Originally Posted by Axl Van Sixx
Thanks! You know, I think it was when I first heard Erskine's line in the trailer - about "staying who you are, not a perfect soldier, but a good man" - that I thought this movie really might be something special. In these dark times, we need a truly heroic figure like Steve Rogers to remind us about the good side of human nature.
In the last several decades, Western culture has arguably become more about the individual and less about the greater good. Maybe it started with the so-called "Me Decade", but today we have this narcissistic celebrity culture, exemplified most by "reality" TV. How many times have you seen a show like Survivor
, where loyalty and friendship are seen as weaknesses, and ruthless self-absorption as the key to success? Maybe one of the reasons World War II has such resonance in the American consciousness is because it marked one of the last times when the people banded together and sacrificed for the common good in the face of a clear and identifiable evil. Steve Rogers exemplifies that spirit of community. The grenade scene really says it all: this is a guy who selflessly puts the safety of others ahead of his own personal well-being. In such a cynical and dispirited age, that's incredibly refreshing to see.
Now if only Zack Snyder's Superman can follow that example, maybe we'll see if Cap is a leader is in more ways than one.
I agree with everything you said. I think WWII is still held in such high regard and the US Military itself is still so respected-probably the only US Government institution that people generally respect-because of the unity they represent. Even people who are strongly against the wars are not against the servicemen (which was the case to a degree in Vietnam).
The grenade scene is fantastic.
Originally Posted by jmc
I'll throw my hat into the ring here regarding the hero vs anti-hero thing (for better or worse). What it all boils down to to me is the character journey, generally the worse off the character the more area you have to develop a compelling narrative whereby the character has to overcome certain obstacles, this goes for all characters not just superheroes. If a character is simply a good guy who wants to do what's right then it's a pretty weak character arc because the only obstacle he has is defeating the bad guy. Let me reiterate that there's nothing wrong with being a good person, it's a virtue that many people lack, but from a story perspective it makes characters one dimensional to be painted with such broad strokes in a film that's trying to take itself seriously. The thing is you can add extra layers to a character without resorting to them slipping into that grey area or changing what they stand for, I saw it briefly in that scene where Rogers realizes he can't get drunk anymore, basically the realization that he's no longer the man he use to be, why not play that up more? Or his lack of skills with women which is touched upon but not as much as it could have. Things like that don't really change what he stands for, but it gives him a personal hurdle or two to overcome, it's small things like that that can ultimately change characters for the better and make the movies far more engaging.
I think not only was Steve unskilled with women, he was completely socially awkward. But that didn't stop him for always standing up for his beliefs, like the theater scene. That's why the whole USO bit actually worked-Steve got to appear and perform in front of people and while it wasn't like field leadership, he did learn some degree of leadership from it. I don't think he would have pulled off the rescue without doing the USO bit.
Again, this film massively exceeded my personal expectations. Fantastic movie. Kirby would like it.