I went and saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier this afternoon. There is no way to talk about this movie without talking about spoilers. So if you haven’t seen the movie and you want to be surprised by what happens, I recommend you wait to read this until after you’ve seen the movie.
I enjoyed so many good previews before this movie, which means there are not many movies on my list of things I need to see, including Earth to Echo, Lucy, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Maleficent. It seems as though this summer will have a lot of super hero movies and I am looking forward to all of them.
I don’t really know if it’s because of where I’m at in my life or because the movie did such a good job of messing with my emotions, but there were at least three times in the movie where I got fairly teary-eyed.
The first seriously emotional moment for me was when Steve visits the nursing home. Such a huge part of my heart screamed at me that this is what love really is. Love isn’t just adventures and saving the day and having a great time. Love is support and heartache and forgiveness. Love is about so much more than just physical intimacy. Watching Steve at Peggy’s bedside as she was old and weak and he was young and healthy and strong was extremely heart-wrenching for me. His love for her was obvious and reminded my own heart’s ability to love. It was a very moving part of the movie.
Another part of the movie that was emotionally gripping was when Steve went to see Sam at the VA and Sam was leading a group in dealing with life and PTSD. Watching the veterans talk about how real life situations put them back into unhealthy memories and watching them work through their issues was pretty powerful. As was listening to what happened to Sam’s wingman and them talking about decisions to stay in the service, particularly Steve’s comment about how he doesn’t know what makes him happy. With all the changes in my life these days, I can very much relate to Steve’s questions about how he doesn’t know what he would do if he wasn’t Captain America. Leaving a career that’s been your whole life, or even contemplating leaving that kind of lifestyle, can be very confusing and unsettling.
But the most emotionally heart-wrenching part of the whole movie was what they did to Bucky. He was just starting to get the edges of memory of what his life was like before he became the Winter Soldier, but then he gets wiped again. For whatever reason, Bucky and Steve tread parallel, yet completely opposite paths. They are both given great power and then one becomes the hero and one becomes the villain, and as with all great friendships, the two best friends are then pitted against each other. One fights for love and country and one fights because he’s ordered to and that’s what he was created to do. They have to face each other and the demons and memories of their own pasts. It’s heartbreaking in every way imaginable. And my current situation certainly did not help my heart with the viewing of this movie.
I was worried about whether or not the movie would remain true to the characters and I thought that the interaction between Natasha and Steve was fantastic. I was worried that they would put Black Widow into the movie only as Captain America’s love interest and that would have made me extremely angry. Instead, they were friends and comrades-in-arms and that strengthened both of them as characters. I thought their interactions were hilarious, especially the parts in the mall. Natasha would tell Steve exactly what to do and he was very confused, but her instructions were unbelievably amusing. “Public displays of affection make people very uncomfortable.” Yes, yes they do:) In fact, I was entertained by the entire section of the movie where Steve and Natasha are hanging out in civilian clothes. Partly because of the clothes they wore, but also because of their comments about their situation. Like Steve’s comments about how if he ran in those shoes, they would fall apart.
I really liked the different characters in the movie, and that really came through when you saw their different ways of attacking the same situation. Steve would talk about how to fight and what the game plan was and Natasha just did what she does best and blended in with the people around them. Black Widow was definitely always a spy and excellent at infiltration and skills of that nature. I was pleased with her character in the movie. Sam was also a great character and addition to the team. He was real and that really connected to me.
Overall, I really enjoyed the movie and it’s something that I will probably go see again in a couple weeks when some of my buddies get back. I’m happy with the story and the characters, even though it was a really, really heart-wrenching movie and story.