Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (more thoughts)

Oh my god this day. Here, let me dump some more Captain America: The Winter Soldier feelings. (I haven't seen it again, because free time, hah!)

Spoilers for the MCU (nested cut-tags removed because apparently LJ hates them):

Steve, Natasha, and Steve/Natasha

I didn't say a lot about Steve the first post, I think because it didn't feel like I had much to add to the argument the movie was making. And I still don't. But [personal profile] coffeeandink has some great thoughts about the visuals and parallels that the movie was using—the visual framing, especially, is something that I'm not good at noticing. I can notice things like, "Oh look, Steve's falling into water again," but not things like reflections unless someone brings my attention to them.

I don't agree that Steve was suicidal, however, which is a suggestion I've seen around. Steve had specific goals, which were: destroy the helicarriers and save Bucky, in that order. Having replaced the server thingies, he wasn't going to tell Maria to wait on crashing the helicarriers just for his safety; and anyway he had another objection, save Bucky--or at least not hurt him any further. And if he had to die to achieve that, well, not anything he hasn't done before.

(I can't believe last time I said the movie's OTP was Steve/his shield, completely forgetting that he dropped his shield for Bucky! My OTP is not Steve/Bucky, though I don't object to it unless people use it to reduce the sincerity or importance of Steve's feelings for Peggy (sadly all too common), because fuck that, Peggy is awesome and just as importantly, I'm tired of female characters getting displaced by male characters. See also my policy of not reading any fanfic that breaks up Tony and Pepper. To get back on track, I also don't think the movie has a character OTP, but more on that in a moment.)

I also didn't say much about Natasha for the same reason, but I have to say it gives me another reason to dislike IM2—not that I needed more!—when she was so flat there, which after Avengers and this really has to be laid at the feet of the movie and not the actor.

And I admit that it's important and a step forward for the MCU that she was not a love interest and that there was no romance plot, and I agree that the movie was running as hard away from Steve/Natasha as it could. Because I contain multitudes, I can nevertheless still ship them like anything in fandom while liking canon as it is. => (Steve tells her he wants her to be a friend before Camp Lehigh; after Camp Lehigh is when he gives her his unequivocal statement of trust, if my memory serves. Natasha is obviously not in a position to be starting a serious relationship now, but later . . . )

(If the MCU wants me to ship Natasha/Clint they need to give me more than two minutes of them together and ten minutes of Clint total. Sorry, Clint fans.)

Sam, Fury, Sitwell

It's been pointed out various places that the structural role of the romance interest is actually filled by Sam. And I'm actually glad that the movie didn't take that further and make it canon, only because "I am dropping everything because Captain America asked and I want to do some unambiguous good" is much more interesting—and thematically important—than "I am dropping everything to because Captain America asked and he looks really great in shirts three sizes too small." (Which is not to say that one couldn't also hold that opinion! Though I don't think I particularly ship Sam/Steve because of the asymmetry of Sam as the follower, it makes me uncomfortable.)

I talked about the way the movie pulled its punches politically in the first post. Something I forgot to mention is that I think the movie's treatment of Fury at the end was another failure to carry through its critique. My audience cheered when he got off the helicopter in the callback to his Avengers introduction. But that, that's an action hero introduction, and that and the we-are-being-cool-now eyepatch-related moments kind of overwhelm Pierce's talking about where he learned expedience. Also the lone superhero thing that he ends up taking on at the end, of course.

(I'd mentally composed the above paragraph before reading thingswithwings' super-thoughtful and thorough discussion of the movie's political ambivalence, which includes a lot of discussion about Nick Fury. I agree about the personal journey he takes but I don't think the movie does enough to foreground and position it within the political critique it's sort-of making. I might think differently on rewatch, though; this is mostly a question of emphasis.)

(Speaking of cheering, my audience also cheered when the older woman on the Council suddenly started beating people up. I think everyone was a bit disappointed when she turned out to be Natasha.)

I have no feelings about Sitwell personally, but it is quite true that his being HYDRA deserves side-eyeing, as Gavia Baker-Whitelaw notes.


Some of my Friday-night-opening weekend audience didn't know that the Winter Soldier was Bucky. I was wondering about that: the Thor 2 Blu-Ray featurette was explicit about it, but I noticed that the trailers and TV commercials were pretty careful not to give a full, no-mask shot of the Winter Soldier, and even if they had, I'm not sure I would have recognized Bucky between the hair and the eyeblack. So that seemed to have worked reasonably in terms of calibrating information for different audiences.

