I really like Steve Rogers. He is my favorite Avenger. A simple man with a simple view of life: “I’m always honest,” he finds it hard to live in a world where decisions are based on grey areas, where honesty and integrity are not always viewed as virtues, and where his closest friends sometimes pretend to know something they don’t, or not know something they do…
It’s this tension of opposites that makes life difficult for the Captain. He truly is a “man out of time” as Loki put it in the Avengers movie. He knows exactly who he is, and what he must do, but life makes it very difficult for him at times. The first movie, “The First Avenger”, was set in a time when things were simpler. It was easy to tell the bad guys from the good guys. Steve, the scrawny kid who hated bullies, fought against the enemy, protected his friends and loved ones, and no one questioned his values.
In The Winter Soldier, he is thrust into a world where people no longer say “good morning” to strangers in the elevator, where the good guys finish even farther behind, and where it’s far more difficult to know who your true friends are, let alone find someone to love. In any other movie, this plot device would have felt worn-out, but not for Captain America. In no other situation would his character be better exposed.
[This paragraph contains spoilers, so please skip if you haven’t seen the movie.] The appearance of an old friend was not really a surprise to me; he’s too important a character to simply eliminate. I had this feeling from the moment of his tragic “death” in the “The First Avenger”. For the same reason, I think the Red Skull will reappear in one of the future movies, but that’s anybody’s guess. The scene with Peggy was beautiful and satisfying, and made the movie all the richer. I was initially on the fence about Falcon, whom I thought was “Ironman lite”. However, as one of the few true friends of Captain A., and with some witty lines, he reinforces the movie quite nicely.
[End of spoilers]
And so I come to the conclusion. In the same way that The Dark Knight was more than just a superhero movie, The Winter Soldier rises above its genre and is a movie about character, values and conviction. I really wish Cap could find an easier way to live his life. Perhaps he’d be able to laugh more, crack more jokes (like Tony Stark), and take life a little less seriously (like SpongeBob). Perhaps he would get hurt a little less often. But then, it wouldn’t really be him anymore. And I’d like to believe that the world still needs people like Steve Rogers.
Even if you don’t agree with me or Steve, go watch the movie anyway. It was loads of fun. 🙂
PS. If I had to nitpick:
– Did he really have the time to go to the museum just to grab his old uniform, when the world as we know it was about to crash?
– The count-down timer as a means to convey tension at the end is getting really old. Please, think of something better next time.