Steve Rogers (A.K.A Captain America) is the main protagonist of the 1990 direct-to-video film, Captain America. He was a California resident who volunteered for project rebirth under Dr. Vaselli, which gave him superhuman abilities. He was frozen in ice for fifty years before being thawed out. He is played by the son of author J.D Salinger, Matt Salinger.
When Dr. Vaselli escaped Italy from the Nazis, she fled to America to start project rebirth, a super soldier program. Steve Rogers was the first volunteer for this program. Steve was the perfect candidate as he was suffering from polio. After saying goodbye to his family and girlfriend Bernice, he went with Dr. Vaselli to participate in the program. His name was kept a secret to protect the ones he loved, the army gave him the codename “Captain America”. The serum worked, giving Steve Rogers superhuman abilities. However, mere moments after gaining these powers, Dr. Vaselli was assassinated. Steve managed to stop the killer, but ended up injured himself.
After hearing about an experimental rocket supposedly going to be fired at the white house. Steve sprang into action (donning his new suit and shield.) Captain America managed to fight his way into the base, but was overpowered by the Red Skull. When the Red Skull attempts to fire him off with the rocket to the white house, Steve tricks the skull into slicing off his own hand. Before the rocket destroyed the white house, Captain America broke the fin, saving President Roosevelt and future president Thomas Kimball. The rocket crash-landed in Alaska however, leaving him trapped for over fifty years.
Fifty years later, geologists discover Captain America’s body and cut him out of the ice. Cap awakens and (believing it was still the 1940s) immediately assumes the geologists are Nazis. He hitchhikes along the Canada land, where he is soon ambushed by Valentina de Santis’ (daughter of the Red Skull) henchwomen. Steve escapes thanks to the help of Sam Kolawetz, a reporter and childhood friend of current President Thomas Kimball. Believing him to be an undercover Nazi spy, Cap tricks him and steals his truck. Steve then heads back to California, where he finds an older Bernice with her husband and daughter Sharon. After catching up with Bernice, Sharon takes Steve to her apartment to watch VHS tapes to see what he missed. Steve then realizes that the Red Skull survived like he did. Unfortunately, Sharon’s parents are attacked by Valentina and her thugs when they were looking for Steve. Bernice and Sam Kolawetz are murdered, with Sharon’s father ending up in the hospital.
After seeing a news report of the president being kidnapped by Red Skull’s thugs, Steve remembers that Sam suggested the fact that Dr. Vaselli kept a diary that possibly has the real name of the Red Skull. Steve and Sharon revisit the lab where he got his powers to find the diary. Soon, they are ambushed in the lab with Steve fighting them all off. The diary shows that the Red Skull was born in Italy, and says where his residence was. When they get to Italy, Steve attempts to lose Sharon to keep her safe, but she ends up catching up to him. After talking to the current residents of the Red Skull’s old home, they find an old tape recording, which has audio of when he was kidnapped and his parents murdered.
Valentina and her henchmen catch up to them, but Steve and Sharon manage to escape. In the conflict, one of Valentina’s goons drops her purse, and Sharon retrieves it. It shows the location of the Red Skull’s hideout and where President Kimball is being held prisoner. Once, they get there, Sharon let’s herself get captured so Steve could sneak in the fortress. Steve dons his Captain America suit once more, and as he begins to scale the castle, rescues President Kimball from falling to his death. Kimball reveals that Captain America saved his life when he was younger and volunteers to help him save Sharon. The pair fight their way through the fortress. Where Cap encounters the Red Skull, and engages him in a battle. With some assistance from Kimball, Captain America purses Red Skull to the top of the fortress. Where Red Skull threatens to destroy Europe with a giant bomb. Cap attempts to stop him, but is shot down repeatedly. He then uses the recording that he and Sharon discovered to distract Red Skull. Red Skull is distracted for a moment, but then attempted to kill them all. Before he could do so, Captain America throws his shield at him, knocking him off the cliff. When Valentina attempts to shoot him, she is killed by his returning shield.
Later on when President Kimball addresses the world, he ends his address with this message: “To Captain America, wherever he is. We’re all back in the fight.”
- Many people wonder why Matt Salinger wore plastic ears, this was because when holes were cut, the mask caused chafing.
- Despite the film being critically panned, Salinger's performance as Captain America was praised.