I said after watching Iron Man that the only thing that surprised me was that Stane wasn't revealed to have killed Tony's parents. Apparently HYDRA gets credit for that instead—possibly specifically Bucky, which might make bringing Bucky into the Avengers later a little awkward at first . . .

And now, an additional spoiler about the comics:

Captain America 3 has been announced for May 2016; that will be the fifth movie on Chris Evans' six-movie contract. Given that he has stated that he wants to give up acting, I can't help but think that Cap 3 will be getting Bucky back and Avengers 3 will be The Death of Captain America: Steve Rogers' assassination and Bucky Barnes' assuming the title of Captain America. (Dude who was fighting Sam at the end in the building as it was being destroyed, who seemed to feel kinda bad about trying to capture Steve in the elevator, and who was found badly injured, is Crossbones, who in comics canon is part of Steve's assassination. Let us hope this does not come after anything like a Civil War plotline, because ugh.)

I am hoping that having many years to expect this will keep me from being a wreck if it actaully comes true, and will make me incredibly relieved if I am wrong and they retire Steve some non-fatal way. Because, Steeeeeeve, but obviously I don't want Evans to be unhappy or for them to recast Steve Rogers.

Some fic recs, which I think ought to be pretty clear what they're like from the tags and summaries:

Modern Careers in the Information Sciences (and Other White Lies) (3086 words) by melannen
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Natasha Romanov, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Random SHIELD/HYDRA agents, definitely original female charactersclearly not based on real people, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Captain America: The Winter Soldier Spoilers, Missing Scene, POV Outsider, Libraries, Librarians, Fort Meade
Summary: Any agent knows that the most important thing when planning an op is information. Luckily, there's a public library right across the street from Fort Meade.

A Place to Lie Low (580 words) by ifeelbetter
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Sam Wilson & Avengers
Characters: Sam Wilson (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Fluff
Summary: Sam gets a reputation for being the dude with a place to lie low for on-the-run Avengers.

laughter is the best medicine (1148 words) by sweetwatersong
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Maria Hill & Sam Wilson
Characters: Maria Hill, Sam Wilson
Additional Tags: 5+1 Things, Male-Female Friendship
Summary: Five times Sam Wilson has a good laugh, and one time Maria Hill has the last one.

How to Win Friends and Influence People (765 words) by igrockspock
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Maria Hill, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts
Summary: Maria Hill's definition of "job interview" is different from other people's.

Next New Message (1461 words) by fabrega
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Clint Barton, Natasha Romanov, Steve Rogers, Maria Hill, Jasper Sitwell, Sam Wilson (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Captain America: The Winter Soldier Spoilers, Spoilers, Movie Spoilers
Summary: "YOU HAVE THIRTY. SEVEN. NEW MESSAGES," Clint Barton's phone announces. That can't be good.

depends on where you're standing (4118 words) by dirgewithoutmusic
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Sharon Carter & Natasha Romanov, Sharon Carter &; Peggy Carter, Steve Rogers & Natasha Romanov
Characters: Sharon Carter (Marvel), Peggy Carter, Natasha Romanov, Steve Rogers, Agent 13 (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Bechdel Test Fix, Aftermath, Idealistic little girls who grow up to be fierce women, coffee with an assassin, spies around the watercooler, SHIELD falls
Summary: Sharon Carter expected to pull a gun in the line of duty. She didn’t expect to pull it here. SHIELD was her holy ground. (...)

A Hard Day's Night (1320 words) by thedeadparrot
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Community (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Troy Barnes & Annie Edison & Abed Nadir
Additional Tags: Crossover, Post-Movie(s), Coda, Post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Summary: Abed gets home after a rough day at work.

Riviera Life (3015 words) by Omnicat
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Sam Wilson, Natasha Romanoff
Additional Tags: Post-Canon, Happy Ending, Male Friendship, Male-Female Friendship, Food, Artist Steve Rogers
Summary: Sam and Steve have been traversing Europe looking for Bucky. Not everyone is convinced it isn’t an open invitation road trip.

Finally, an addendum to my post about the trailers: an important critique of Lucy. comment count unavailable comment(s) | add comment (how-to) | link

Tags: fanfic, movies, movies: avengers 'verse

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