Inverarity (inverarity) wrote,

Movie Review: Captain America - The Winter Soldier

Captain America The Winter Soldier

Captain America was never my favorite Marvel hero, but he is an archetype, and there is something endearing about a guy who still runs around wearing a flag. Still, he hasn't aged well. He's an eternal Boy Scout, like Superman (who also used to be much more blatantly pro-America), and his costume is almost as embarrassing as Wonder Woman's.

In the comics, that is. In the movies, damned if they didn't manage to pull off just the right combination of earnest, sincere heroism and bad-assitude. Cap looks like a soldier, acts like a soldier, and being frozen since the 40s, manages to act like a man out of time while being savvy and smart enough to do his best to catch up. The first Captain America was my second favorite among all the recent Marvel movies, just behind The Avengers and narrowly edging out Iron Man and Thor. I like heroes who are genuinely heroic without being saps (something several Superman movies have failed to pull off). And yeah, I like harkening back to an era when you could be patriotic without ambivalence.

So anyway, The Winter Soldier did not disappoint. Although the true identity of the main villain should have surprised no one over the age of 10, and there were some rather silly Tropish moments that didn't execute as well on film as they do in comics (seriously, the Villanous Monologue where the super-smart evil genius tells you all his plans before he gon' blow you up, 'cause that always works? Or packing an elevator with a bunch of thugs to beat up Captain fucking America, because yeah, that will totally work too), it was gloriously full of city-razing special effects and high-speed superhuman martial arts smackdowns, and a plot no more silly than anything else based on a comic book. It's not a character-redefining movie, nor did it have the genius and the humor of The Avengers, but it was satisfying, and it managed to keep Captain America believably heroic without either ignoring or denying his essential Americanness.

That said, one cannot help noticing how very global the movie is, heroes and villains alike. This is the post-9/11 era, and it's hard to pull off unironic patriotism, especially of the "America, fuck yeah!" variety. Especially when foreign box office makes up so much of a movie's receipts. Hence while Captain America is still Captain America, he really doesn't talk a lot about America per se, except in a rather wistful past tense. S.H.I.E.L.D. is apparently an international organization (despite pretty much every S.H.I.E.L.D. agent we've seen being an American) taking its orders from the "World Security Council."

I enjoyed Winter Soldier quite a bit, and am happy that they've been able to update Cap (as well as a few other B-listers).

Cap and the Falcon


I did catch the namedropping of Stephen Strange, though, which makes me wonder when Dr. Strange will get his own movie?
Tags: movies, reviews, superheroes

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