|tanithryudo (tanithryudo) wrote,|
@ 2014-04-26 22:28:00
|Entry tags:||comics, movies, reviews|
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
First, let's get my squeeing out of the way. I absolutely LOVED this movie. Love <3<3<3!!! I went into the theater with high expectations. I was not disappointed. It ticked ALL of my likes. Cap, you are my favorite superhero evar!! <3<3<3
What did I love about this movie?
1. Characterization. All of the characterization. All of the characters.
Natasha was awesome as the female co-lead. Her role was not exploited for romance or even that much for eye candy. She definitely got her own dramatic character growth which I loved. She was both appropriately strong/badass, and was able to show hints of emotional vulnerability. Her friendship with Steve was funny and absolutely adorable. She made me sympathize; she made me empathsize; she was just great.
Falcon was a wonderful addition. I read one online reviewer that made comments comparing his role to that of a traditional female love interest to the star (they meet the hero, see each other a few times, immediately "click" and start sharing deeply personal stuff, risks their life when the hero is in trouble, follow them into the sunset, etc). If found that funny, if kinda true; no wonder the fandom is shipping them. Oh yeah, and they do certainly have chemistry. Honestly, Sam is the kind of steady, stable guy that Steve really needs in his life right now (also helps since his job was a therapist for vets).
Nick Fury, I think, was oddly much weaker here than in previous movies/TV shows. Not in a physical sense; the man can action hero just fine. But in Iron Man, Avengers, and Agents of SHIELD, he seems to be much more in command of things. A super spy who knows all the secrets, masterminds all the plans, etc. Alas, in this one he was pretty much the victim almost the entire way through. He's lost control of what SHIELD has become, and I think he is also too tired and too disillusioned to keep going. He doesn't show emotion well, but it would explain why he accepted Steve's command so easily.
Maria Hill was a surprise. She honestly did surprise me when she popped up to throw in her hat at saving the day. MCU!Hill is a much more likable person than her comics counterpart.
And then there was Steve. Oh, Cap. You are what I want to see in my heroes. You might be lost at sea in a time you don't feel you belong, bereft of friends or anyone you can truly trust, but you never let your issues and manpain get in the way of acting like a decent human being. You might have had to make hard choices in the fuzzy past - to "compromise" - but you never decide to let those "compromises" become the SOP, and you are always cognizant of the ethical lines that you've drawn in the sand. Impossible odds and a figure out of personal nightmare might stand between you and your goal, but you're not going to let anything stand in the way of doing the right thing. And not only that, you are perfectly open about why you are doing what you are doing. And because of that, good men and women have the choice to follow your sterling lead, to choose to do the right thing rather than blindly "just following orders" (pay attention, XMFC!Charles). I <3<3<3 you.
2. The villains were cool too.
CAWS learned from its prequel on this. Red Skull was a really meh villain. The antagonists in this one were much better, and of course appropriate.
Zola was an interesting hail-back to the prequel. Appropriately comic!level cheesy and then dumped out of the way once he served his exposition/tie-in piece so the story can get on with it.
Pierce was a...astonishingly human villain. Unlike a lot of the villains in the other Marvel movies, his goals were...realistic...from the POV of the modern audience. Except for some exaggerations, this could actually be a real life villain. This was not just a megalomaniac who wants to "mwahaha rule the world" or "mwahaha I will have revenge". This seemed to me a guy who used to be on the side of good, and was then corrupted by power, fear, and the slippery slope of making one too many "compromises".
The titular Winter Soldier didn't actually get many scenes. But my goodness, the scenes he did get were...wow. Intense. The chemistry with Steve was just as strong as in the previous film. The emotional turmoil for both this tragic character and the hero was nicely done without getting in the way of the plot. The denouement...that scene just killed me. So. Many. Feels.(Also, fodder for So. Many. Fics. XD) I think it was also a great move to have Cap definitively fight the Winter Soldier, accomplish his mission, and then - only *then* - does he let go (in so many senses of the word). And in that very act of letting go, he saves the Soldier too. (Oh, Cap, you and your save everything martyr complex...)
3. Pacing was tight for this movie. I remember complaining about the last one being too long. I think this one was just fine. Nothing felt too long to get boring, and every scene had its place.
4. Optimism, ho!
One of the things I really dislike about a lot of modern mediums is the inclination to go grimdark (grimderp, as I've learned the term). Just look at the latest Batman/Superman reboots, and all the crap they're doing in the print comics.
I don't mean that emotional gravitas and invoking tears in the audience doesn't have its place. But it's more the trend of having heroes (who more and more edge into anti-heroes) who are characterized by being "hard" and "edgy" and "grey"...the whole "hard men making hard decisions" and "ends justify the means" trope just gets on my nerves.
I absolutely love it here, where Cap will always always always metaphorically stand his ground and essentially say "this far but no further". I love it that his true weapons in this conflict isn't his SHIELD and skillz (though they definitely help) - it's Truth and Trust. Its with the trust between friends and comrades that deserve it. It's the truth that you're brave enough to speak after being mired in so many lies.
There's other stuff I loved, but the above covers most of the big things.
Incidentally, this reviewer's posts? I agree with all of it. ^_^
This entry was originally posted at http://tanithryudo.dreamwidth.org/434572.h