” pins on their lapels were actually the good guys. I mean, it is called, “Captain America,” after all. Not Captain Mohammed or Captain Switzerland. That’s the reason for the second title. The studio planned to just call the movie, “The First Avenger.” And all future movies with Captain America are set to use the name “Avenger” in them.
Yes, unlike in the Captain America comic books, the Nazis are barely in the picture in this flick. They are mentioned at the beginning as is Hitler (who is mocked in a musical number on a stage), but that quickly ends. And swastikas are completely whitewashed out of it. The only swastika you’ll see in the entire film is during newsreel footage before a movie that the characters go to see. Instead of swastikas, we are shown an octopus with a skull’s head, apparently the symbol of the Hydra division, that becomes a rogue offshoot of the Nazis studying supernatural science. We never hear “Heil Hitler,” just “Hail Hydra.” It’s absurd. Oh, and hey, the Nazis aren’t that bad. They’re “moderates” because they try to get rid of the mad scientist bad guy in their midst. Yeah, like that ever happened. Mengele, anyone?
Why not just call this “Captain Avoid America?” Would be more appropriate.
And then there’s the English woman (Agent Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell) who gives orders to Army recruits at boot camp and thereafter. Yeah, right, a woman–much less a female “agent” from England–gave orders to American soldiers in World War II. PUH-LEEZE. Oh, and she saves Captain America from being burned alive by being the she-man who shoots the evil Hydra guy with a machine gun. Yeah, ‘cuz we had soooo many women shootin’ machine guns at Nazi, er . . . “Hydrazis,” during World War II. Absurd.
The story: Steve Rogers is a scrawny, short guy who longs to be in the U.S. Army during World War II, so he can fight for America against the Nazis and Hitler. He is repeatedly rejected and sees his best friend, a more robust guy, get shipped off to Europe. But a German doctor working for the Americans overhears Rogers complaining about it to his friend and soon recruits Rogers to his special supernatural science division, planning to inject him with a super serum he developed in Germany. The serum makes a man extremely muscular and powerful, and he’s already done the same with a Nazi, Schmidt, who becomes the Red Skull and heads the Hydra division.
But after the injection, while Rogers becomes super strong, the doctor is murdered by a German spy and there isn’t any more serum to replicate an Army of American supermen like Captain America. Rogers finds himself in the Army but not fighting Nazis as he’d dreamed. Instead he performs in patriotic musical numbers to raise money for bonds and entertain troops, and he’s a laughing stock. He seeks to prove himself, and ultimately he is fighting for and leading some amorphous Army of American soldiers without U.S. insignia against the Hydra fighters.
Like I said, it’s not a great movie. It’s just okay and waaaay toooo looong. They could have cut 30-40 minutes off this thing, and you’d miss nothing. The special effects aren’t that spectacular, either. And the whitewashing of swastikas and American identity out of it is disturbing and stupid. And it’s hypocritical, since the movie poster has the American flag on it and the closing credits are filled with patriotic music and pics of Uncle Sam, etc. Why are we so afraid to show swastikas in their place in history? Again, it’s “Hey, we might offend someone.” Political correctness ad absurdum.
BTW, if you do go see this, you can see a “stinger,” including a preview of “The Avengers,” if you sit through ALL of the credits at the end. And I mean all of ‘em. It’s insufferable and not worth the “reward” at the end.
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Agent Carter, Agent Peggy Carter, Captain America, Captain America: The First Avenger, Chris Evans, Feminism, Hail Hydra, Hayley Atwell, Heil Hitler, Hydra, movie, movie review, Nazis, no swastikas, no U.S. insignia, octopus with skull, PC, Peggy Carter, political correctness, Politically Correct, Red Skull, review, SSR, Steve Rogers, Strategic Scientific Reserve, the Red Skull, U.S. insignia, whitewashes Nazis, Women, World War II