Cautions: stylized action violence, some language, immodesty, brief mild sensuality, some feminism, and references to pagan mythology
Captain America is a heavily stylized but engaging superhero movie that uses science fiction to transform the sickly but honorable Steve into a powerful fighter ready to take on a villain seeking to one-up Adolf Hitler. The villain’s off-the-wall beliefs about the source of his power, and the occasional feminism and immodesty, will have to be run by biblically-based personal standards to determine whether the movie’s flaws are major or mild setbacks.
2011 | Joe Johnston | 124 min Watch Trailer
Stylized Action Violence
There is quite a bit of action violence in Captain America, most of it general, broad-sweeping fighting scenes where good guys and bad guys are certainly injured or killed, but nobody knows who they are. On the other hand, there are a number of personal deaths and some brief gore.
A couple of good guys are shot in cold blood, and one of them gets a short but emotional death scene. Several people, including an old woman, are shot down by machine guns in fast-paced, usually non-emotional scenes. A man is apparently crushed to death by a falling wall, and another falls to his death from a great height. A captured bad guy bites down on a pill and quickly dies, foaming at the mouth. In a very brief scene contained in the language and violence references (available below), a bad guy falls through a spinning propeller blade and... well, comes out the other side.
Battle sequences feature grenades, flame throwers, machine guns, and a mysteriously-powered incinerating weapon. Consequently, there are explosions, flames, and somewhat sensational but non-gory deaths.
There is a car crash scene. A boy is briefly taken hostage by the bad guys. There is a brief glimpse of a skeleton, and the villain turns out to have a highly stylized, somewhat skeletal face.
Spoiler Warning - The extra scene following the end credits reveals that a character who had been thought dead is still alive.
Patriotically-dressed show girls are seen a few times in shorts or short skirts, while the attention is briefly but deliberately focused on the girls’ legs. Men, including the physically-improved main character, are seen without shirts a couple of times. The main female character wears a fitted, somewhat low-cut red dress in one scene. A man starts to reveal his backside, but the camera cuts away.
Brief Mild Sensuality
The main character, Steve, is lured into a kiss by a very negatively-portrayed strange woman. Later he is kissed by a love interest. A minor side character kisses a show girl on stage.
A negatively-portrayed character makes mild insinuations about “wrassling” with a woman who doesn’t like him. Steve mistakenly thinks that the girl he likes is in a physically intimate relationship with another man. A soldier makes a comment about switching classes in college because the girls were cuter.
One of the major side characters is a female agent in a supervisory position - high heels and automatic weapons. When her authority is challenged by a soldier, she knocks the man down. She also gets involved in a chase scene and (entirely by choice) a fighting scene, shooting at bad guys. She also, angry after seeing Steve with another woman, tests his new shield by shooting several bullets at him.
References to Pagan Mythology
Much of the story is tied to a glowing blue cube of mysterious origin, which contains a great deal of scientifically harnessable power. The villain, considered crazy by all of the good guys, claims that the cube was left on earth by Norse gods (mentioned by name), and that he, by this “occult power” will be “borne to victory by the wings of the Valkyrie”. On the other hand, he declares that other people believed stories about the cube’s power to be “superstition”, while he knows them to be “science.” None of the good guys believe in the pagan mythology.
There is a mild potential hint at a humanistic frame of reference, with the emphasis on Steve (probably not a Christian character) being “a good man.”
Before his transformation, Steve gives false information in an attempt to enlist. He also attempts a military rescue against orders, giving himself up later on for disciplinary action. At one point, Steve claims that since other men are laying down their lives, he has “no right” to remain at home.
Characters drink wine and beer a few times. Steve, emotionally devastated after a death he believes was his fault1, attempts to get drunk, but because of his superhero metabolism, is unable to.
There are a few random statements about having “been through hell,” or “moving like the devil.” A character refers to her grandmother, “God rest her soul.” A couple of times, friends use “punk” and “jerk” as terms of endearment.
1 Proverbs 31:6-7