Monday, April 14, 2014


“Trust is what makes an army work. Not a bunch of guys running around shooting guns.”

- Captain America

Oh, that Captain America! So honorable. So gee-golly good! So trusting! 70 years frozen in an ice cube and does it even phase him? Nope. Just takes getting used to, he says. I mean, sure he’s got a long list of music and movies to watch, but that’s what the internet is a for. (Right?) And for buddies, he’s got his own little army in The Avengers! Ol’ Cap just never stopped fighting the Good Fight.

But, now his faith in The Good Fight is a little shaken up after he finds out his buddy Nick Fury’s been keeping secrets from him. What’s a supersoldier to do?  Why, keep fighting The Good Fight of course, and find out the truth behind SHIELD‘s secrets, even while being framed for them! There’s a lot more action in this one, and a lot more hitting people with shields. Especially because he’s hunted by The Winter Soldier!

I loved this movie even though a few things were changed from the comic book version, of The Winter Soldier. Namely, Bucky isn’t picked up by the Russians. Rather, he’s a HYDRA (read: super Nazi.) agent, and being a Russian assassin is sort of his cover story. He’s made to look Russian, given Soviet arms, (and an arm…) and brainwashed.  Although, it’s really HYDRA in control.

Yet, every time Cap and Black Widow get closer to the conspiracy, Winter Soldier appears to stop them. Physically, (and with that cyborg arm!) he’s a match for Cap, but not mentally, since he’s being Hawkeyed (a.k.a. mind-controlled.) It’s Cap’s good morals that win the day, even as helicarriers explode around him. Of course, if you’ve read the comics, you know where the Winter Soldier will end up, and why it was necessary that he be the titular villain in this arc.

Speaking of storylines, I guess I’m one of those rare beasts who absolutely loved Captain America: The First Avenger. This may be either because I liked the moral, or because I spent too much time studying WWII and the German language…or all of that! Nonetheless, I was pleased to see connections from the earlier film play into the HYDRA conspiracy. The arrival of Dr. Zola details HYDRA’s Cold War work…which is based in fact. The superpowers did scramble to pick up German scientists in the post-war period. In effect, Cap is still fighting the same war: Freedom vs. fear. Wowzers! Historical fiction! What will Marvel 2.0 think of next?

Speaking thematically, this is where I think Marvel upped the ante for the movies. Behind Cap’s loyalty and trust are (I think.) a tacit rejection of Batman’s use of fear as a weapon, which places Marvel vs. DC effectively in two camps philosophically. Compare Cap’s objections to SHIELD’s operations with Batman hacking every cell phone in Gotham. “This isn’t freedom, this is fear!” Cap might well say. But, philosophy aside, I simply loved everyone in the movie. I really think Marvel just created a great new world by destroying its old one.

Of course, Cap has still got it in either world. He can  still kick butt! And so can his new friends Falcon (I was worried Falcon might be a cheesy sidekick, but he works his way in to be necessary to the plot, and a good pal to Cap!) and Black Widow!  For me, this Marvel 2.0’s best film to date. It has a clear vision, good action, and sets up fascinating story arcs, if I know where this is going. Frankly, I can’t wait to see where they’ll go next! Freedom prevails! 5/5 stars from me!

(Did I mention I think I see where they're going?)

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