Friday, June 2, 2017

“Comic Book Movies: Critical Hypocrisy”


It just occurred to me that none of Marvel’s Captain America films ended on a happy note.  Yet, they have never been criticized for possessing too much angst or being depressing.  Why?

In “CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER”, Steve Rogers lost his close friend, James “Bucky” Barnes during a mission.  He was forced to crash the HYDRA plane into the cold Atlantic Ocean, where he froze for the next 66 to 67 years.  Because of the crash, his burgeoning relationship with SSR Agent Peggy Carter abruptly ended, with her believing that he had died.  The movie ended with Steve awakening in 2011 New York City as a fish out of water and the world completely changed.

“CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER” was a rather depressing film, if one is completely honest.  The only good thing that came out of it was Steve’s new friendship with Afghnanistan War veteran, Sam Wilson.  Otherwise, the movie featured the downfall of S.H.I.E.L.D., the very agency that his old love Peggy Carter, Howard Stark and Chester Philips had created, caused by a mistake they had made.  And that mistake was the recruitment of former HYDRA scientist, Armin Zola.  Steve discovered that despite the Red Skull’s death, HYDRA still exists and that it had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. and the U.S. Senate.  He also discovered that his former best friend Bucky Barnes was not only alive, but also a brainwashed assassin.  Everything had went to shit by the end of film, including Steve’s career with S.H.I.E.L.D.

“CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR” was another depressing film.  It introduced the Sokovia Accords, in which enhanced beings like himself and other members of the Avengers would be forced to register with and regulated by various governments.  The main drive behind the Accords was Bruce Banner aka the Hulk’s former nemesis, Thaddeus Ross, who finally got the opportunity to control a team of enhanced beings.  The ninety-something Peggy Carter finally died.  And the Avengers faced another threat - a Sokovian named Zemo who wanted revenge for the destruction of his country (caused by Tony Stark’s creation of Ultron).  And he used the still brainwashed Bucky Barnes, whose past involved being coerced into murdering Howard and Maria Stark, to get his revenge.  Between the Accords and Zemo, the Avengers suffered a permanent split by the end of the movie.

None of the Captain America movies ended on a happy note and were filled with a great deal of angst.  On the other hand, two of the DCEU movies, “MAN OF STEEL” and “SUICIDE SQUAD” ended on a happier note.   And the latter was filled with a great deal of humor.  Yet, both, along with “BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE”, have been criticized for being “depressing and angst-riddled”.  So, why is it that the DCEU movies have been critized for this and the MCU’s Captain America films have not?  Hypocrisy much?

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