Review: Captain America – Sentinel of Liberty / Cert: PG / Director: Rod Holcomb / Screenplay: Don Ingails / Starring: Reb Brown, Len Birman / Release Date: Out Now
Captain America – Sentinel of Liberty gives us a modern interpretation of how Steve Rogers (Brown) came to be the First Avenger. We are introduced to a very mellow Steve Rogers who has been cruising the coast in a mobile home and has even taken up drawing to pass the time. However, a telephone call from his friend Jeff Hayden suggests that something is not right. Meanwhile, Rogers is asked to visit a government laboratory that has perfected the FLAG (Full Latent Ability Gain) Formula, referred to as a super steroid which gives the user super-speed, strength and ability. Rogers considers taking part. However, this decision is made for him when, upon discovering his friend Jeff Hayden dead, an attempt to run Rogers off the road leaves him in a critical condition; the FLAG Formula is tested with consequences that will change Steve Rogers forever. With his new capabilities and new wardrobe, he uses his new guise to investigate the involvement of Andreas Oil in the death of Hayden and the wider plot they are cooking up...
Sentinel of Liberty is very much a product of its time. Greedy oil companies were the evil of the day in the late 1970s with the decade experiencing a lot of energy shortages, meanwhile the threat of more sophisticated weapons than that of atom bombs was still very much topical at the height of the Cold War. In light of all this, Captain America – Sentinel of Liberty has a very nice retro vibe to it; it has a cool soundtrack and has that Americana ‘innocence with heart’ feel to it that inspired US TV Programmes of the day such as The Rockford Files, ChiPs and later on The Fall Guy; you feel that Steve Rogers is the good guy and you want him to win.
However, Sentinel of Liberty is at times clunky, campy (with no hint of irony) and borders on absurd. It harks back to when comic book adaptations as we know them were relatively new, and is let down by the high standards that we as a modern audience can have.