Fanboy Flick Pick: Finally, a Captain America Movie That Does Not Disappoint

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Movies
Friday, March 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm

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But if you're worried about the movie getting overly political, fear not - it's vague enough that you can choose to read the higher forces at work here as either Bush or Obama, and it works equally well; nonpartisans sick of both sides may find they enjoy it the most. You also need not fear that big scenes of stuff blowing up while muscular men in funny costumes beat each other up will be in any way lacking - there are plenty, and they deliver (also Cap's shield is still basically magic in that it absorbs any impact without regards to Newton's laws). Though you might have to ask yourself what the statute of limitations is for you personally when it comes to large aircraft slamming into government buildings (I found it less bothersome than I expected, and certainly less evocative of THAT day than similar scenes in Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down).

The first Evans Captain America movie was always a little problematic for me, dramatically - by bookending it in the ice, it made the entire movie feel like backstory to get out of the way like an obligation, rather than a compelling tale I'm watching in the moment. Steve Rogers as a character worked better in The Avengers, where he played the more traditionally conservative foil to Robert Downey's libertarian/libertine Tony Stark. Here, his foil is America as we know it, versus the America he grew up knowing, and it's the exact right dilemma for a hero meant to stand for his-country-right-or-wrong. The only bummer, perhaps, is that the Winter Soldier isn't as key to the story as his name's placement in the title might suggest - it's really only a first act for the character, with very little of his arc resolved.

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Yes, a sequel is inevitable, but does that have to mean we never get closure? The implication is that the entirety of Age of Ultron will serve as a big, side-tracking distraction to a Captain trying to finish what was started herein. Still, I like this better than the certainty of knowing all along that it ends in ice. A lot better. Though steeped in the iconography of the superhero movies that have preceded it, it isn't as beholden to the clichés - Cap and Widow, for instance, remain in the friend-zone.

Stay tuned, as always, for two scenes during the credits: one setting up another movie, and the other delivering an essential capper to the story at hand.


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