The Ongoing Adventures of Captain America

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I saw “Captain America: Civil War” yesterday and originally planned to make this week’s blog a full review. But let’s be honest, whether you love or hate the Marvel films, you KNOW how well this movie’s doing and if you’ll watch it or not. Those who have been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe will enjoy it, those who are newcomers will be confused by some stuff, and those who want something closely based on the “Civil War” comics… Well, if you haven’t figured out by now that these movies are loose adaptations, then I can’t help you. For my part, I enjoyed “Civil War” for its great action scenes, dramatic and well-acted character moments, and the reveals of “new” superheroes (Spider-Man’s intro being my personal fave). If I had gripes, they’re minor things like one not-appearing-in-this-movie character getting brushed aside big time, and the other being large, reoccurring location text shoved on-screen.

But I’m not here to gush on and on about “Civil War.” Instead, I want to talk about Captain America and his movies in general. When I first started getting into the MCU and saw “Captain America”, I wasn’t overly interested in the film or Cap himself. Sure, Chris Evans did a good job with the role and continues to do so, but I never really found him interesting as a superhero (at least, not compared to tech genius Tony or demigod Thor). I feel like my opinion might be different if I rewatched it now, but one thing I can say for sure is that between “The Avengers” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, his character grew on me significantly. Granted, I also enjoyed those films far more, but I came to appreciate his character. While I ended up not agreeing with his side 100% in “Civil War”, I’m still surprised every time with how much I love watching the guy. Even with all the various Avengers/heroes, “Civil War” is still very much a Captain America movie first.

Speaking semi-briefly of the Avengers, I feel like the more recent Cap and Avengers movies so far have gone hand in hand with each other (possibly more than the other films). It was through “Winter Soldier” that the status quo changed and that ends up being reflected in the subsequent movies leading up to and including “Age of Ultron.” Beyond that movie, the events across both the Cap and Avengers films come back in a big way in “Civil War.” It addresses an issue that hasn’t been focused on in the MCU so far: the consequences of heroism. Now, sure, part of the reason these films coincide with each other could be because Cap is the leader of the group, but it also makes both “series” the most interesting to me (although I still love the “Iron Man” films if only for Robert Downey Jr.).

It’s strange to think about how far Cap has come throughout all of these films. I remember even before “Captain America” came out, I wasn’t overly interested even though by that point, I wanted to try watching every Marvel movie just to see what they would build up to. I never read superhero comics as a kid, but my basic understanding of Cap was that he was like a less superpowered Superman. Basically, an all-around good guy who’s all about doling out justice and who is usually tough to take down. Yes, I realize both these characters are more nuanced than that, but he was never a hero that stood out much to me. While I still don’t know if I want to seek out any Cap comics, the MCU version of Cap has made me appreciate the character far more than I used to (or any of the other Avengers, for that matter). And if the quality of “Civil War” is anything to go by, I can only hope that the upcoming MCU movies continue to get better and better.

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