Captain America: The Winter Soldier
April 7, 2014
“Having Captain America around you all the time. He just–the guy just brings out the absolute best in people. You…want to be good when he’s around.”
— Hawkeye #1, Matt Fraction
This is from the new run of Hawkeye that started a year or so ago, and I love it because it sums up so much of what’s great about Captain America. (Mind you, I’ve taken this quote terribly out of context — in the next panel Clint reminds the bad guy he’s threatening to beat up that Captain America isn’t around right now and he’s therefore not entirely at his best. But still.)
The first Captain America movie was about Steve Rogers and his story arc. This movie is about Steve’s impact on the people around him. How even Natasha Romanoff, presented as one of the most morally compromised characters in the Marvel universe, wants to be a better person around Steve. And she succeeds. The overall story is political/spy thriller, and terrible things happen, and our beloved world is falling apart. The characters who come together to try to make it right do so because Steve is asking them to. He’s the glue, the moral center, in a story about what is good, and what is right. I love ensemble stories, everything from G.I. Joe to Aliens. This is a good one.
I think Chris Evans deserves a ton of credit for selling these movies and this version of Captain America. He plays it so straight, and my heart just melts. An inch more earnest and the character would come off as cheesy. An inch less earnest he would come off as sarcastic. This…he just gets it.
I also love that the Marvel films, particularly the Avengers sequence, are confident enough to play with details. This is a very rich universe — not just in depth and information, but in emotion. Make sure you notice the necklace Natasha is wearing. I love that Steve gets a friend in Sam who’s a modern war vet — maybe the first person in his new life he’s been able to really relate to. More Falcon, please! I got a Peggy scene. *SOB*
But what may be the movie’s greatest triumph is making me excited to see the next Agents of SHIELD episode, to see how the hell they carry on from here.