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[personal profile] hafital
People keep saying interesting things! Lots of great reviews and meta and fan theories, both favorable and not, floating around out there. Some of it forcing me to think a little harder on some of my reactions to the film.

Many who seem frustrated by CA CW focus on that it didn't seem like a Captain America movie, but an Avengers. 2.5 film or Iron Man 4. I think these are valid criticism lobbied at Marvel, but I don't know if I agree with them. But I see why one would walk out of CA CW and feel that way: There ARE so many other characters that get a great deal of screen time in the film besides Steve. Tony's part is given a lot of weight. Steve appears to be reacting the whole time and so he lacks character growth, he doesn't change, etc etc.

(I'm not particularly interested in defending CA CW as a great film to anyone. I don't need it to be a great film or equal to Winter Soldier. I will say though that one of the reasons I'm fond of the MCU, whatever you may think of them or Marvel, is that no one is phoning it in. I appreciate that. May not always 100% love what they choose to do -- I'm looking at you, Joss! -- but I can't say it's because they don't love the characters. Clearly they all do. And that makes a difference, imo. I can forgive a lot.)

However, I think Steve does change in CA CW, monumentally for him, but maybe it doesn't appear that way. In comparison to Tony, who's emotions shoot out of him like his energy beams, Steve's internal struggles, his tough choices and emotions and his crisis points all happen in neat, precise movements, kind of like his fighting style. And he goes through similar changes and growth in each Captain America film.

In the First Avenger, the moment he truly inhabits his new body is the moment Peggy tells him "You were meant for more than this." Re-enforced a second time when he point blank asks her if she meant it, as he's in the middle of hare-ing off to go rescue Bucky. "Every Word." Thanks Peggy! Bucky is the reason/Peggy is the catalyst, and like the butterfly he is, the real Steve Rogers emerges. And then, the rest of the movie follows from that change.

In Winter Soldier, Steve is pretty lost at the start of the film. Many things don't feel right to him, and his conscious is prickling. With good reason! He's trapped in a Hydra nest and he doesn't even know it. Peggy tells him, in that amazing scene, "Sometimes all we can do is start over." This time, Steve's moment of growth happens in Fury's secret bunker. "Hydra, Shield, it all goes." And everyone knows he's right. Once again, Bucky is the reason/Peggy is the catalyst.

In Civil War, Steve knows in his gut that signing the Accords is a bad idea, so he won't do it. At the funeral, he hears Peggy's words through Sharon. "Compromise where you can," and also "Plant yourself like a tree." He's stubbornly holding to his guns through the first act of the film until they have Bucky in that glass cell. Then he has that scene with Tony and he decides to agree to the Accords, with conditions. He bends, and attempts to compromise. But then the sticky point of Wanda -- Wanda who represents all of them -- comes in and Steve backs the hell out of that. It re-enforces his gut instinct, and all of his decisions from there informs the rest of the plot of the film. He can't compromise. As in the other two CA movies, Bucky is the main reason why Steve does what he does/Peggy is the catalyst behind it. The result is they try to stop him at the airport and the Avengers fight each other, and consequences happen. Tony (who's more reactive than Steve is by about 1000% but whatever) realizes he's wrong, and goes to help Steve. Zemo (pulling all the strings) gets what he wanted, though, and things fall apart badly. Steve plants himself like a tree and won't give up on Tony or Bucky. Tony is raging at him (he's in a great deal of pain, manipulated by Zemo) but Steve *won't give in to it*. But his real moment of change happens when he drops his shield. I know it seems like he's doing it for Bucky, but I think he's really doing it for himself. Carrying that shield is as much a compromise as the rest of it, and also as much of a crutch as Tony's suits are. He's lets it go, and that's where it comes full circle. His entire journey since he took on the mantle of Captain America led him to that point where he finally lays it down. He drops it for Bucky and Tony and himself most of all. The thing is, all he had to do was open his hand. It's a real small gesture, but a big change within.

One more thing about Tony -- he's projecting all of his pain and anger on to Steve. I love Tony a lot, not least of which because RDJ is the gift that keeps on giving, but Tony is a seriously problematic character. The interesting part is he's not wrong, at the beginning, at all, right. Cesperanza covered this much better than I can with her post about Boiling the Frog, but the part that struck me where I realized I cannot trust Tony's judgment *at all* was when sets aside his own conscious to actively manipulate and recruit Peter. He knows what he's doing. He questions Peter, and you can see it on Tony's face because everything Peter is saying is something Steve would say. But that doesn't stop him, because he believe's he's right (compromise). And then he gets called out on it by Rhodey during the fight. "How young is this guy?"

And also, Steve knows it. Because Steve questions Peter too. And he knows Tony manipulated Peter into fighting. It completely cements and re-enforces Steve's decision to follow his gut and not compromise any more. Amazing!
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hafital: (Default)
get me off this crazy thing

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