I usually come out of a Marvel film surprised at how much it impressed me. Not at how much I enjoyed myself, which is a given, but rather how much more than a comic-book-come-to-life the movie seemed to be. Perhaps that’s just because I haven’t read enough comic books recently.
The rust and corrosion eating away at Iron Man’s soul, the weight of expectation crushing down on Thor, and now the sense of anomie and rootlessness which frames Steve Rogers second life in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Comics long ago abandoned the simplistic moralism of early Superman, of course, but big screen cinema still loves a black and white dichotomy. Especially in the realm of superheroes and supervillains.
For me, it was the emotional complexity of Cap’s resurrection which provided the depth for all of the action sequences driving TWS. I very much enjoyed the discovery of his friendship with Sam Wilson, the veteran/counsellor and the way the script used this to explore the issue of Roger’s temporal dislocation.
I don’t want to go into plot points, because I know there’s lots of people haven’t seen the film yet and Marvel borrowed enthusiastically from the post-Bourne playbook of story mechanics. Suffice to say, I’ll happily watch it again when it becomes available via legitimate digital distribution channels everywhere.
If you want to talk plot and character revelations in the comments, however, feel free, with appropriate SPOILER WARNINGS.