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April 15, 2010

The Return of Captain Invincible - Midnight Movie of the Week? FAIL.

(Note from The Mike: I intended for this movie to be my Midnight Movie of the Week. But, I watched the movie again and I find that...I don't really want to recommend it anymore. So, here's a few words and a video to tide you over until I can put together a Midnight Movie of the Week post that I'm comfortable putting the FMWL stamp of approval on. Happy viewings!)Between making his "my mother was raped by a forest beast and now puberty's bringing it out in me" epic The Beast Within and the unforgettably horrible "Werewolves have bispeciesal orgies?" sequel Howling II: Stirba - Werewolf Bitch, French-born director Phillipe Mora made one of the oddest musicals ever made. That film is The Return of Captain Invincible, which balances incredible goofiness with maddening stupidity, all while starring Alan Arkin as the down-and-out superhero due for a revival. I've known this wasn't a necessarily good movie for some time, but I don't think I realized until tonight just how incredibly awkward and borderline terrible Mora's musical adventure is.

To simplify the plot, Captain Invincible's story begins the same way The Incredibles would begin years later...with newsreel footage of the the hero's greatness and then the legal reasons behind his unfortunate demise. It seems Captain Invincible is now a drunk, living on the streets of Sydney, Australia (like the fellows behind Superman Returns, Mora knew it was far too expensive to shoot in New York, which is shown in stock footage when necessary), until a female police officer realizes his identity at the same time The President - who's just finished singing a song in which all the words are "bullshit" to his advisers - comes to ask him for one last favor. Invincible must now get sober and get his powers back, because there's evil out there that needs stopped.

That evil is presented in the form of Mr. Midnight, played by FMWL Hall-of-Fame Member Christopher Lee. Lee is pretty much the only good reason to watch this movie, aside from a couple of interesting musical numbers written by Riff-Raff himself, Richard O'Brien. I guess I should give a small bit of credit to Arkin, who does a fine job with what's offered to him. He spends most of the film on-screen with an incredibly uninteresting Aussie actress named Kate Fitzpatrick, whose blandness does the film no favors, especially considering she has no comic timing.

The Return of Captain Invincible tries really hard to be likeable. It does have a room full of killer vacuum cleaners, a gun made out of a giant plastic fish, midget dunking, and a lot of blouses being randomly ripped open. But it's poorly edited, lacks any interesting characters or performers, and just feels tedious at times.

But then again, THIS HAPPENS:

So yeah. Christopher Lee singing = awesomeness. That's really all I need to say. The world does need a shining hero, but this is completely not that hero. :(


Anonymous said...

Christopher Lee singing and Alan Arkin in shiny tights? I think my brain just exploded. Wow. As terrifying as that was, I think I have to watch the whole movie now.

I Like Horror Movies said...

I think I will stick with the youtube video for now, hadnt even remotely heard of this one