I’ll try to keep this spoiler free.
Last night I sat me down with an overpriced Sprite, and a large bag of popcorn in a chair I’m pretty sure was once the seat of a wet dog. I didn’t mind any of this, however, as I was about to be treated to a movie featuring my favorite super hero, Captain America. What I saw was nothing short of a wild, anti-authoritarian ride that tickled my Libertarian sensibilities and made me believe that Hollywood isn’t so bad after all.
Steve Rogers has been my favorite hero for some time. He doesn’t have super powers per se, but he is at the peak of physical condition, and his fighting skill is top notch. But that’s just a small portion of why I appreciate the guy. What really gets me to buy stuff with his shield emblazoned on it is his outlook on the world.
What makes Captain America such a hero is that he’s the guy you have to get through in order to take people’s freedom and liberty, and you just don’t get by him. Whether you’re a terrorist, or a corrupt politician working with an underground world dominating organization, or even just a politician working with the State Department, your first task in expanding your own power is defeating Captain America.
In Captain America’s latest outing, the government has had enough of he and his fellow Avengers acting on their own accord to save the world, and with the help of other world governments, seek to reign him in by putting him and the rest of the heroes under state control.
This does not sit well with Cap, who notes that government is not only too slow to act, it’s also subject to the whims of bureaucrats with agendas, and as he notes to his fellows, ‘agendas change.’ Being from a time when government agendas were something he and his friend Bucky Barnes (aka the Winter Soldier) were putting their life on the line constantly to stop, Rogers knows something about government agendas.
A few of his fellow Avengers agree with him. The Captain’s new best friend, Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon) agreed with Rogers from the get-go, and didn’t feel like being the attack dog of some suits. Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) was on board as well, along with Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch), and Scott Lang (Ant-Man).
Not everyone agrees with the Captain, namely Tony Stark (Iron Man), who takes the lead in attempting to get the others on board with government oversight into their organization. He’s joined by the Vision, Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow), James Rhodes (War Machine), T’Challa (Black Panther), and this kid from Queens named Peter Parker.
Words are bandied back and forth about the need for government supervision between officials. Stark makes a few emotional appeals by using examples of people they hurt in their attempt to save the world, but still, Captain America refuses to hand over the power he commands to people who he is positive will abuse it. As he tells the others, no one will know how to handle their abilities better than they will.
To make a long story short, and without giving too much away, the government doesn’t appreciate the Captain’s lack of cooperation of turning himself into a tool of the government, and comes after him with guns. This results in a full on rebellion from half the Avengers, with the government sending Tony and the other half to bring them in. What results is some of the most exciting cinema, both in action and plot.
The entire movie is nothing short of perfection. Even Spider Man, now safely away from Sony, and nestled in Marvel’s arms – at least for this outing – was memorable for the short time he was on screen. I can’t wait to see what the solo-movie will look like. Every character shined, and to be honest, it felt less like a Captain America movie, and more like The Avengers 3.
Still, the overtones made it clear that this was a movie that revolved around an idea, and that idea was freedom of the individual. It wasn’t just a lazy rock-em-sock-em outing for a bunch of super heroes. Marvel could have easily gone that route and still made a pretty penny, but they didn’t. They went with a fascinating story that really put you in a difficult spot. Do you side with Iron Man, and agree that a group with that much power – no matter how good – should have oversight? Or do you side with Captain America, and stand against control of the individual, even if that means danger.
For me, the choice was simple. Rogers had the right of it. Freedom is dangerous, yes. It’s unpredictable, absolutely. But it’s good, and if there’s one thing that is dangerous, it’s the shifting whims of overreaching government authority. For Rogers, he views handing the powers they posses as irresponsible, and he is correct. What happens when they are needed, but not allowed to act? What happens when they’re told to act, but for reasons they know are wrong? The government can hardly organize itself, how will it organize you?
Viewers are likely to draw their own parallels to events happening today. Many feel as if the world is pushing against them, and standing your ground means costing friendships, even if it breaks your heart. You will be tempted, maybe even encouraged by the movie to apply its concepts to what you’re seeing on your TV screen, and internet news feeds today. Believe me, the movie isn’t just an fun ride, it tries to get to you personally.
I encourage you, especially you conservatives and libertarians out there, to see this movie posthaste. It’s without a doubt a rare outing for our sentiments and beliefs on the silver screen. It does it so efficiently that it’s no wonder leftist outlets are trying to pick it apart for one lame reason after another.
Click close on your browser, get in your car, drive to the theatre, get yourself a blue raspberry ICEE and some popcorn, and watch this movie. Show Hollywood that they did good this time.