Was worried that this movie would throw itself aground by making seriously overt political statements and screwing up what was best about the first Captain America movie.
In the end, it turned out better
than I expected and all in all I liked the movie more than not.
The characters were well done and in general true to themselves, the action
scenes were great, and I was surprised that they didn't go with the Black Widow
romance instead setting up a possible future connection with Sharon.
On the political side of things, I think they managed to walk a nice tightrope
that allows viewers on the Left to blame Bush/Military thinking as the 'big
picture Bad Idea" while the Right can point to Obama's Kill List and
expanded Drone use (the makers of the film openly claimed the latter as their
inspiration for what it's worth). If one insists on being political at all, at least that's ideal method for a big tent pole summer movie.
However on both sides of that question
they backed away from making it a strong link by making the US President and
other government members and SHIELD agents the first targets of the Insight
Weapons. In short, they made it so big and so disconnected from loyal
US citizens that they blow their underlying 'message'. So yes, better than
expected although I think less than what the makers thought they were doing.
Other than that it's just a general and obvious warning that one can go too far
on the Security-Freedom scale. In that line some of it (the scenes between Cap and Fury for the most part) come off a lame half-arguments that doesn't let anyone really address the issues. More walking the tight rope while pretending otherwise.
Still for my part, I could have done without any of it as none of it added to my enjoyment
of the movie. On the bright side it was a passing moment easily ignored.
But there was a much more major part of the plot I didn't like...
Modern comics loving giving
readers neat characters and awesome toys, and then destroying them. And now the
movies have followed in that path first with the Iron Man armors and in this movie
with SHIELD. I like SHIELD, it's cool and fun- more so than the CIA (where
Sharon ended up) or the FBI (who I assume are the guys arresting the Hydra
senator). Now it's gone (at least for while, there's still a TV show named after it assuming it doesn't get canceled).
I also didn't care for the fact that they basically tossed all the heroes of the
past under the failure bus (Peggy Carter and Howard Stark where the founders of
SHIELD, and thus the ones who allowed it be corrupted from the beginning).
There should be room for "Heroes
of another Story" without them being torn down revealed to be fools or road kill. In fact this applies to the whole background of the movie, in which every evil and threat of the post-war period is due to the manipulation of a single comic book villain group instead of the evil that mankind does as a matter of course.
As to the grittier and darker take this movie represents, I do think there's room for stale beer in
a comic book movie, as long as its contained. But in this case it was too far
reaching, and cast the entire world in terms of failure. This was the Dark
Age of comics with a Golden/Silver Age character guest starring.
And perhaps that's why I ended up liking the movie more than not, because I've come to
view the world as entering its own Dark Age and would like an icon of what was great about the past
to still exist. Still, wouldn't it be nice to have more than one of those?
1 day ago