Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Capt. America: The Winter Soldier Melts Hearts [Pt. 3]

OK, kid gloves are off. If you have not yet seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, you deserve all the spoilers you get hit with. You are no true geek and we intend to beat with you with Cloud City equipment until you go flying.

One of the touchstones of the film just became very important to me. Hang on, and I'll explain.

Cap is simply awesome as a physically superior human being. He runs as fast as a horse, does a high dive into the ocean from several thousand feet and caps it off with taking out a couple dozen armed pirates and a world-class kickboxer merc.

That's in the first 15 minutes of the movie.

His "I am so awesome, I slow down only so you can watch me do it" bona fides are so firmly established, you already KNOW he's gonna win any physical fight. It is a given.

Then we flip the coin and show the fights he cannot win. Government policies, political agendas, neighborly deceit and betrayal by friends.

Alzheimer's. PTSDs. Character assassination by authorities.

Through it all, Steve Rogers does what we WANT all our heroes to do: keep their moral code in the face of all opposition. Selflessly taking the blows and beatings while even his closest allies all reveal they have their own agenda.

If Steven Rogers were a villain, and went all medieval on them, we'd understand.

He doesn't. He helps them. He listens and then speaks words that do not condemn, but correct.

At one point, when he's driving superspy Natasha Romanova [Scarlett Johansson who's gotten MUCH sharper in the role] to track down a lead, she remarks about his 'criminal ability' to hotwire a car. He says he had to learn it in Germany during World War 2.

But it opens a door to talk about what's changed and he pushes on her constant ability to masquerade. She's not being real about who she is; she is a cypher, a mask.

"Not a good way to live," he says wisely.

Reflecting on that, she replies, "No. But it's a good way not to die."

That is pure gold. I want to send a donation to the writer for that line.

Yes, she is a liar. Yes, she is a spy. Yes, she has killed.

But why? She wants to stay alive. Period.

Can I tell you that is what holds us, over and over again?

Steve, the supersoldier and Natasha, the superspy meet on this field: are you willing to die for what you believe or are you willing to kill for what you believe?

Natasha ends up saying "You know Rogers, you just may be in the wrong line of work."

Ironically, but not unexpectedly, Rogers ends up saving her life.

And gets to say the same to her.

In the end, she agrees: she drops the mask and lets the world find out her past, all to defeat HYDRA, the Real Bad Guys.

The more I think about it, the more I see that is Jesus' style. He had a secret identity, as a Son of Man, but He had no mask to hide His soul. Those who met Him, especially the agents of Evil, knew Him on sight.

May we drop our masks so we can live.

Amen.

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