The Winter Soldier
By: Meg Humphrey
I am a huge Captain America fangirl. Justice, righteousness, and unwavering moral compasses are some of my absolutely favorite things. Now, I admit that it was The First Avenger that brought me into the fandom (and don’t anyone dare say that I’m not a “real fan” because of it), but since then I’ve gone back to read the more prominent Cap storylines and learn more about the character. My feelings for Steve Rogers have only intensified. I could spend hours talking about the movie and why I loved it, but here’s a non-spoiler highlight of the parts that stuck out to me.
He was more Steve Rogers than Captain America. One of the very few things I wasn’t happy with about The Avengers was that they cut out multiple short scenes that showed Steve as a “good man” rather than a soldier. In Winter Soldier, it’s all about Steve trying to be true to what he knows is right despite direct orders. Yes, there were exciting fight scenes, but it wasn’t the action that carried the movie. Steve Rogers is an interesting character because he’s doing his best to do good in a world where selfishness and moral ambiguity reigns supreme. He knows from experience that doing the right thing will cost him dearly, but he makes the tough decisions anyway.
Sam Wilson, Sam Wilson, Sam Wilson. I’ve liked Anthony Mackie in everything I’ve seen him in, but his Sam Wilson (as well as his Captain America related interviews) are outstanding. Sam is an outstandingly real and sincere character. He echoes Steve’s values in a realistic modern way which allows the audience to easily relate to and root for him. If Marvel knew what was good for them, he’d, at the very least, show up as a recurring character, and at best, be a recurring character AND get his own movie(s). You’d think that with three movies a year until 2028 they could fit one in about The Falcon.
Black Widow wasn’t added to fill a quota of women or appease people who want to see Natasha Romanov in her own film. She is an important and necessary partner to Cap who is dealing with her own issues and sense of self. She isn’t “just” the strong female character. She isn’t “just” the sexy redhead. She isn’t “just” the brains to Steve’s brawn. She is a whole person. Her, plus Maria Hill and Sharron Carter, show that the ladies of S.H.E.I.L.D. are not to be taken lightly.
If you haven’t seen Winter Soldier yet, go see it. If you haven’t watched any of the Marvel movies, go back and watch Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, and THEN go see Winter Soldier. If you were on the fence about Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D., go watch Winter Soldier and give AoS another shot. If you’ve already seen it, go see it again.
[Terra’s take on The Winter Soldier will be posted Wednesday!]