Gracious, that was highly satisfying!
I’ve heard rumors that in Germany the trailers for this movie have been playing it up as a Black Widow movie that just happens to also include Captain America. I’m really rather okay with that, because goddamn, Black Widow laid down her awesome all over this plot. Which is not to say that the Cap and Nick Fury weren’t also awesome–because they were.
And I gotta admit, although I bailed on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after episode 6, I’m intrigued enough by what this movie did to the overall universe that I’m thinking I’ll have to get caught up on the story. Five or six different people have already told me that GOD YES YOU NEED TO GET CAUGHT UP. So I’ll see what I can do about that.
Spoilers behind the fold!
So RIGHT THEN. Black Widow. I adored Natasha spending a big chunk of the movie trying to hook Steve up with dates. And that exchange of theirs on the ship in the opening action sequence–“secure the control room, then find me a date!” “I’m multitasking!” Hee. 😀
And she and Steve are a great contrast in overall style in general–Steve the Boy-Scout-type hero with rock-solid integrity, Natasha the ex-KGB assassin who doesn’t hesitate to do what needs to be done to accomplish her mission. I liked Fury’s quote about her, too: “Agent Romanov is comfortable with everything.”
HA. I was in fact intrigued enough by Black Widow that I specifically started buying some of her current storylines in digital form from Marvel. Because yeah, give me an excellent, nuanced female character and I will absolutely go read about her. (Bonus: finding out that Natasha in the comics has actual history with Bucky Barnes! SURPRISE! Somehow though I don’t expect this’ll be coming up in the movie version of the storyline. ;D )
And BWAHAHA of COURSE she disguised herself as the councilwoman, to infiltrate the headquarters and get up close to Alexander Pierce.
While I’m on the topic of excellent female characters in this movie, though, next I’ll talk about Peggy Carter. Because OMG that scene in the nursing home with Steve going to visit her. *sniff* Because of course he would. And OMG that last bit where she had that flash of dementia and reacted to his presence in the room as if just seeing him for the first time… augh. Heartbreaking.
But I really also liked Steve telling her that her being involved in the founding of S.H.I.E.L.D. was one of his motivators for signing up. And I was intrigued by her lines about how she wound up marrying one of Steve’s former comrades in arms, but I didn’t catch who she actually married. Does anyone know?
Which naturally leads into me talking about Sharon next! We didn’t see as much of her as I was hoping, but what we got of her was awesome. I liked the initial setup of her just being the pretty nurse who lives in Steve’s apartment building, and how he’s already trying to work up the nerve to ask her in for a cup of coffee before he finds out SURPRISE! She’s an agent assigned to protect him! Great bits with her in the climax of the movie as well reacting to Steve’s announcement over the P.A. that OH SHIT S.H.I.E.L.D. HAS BEEN COMPROMISED, and her instantly whipping out her gun to confront the HYDRA agent trying to get the poor schmoo at the instrument panel to launch the helicarriers.
I was looking for any reference to Sharon being Peggy’s granddaughter, but one presumes that her connection to Peggy will maybe come up in movie #3.
Last but not least, Agent Hill! Good to see her getting some action as well, and maintaining her position as Fury’s loyal second. Also specifically a relief to have her NOT be a HYDRA agent.
And now, the boys!
How badass is Nick Fury? Badass enough that HYDRA had to send a huge squad of attackers, led by the Winter Soldier, to take him down. And they STILL didn’t succeed. It was nice to see that a) Fury took a pounding from that attack, as he reasonably should have done, and b) it DIDN’T take him out, because it should in fact be fucking difficult to take out Nick Fury. Loved how that played out, and was utterly unsurprised by how he faked his own death. Bonus lols for the reference to his means for doing so being a serum from Bruce Banner to deal with his “stress problems”.
I knew going in who the Winter Soldier was going to turn out to be, although I have no experience with that storyline from the comics–I managed to pick up on that spoiler at some point. I almost wish I hadn’t, because it would have been nice to experience that as a total surprise. But that said, they played that very well, setting up what happened to poor Bucky after his loss during WWII, and how HYDRA managed to keep him alive since then in cryofreeze. They played out his reaction to Steve very well, too. He didn’t recognize him, yet on some level knew that he knew him somehow, and that bugged him enough that he did in fact rescue him from the water after the helicarrier went down. Well done.
Alexander Pierce, Robert Redford’s character, was suitably ambiguous at the beginning and outright slimy towards the end.
Another spoiler I wish I hadn’t had thrown at me before I saw the movie–Dr. Zola having his mind backed up to computer. But I found out about this just a couple days before we saw the movie, and learned that the character was apparently always frustrated with his frail body, and obsessed with preserving his mind. Makes him a bit of an interesting contrast to Cap, in fact.
And oh Steve. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I like a Boy Scout type hero! Particularly if you put him in the right sort of scenario where the integrity of his moral center is challenged, and this movie did that in spades. Not to mention showing us how he’s learned to cope with being yoinked forward in time and with the changes in the American political atmosphere. His most powerful and telling line for me: “This isn’t freedom. This is fear.” YES.
My favorite other lines of his–the aforementioned crack to Natasha about “secure the control room, then find me a date.” And his line to Peggy in the nursing home about how he couldn’t leave his “best girl”. Awww. *sniff* But really I liked a LOT of his lines to Natasha–he was an excellent droll straight man to a lot of her snark, like with her crack about “I’m here to pick up a fossil”. And his rolling his eyes and going “No, that was NOT my first kiss since 1945. I’m 95, not dead.” 😀
ALSO! I loved how Cap totally realized what was going on when the agents moved in on him in the elevator. And I adored his dry, “Before we get started, does anybody want to get out?” And then how he proceeds to hand everybody their asses. Muahaha.
And I love, love, LOVE how he pretty much just jumped on the P.A. and alerted everybody in the building to the Shit Going Down. How he had faith that at least SOME of S.H.I.E.L.D. were not compromised and would do the right thing.
And how of course he had to go after Bucky, and had faith that Bucky would eventually realize who he was.
Because that’s the thing about heroes like Cap, and like Superman for that matter–they elevate those around them to be better than before. We see it working with Black Widow, too–I REALLY liked the exchange between them when she asks Steve if he’d trust her to save his life and he tells her, “I would now.”
So yeah. HIGHLY satisfying! A++ would watch again and very likely probably will. Bring on Captain America 3!