Apart from its unwelcome intrusion in our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), China has committed another questionable act: ripping off Marvel’s The Avengers.
Called ‘China Captain’, the web movie sees a team-up of characters from Chinese folklore and novels. Per The Straits Times, the roster includes the mythical creature Monkey King, a couple of characters from martial arts stories, and even a resurrected Bruce Lee. Oh, and somehow, all of them possess supernatural abilities.
According to the synopsis, the story sees these Chinese heroes go up against foreign superheroes, who have begun to encroach on the territories of their local counterparts. Maybe it’s just us, but that dilemma sounds awfully familiar.
Let’s just get this out of the way: we couldn’t understand what the hell was going on. The only copy we had was the one uploaded on YouTube, and even with English subtitles, the translation (and the storyline) barely made sense.
Based on our limited viewing (we couldn’t bear to watch the entire thing, sorry) here are our takeaways:
- The film begins with the ‘comic-book flipping’ animation (Yes, just like Marvel)
- ‘China Captain’ is Asian Steve Rogers with a drinking problem. He fought in a war (or was that a simulation?). One of his main foes wears a costume reminiscent of a Nazi uniform.
- China Captain is an alcoholic because foreign superheroes are taking what he believes should be his. Oh, the irony.
- China Captain beating up soldiers in the style of 90’s arcade games is pretty entertaining though
- Near the end, the rest of the Chinese Avengers simply assembled out of the blue, just as China Captain was getting his butt kicked. No context, no reason (or maybe there was? At this point, we had zero craps to give)
What do the Chinese audiences think?
Surprisingly, Chinese viewers agree with us when we say that ‘China Captain’ is just terrible. Marvel movies are pretty popular in China, so seeing a copycat with a non-existent storyline, ‘a video quality reminiscent of pirated films’, and ‘awkward special effects’ just won’t cut it with the local audience.
Still, ‘China Captain’ became the top movie on one of the country’s ticketing websites, so maybe there’s no such thing as bad publicity after all.