Captain America. Basically the American Winston Churchill.

Just saw Captain America. He’s the first Avenger, apparently. He has incredibly neat hair and a quite square head, and those are facts. I’m sure he’s more than capable of looking out for himself, but I am a little bit worried about him, even though he seems to be all but indestructible. It’s his mental well being that concerns me. I should probably mention that I’m assuming you’ve seen it, seen it and remembered it. As such, I shall be mentioning plot details, so if you don’t want to know about how good triumphs over evil and that the good Captain saves the day and lives to fight another one, I’d stop reading. Because that was a shocker, wow-wee, didn’t see it coming.

Suffice to say it is not a genre bending movie. There are no twists and no surprises. I don’t even think all the stops were fully out, and somewhere around the seventy minute mark the whole thing kind of grinds in on itself. There’s a massive jet thing with some bombs in it. I’m not entirely sure what Agent Smith from The Matrix’s plan was, or why he was doing a hilariously dreadful German-ish accent, but he was. That’s definitely what he was doing. But he didn’t get to finish doing it because the wise cracking, firey one from Fantastic Four didn’t let him. He hit him. Lots. With a shield.

Which is fine, I suppose, and as I say I thoroughly enjoyed all of it. More so the build up, watching a mesmerisingly small and weedy Chris Evans bumble about was a pleasure. The power of computer trickery in films now is most pleasing. Chris Evans (the American, in this film one. Not the ginger, TFI one) is not a slight man. Laying ones eyes on him, one does not think ‘well he’s a narrow, gangly and awkward looking fellow’. But thanks to the magic of the future they made him look like I used to look when I was about 12. Only more handsome and with hair more incredibly neat. Soon we won’t even need to cast humans in the roles of thin, weak, sticky-out-elbowed men. They shall be replaced by virtual, slightly more handsome men. With odd looking jaw lines.

I particularly liked the steam punk-esque imagining of the second world war. I did. I don’t know why, I just did. It spoke of a simpler time when all a man had was like, a jump jet thing, blue L.E.D lights everywhere, a sort of flying car (nearly) and in one mans case, a bowler hat in U.S Army green instead of a proper helmet. Simpler, more heavily stylised times. Hugo Weaving did his hissing, shouting bad guy thing efficiently. Nazi people got blown up. Battles were fought from the heart and won largely by cliche, and the thermostat was set to heart warming. I liked it. I did.
But I am a little bit worried about him.

Captain Steve “America” Rogers looks like he’s all that, but look closer. He was a small, weak boy who was constantly getting beaten up and who never ran from a fight. He took a sustained beating on several occasions before being super-sized and almost seemed to enjoy it, which is not a good way to conduct your business. He can’t talk to girls, which is probably just as well, what with having the voice of a much larger, more burly man. He is clearly insecure and self loathing with a worrying detachment from his own body and sense of place. He is overly keen to go to war, and though we are told this is not because he wants to kill and is in fact because he doesn’t like bullys, it is of course really because he wants to kill. No one as nice as Steve Rogers seemingly is, is. There are issues a plenty just beneath the surface, gently restrained by a serial killers smile and sparkling eyes. A cold madness bubbles ‘neath that angular face and head-and-shoulders shine. You swoon and flutter your eyelashes, certain that he’s the one. The perfect man. And I’m sure he would be, right up to the moment he finds a way not to feel awkward around you by keeping you young, quiet and beautiful for ever. Mother would like you like this.

Not that I remember any mention of parents or guardians.

So then, the perfect candidate for testing a process that turns you into a super soldier. A process that massively increases all that you are, making good great and bad worse. A process Howard Stark seems to be quite heavily involved with, which is cool and everything, but he couldn’t even get his flying car to fly. A major flaw in a flying car. So I sure as Hell wouldn’t get into a futuristic iron maiden willingly and let him plug it in, slick little moustache or not.

Steve does, obviously. He’s hungry for the power deep down inside, he just hides it well. Then he watches a man slowly take a gun out and shoot the scientist who created the machine. Not a great start. There follows all the usual whizz bang heroics, a love interest, a dead close personal friend, a silly final set piece. Silly, but I must remind you, I did like it.

Then poor old mental Steve gets frozen for seventy years. Frozen for seventy years. Seventy years. Frozen. So for a start he’s missed Iron Man, it’s less appealing sequel, Hulk, Thor and Watchmen. The whole superhero genre has passed him by basically. As if that’s not bad enough (although, keep in mind that he did also avoid Batman and Robin, so every cloud), everyone he ever knew, cherished, loved and nearly got it on with are all long dead. All of them. So should he avoid the actually inevitable collapse of his mental health due to his deep seeded self hatred, raft of insecurities and tendencies toward violence, you can be pretty sure that eternal loneliness and a forever of unfulfilling, ultimately pointless and unrewarding noble gestures would push him over the edge.

Couple this with a burgeoning God complex and, well, you can see that there could be a problem. I enjoyed it. I did. All I’m saying, really, is enjoy Captain America, sure. But don’t forget that he’s hurting under that faintly ridiculous costume. Even super heroes get lonely.

I’m not especially looking forward to The Avengers movie. I like one superhero per world, or at least continent. I’m not really happy when your Batman and your Superman are fighting and then Wonder Woman pops up to calm things down. Or when Hulk drops that documentary on the history of Prague and it’s architecture back to The Flash, because it wasn’t his thing really. It just doesn’t work for me. But if there must be an Avengers film, I’d like to see ninety minutes of Steve Rogers and the gang just hugging it out. Really working some shit out.

Because I liked Captain America : The First Avenger. I did. I really did. I just think if they all got a little help, took a little them time, sought professional guidance and looked hard in a mirror, they’d all be alright. And then we could have a nice big budget extravaganza in which the main character isn’t in a mask/cape/spandex.

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