In WWII, Captain Invincible used his superpowers against the Nazis and was hailed as a hero. But when he was accused of treason, he retired to Australia in disgrace. Cut to the present, when a US super secret super weapon is stolen and he's asked to come back to the States in order to help stop evil and restore his sterling reputation. Unfortunately, Captain Invincible is a drunk now...
The US government's latest secret weapon is stolen, and the only man who can find it is an alcoholic ex-superhero. Captain Invincible returned to obscurity in his native Australia after a nasty run in with HUAC...
Captain Invincible is a hilarious, rock-opera parody of DC/Marvel superhero comics. To give away too much of the ridiculously ramshackle plot would be to spoil it, but you suspect this film was inspired by Christopher Lee's lament that he never starred in a musical comedy.
Lee steals the film as the dastardly arch-villain Mr. Midnight, belting out his numbers in a fine bass-baritone, as scantily clad slave girls massage his jodhpured thighs. Unforgettable.
Reviewed by Steve_from_Wales5 / 10
A Curate's Egg - good in parts
This is a film that could have become a cult classic with better editing. Some bits just don't work - in the BBC TV showing these were edited out; if you can, get that version rather than the full version on DVD. If you do have the DVD version watch it once through then just skip the bits that left you cold.
The humour is mostly pretty low-brow, with some appalling puns, but there's more than one level; if you're a fan of DC or Marvel comics, watch sci-fi movies or know Australian and American politics and history there are some fine little gags buried in here.
There are also some very subtle sight gags - a film to watch the backgrounds as well as the foregrounds...
My particular favourite is what Christopher Lee eats in the film; watch the meal scenes and you'll see what I mean.
Don't worry too much about the plot - it is there and it makes sense, but it's a comic-book plot not a big story. Also, don't worry about some of the odder characters - they are ALL there for a reason, but if you haven't read/seen the right things you'll never work them out.
The songs are generally very clever and, despite the singing not being the best, well delivered. "Drinking Song" is probably the highlight, with Christopher Lee doing what he does best - showing his teeth and megalomaniac glare, although his "singing" is on a par with certain other actors (William Shatner and Telly Savalas come to mind). "Mr. Midnight" is also funny; shot as two scenes; Chris with leathers and whip, surrounded by scantily-clad dominatrices, Alan on a train trying to be anonymous whilst singing and dancing.
This is also Terry Pratchett's favourite film - I actually have one of his books signed "to the OTHER person who likes Captain Invincible". So there are at least *four* people in the world who loved this film - granted, the other two are my kids and they may be humouring their old man.
Reviewed by bokman77578 / 10
I think I like it.
I just saw the film for the first time tonight, so these are some brief impressions.
This virtually unknown little movie is a weird, goofy, silly, and touchingly sincere experience. The very premise of the film is fascinating, and though we've seen the "old-time hero in the modern world" premise before and since, this is one effort that really delves into the potential of that idea. The script keeps dropping in bits of social satire and commentary; the evil villain's plot is essentially the inverse of "white flight", seeking to "purify" New York by luring all the minorities to the suburbs and then killing them. The implication that he's also the supreme evil force in the universe adds a neat mythic touch. The Captain's quest to re- capture the spirit of America that inspired him to begin with is rather sweet, and Kate Fitzpatrick is charming as the spunky heroine. (Arkin and Lee are great, but aren't they always.) The songs are generally fun, even when predictable- despite being written by a number of different people (including Richard O' Brien!) they've got a nice consistency.
It's a flawed film in many ways- the humor is uneven, ranging from the clever to the silly (often at the same time- though "Amazing Computer Brain is Stuck!" got a laugh from me.) The finale is so abbreviated that I'm convinced there were scenes that were either cut or never filmed. And, this isn't really a criticism, but I do wonder why Australians were making a movie about the American spirit.
Still, this movie doesn't deserve the sheer obscurity it seems to suffer. It's undoubtedly a unique film, and as such provides a truly fascinating experience.