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Cutting the Cap

July 15, 2011

Whilst at the cinema last week to watch Transformers: Dark of the Moon, my eyes were drawn to a large poster for the next summer blockbuster I’m looking forward to seeing, Captain America. I noticed something odd with hangul title though. Instead of “Captain America”, it read simply “First Avenger” (퍼스트어벤져). Apparently, this is old news for those that keep an eye on such things but, both Paramount and Marvel Studios gave international distributors the option to alter the full title of the film from Captain America: The First Avenger to just The First Avenger and, thus far, three countries have taken them up on the offer; Russia, Ukraine and South Korea.

First Avenger

The reactions to this have been somewhat mixed, but at least one conservative columnist in the US, Dennis Prager, has opted to go fully batshit in response and accuse the entire country of South Korea of being guilty of “the most glaring case of international ingratitude of which I am currently aware.” Um, okay Dennis.

There’s no need for such histrionic fulmination because it’s not entirely clear that, as some suspect, this move was made due to anti-American sentiment in South Korea. Western superheroes don’t have as much resonance here as many people are quick to assume and this may have simply been a straightforward and unbiased marketing decision. The movie is still being shown here, and as a heavily promoted, major summer release. When the hundreds of millions of dollars this American product makes worldwide are totaled up, a considerable amount of Korean money is likely to be amongst that international gross. Perhaps I’m being overly analytical, but something tells me that the notable attire of Captain America leaves a few hints as to where he’s coming from and what he’s all about. If Korean audiences are able to get past the stars and stripes costume and shield, and still go to see the movie, I’d guess they’re not as hostile as some suspect. I’ll certainly be there, munching my popcorn and sitting surrounded by Korean kids in the multiplex.

Fuck yeah!

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2 comments

  1. I am still confused as to whether this movie was a giant cliche piece of shit or a genius tongue in cheek self satirizing blockbuster movie. UGH. My love for WW2 aesthetics and the inclusion of a non-stereotypical Asian allowed me to ignore massive flaws in this movie. Plus the Captain…ummm the Girl was mad HOT in this movie. SPLASH


  2. *Sigh*
    Yeah, I was disappointed in it as well. Some of it showed a lot of promise (I thought the explanation for his costume was particularly well done) but overall it felt more like an extended intro/trailer for The Avengers, rather than a quality superhero flick in its own right a la Iron Man.



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